Paws for Life is passionate about saving lives and continues to seek out innovative ways to offer canine-centered programming to uphold their mission. The Prison Training Program isn’t the only program at Paws for Life K9 Rescue—there’s so much more.
People and Pet Innovation Center
Located in Mission Hills, CA the Innovation Center was built to help the public keep their dogs in the home. This brick-and-mortar facility offers training and playgroups to community and shelter dogs, provides a safe haven for dogs awaiting their adoptive homes, and hosts adoption events. The center is located in the backyard of Best Friends Lifesaving Center at 15321 Brand Boulevard, Mission Hills, CA 91345, in the San Fernando Valley. APPOINTMENT ONLY. Visit the website pawsforlifek9.org for online booking.
PTSD Service Dog Program
This program is a collaboration with the California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation (CDCR) to take the Paws For Life Program to the next level and give back to some of the people who safeguard the country–our Veterans.
After passing their initial base training in the main Paws for Life CGC program, a few of the most successful candidates are selected to continue their training to potentially become service dogs for veterans who live with PTSD.
This program is an additional 6-month training process that prepares the dog to handle the rigors of performing PTSD-specific tasks in various environments.
First Responders Program
First responders and firefighters begin and end their shift willing to risk their lives for people they have never met. In a single shift they can face any number of traumatic events, from fatal automobile accidents to fires blazing out of control, as well as lives they cannot save. These brave heroes must be strong to face each new day, but as a community we understand that suffering this type of trauma needs balance so that they can unwind from the horrific things they have witnessed at work.
Therapy Dog Program
The Therapy Dog Program places high-risk shelter dogs in the Prison Training Program. Dogs are carefully chosen—only those with an aptitude for learning and an innate ability to provide affection and comfort get selected for the Therapy Dog Program. These dogs can come in all sizes, ages, and breeds. Through the program, they are matched with a first responder and begin training in the field with professional training support to ensure that training is successful and that the first responders feel supported.
Grand Paws For Life Senior-to-Senior Program
This innovative senior-to-senior program is the first of its kind and is in partnership with Grand Paws Rescue, whose mission is to rescue senior dogs who have been abandoned, primarily large-breed senior dogs because they are less likely to be adopted from the shelters.
Each year, the Grand Paws for Life program aims to save a minimum of 35 at-risk senior dogs, from 10 to 14 years old. These dogs are rescued from Los Angeles city and county animal shelters and paired with senior inmates in the California Medical Facility in Vacaville, California, a correctional site with a significant senior inmate population. Paws for Life K9 covers the necessary initial medical costs for these senior dogs, which typically includes bloodwork, teeth cleaning/extractions, supplements for joints, medications, and ongoing veterinary care. So the dogs experience the care, affection, and companionship of their senior inmate while waiting to be adopted into a new forever home, where they can live out their final days doted on and adored by their new owners.
Shelter Paws For Life Program
The goal of this program is to create long-term adoptions for life, lifting cost barriers and training challenges for the dog’s new family. Anyone adopting a preselected dog from the Los Angeles Animal Services and/ or a reputable LA-based rescue can take advantage of the Shelter Paws for Life Program, which is FREE.
Adopters and rescuers of shelter dogs get to bring a fully trained, well-socialized dog into their forever homes, dogs who only months before were languishing in the statewide shelter system, overlooked and ignored.
Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Program
The Canine Good Citizen Program teaches good manners to dogs and responsible dog ownership to their owners. The 10-step CGC test is a non-competitive test for all dogs, including purebreds and mixed breeds. It is a prerequisite for many therapy dog groups and encouraged by some homeowner’s insurance companies. An increasing number of apartments and condos are requiring resident dogs to pass the CGC test.
During the 12-week CGC Program, a trainer in the PFL Prison Training Program partners with a rescue dog to teach basic commands, behavior, and socialization. Over the course of these 12 weeks, trainers and dogs prepare for the American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen certification.
How You Can Help
Foster. Become a PFL Foster Volunteer. The organization relies on compassionate people who can open their homes to dogs rescued from the shelter. By fostering, you allow the rescue to have valuable space available for dogs who need it. Fostering essentially allows the rescue to save two lives at once!
Adopt. PFL has amazing dogs available for adoption through both the Pet and People Innovation Center and the Prison Training Program. Learn more about their available dogs online at paws4lifek9.org/ pets-available-for-adoption/ and book a visit to their lifesaving center to meet them in person.
Volunteer. If you have a passion for helping animals and are looking for a way to get started, visit paws4lifek9.org to fill out a volunteer application. Whether you are looking for hands-on volunteer opportunities or are more of a behind-the-scenes person, PFL could use your help.
Donate. Funding is a critical piece of any rescue organization—it is what makes saving lives possible. Help PFL sustain and grow their programming by donating supplies via Chewy or Amazon, joining the 10,000 Tails Club, or make a single monetary donation. Donation information and links can be found at pawsforlifek9.org/donate/
Become a Partner. Show your corporate compassion and become a partner with PFL. Join companies like Animals Matter, Uricide, Petco Love, and more. See a full list of PFL partners and learn more about joining the club at pawsforlifek9.org/partners/
Junior Advisory Council. A youth focused segment of PFL, the mission of the Junior Advisory Council (JAC) is to raise awareness about adopting rescue dogs, especially pit bulls; spread knowledge about spay and neuter programs; and raise funds to support the goals of Paws For Life.
Represented by multiple schools in Los Angeles, the JAC members are encouraged to create clubs within their own schools to promote Paws For Life K9 Rescue. JAC members volunteer at community events, work to provide humane education in elementary schools, and spread awareness through social media platforms.
Planning to adopt? Visit pawsforlifek9.org