A day after FOX 11 shared the story of Los Angeles' East Valley animal shelter – where more families gave up their pets due to financial fallouts from the current state of the economy – viewers began stepping in to help.
FOX 11 spoke with the Balbuena family, who adopted a 100-plus pound bulldog who has health issues. The bulldog joins the family's second dog they had also adopted – a Pit Bull named Jo Jo.
Remember the enormous Armenian Gampr mix with an eye infection from our original piece? He is looking much better at Paws For Life K9 Rescue in Mission Hills. The agency has partnered with LA City Animal Services, taking dozens of dogs at a time to their facility, where they offer veterinary care and free training for dogs adopted by families.
"We really can help new owners and support them with wrap around services," says founder Alex Tonner.
"These are animals who came from loving homes, and are victims of the economy, just as much as the humans," he adds.
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"We all need to step in, and honestly, these animals add more to our lives than anyone can imagine," said Robert Balbuena.
Zulma Zapetra knows that too well. Her family rescued two large dogs from the shelter and considers them part of the family. But they are now turning to Paws for Life L9 for help.
A fire destroyed their duplex last week, and they can’t find an affordable place that will take the family and the dogs.
"I can’t give them up," she says, fighting back tears.
The rescue has agreed to board the animals until they find a place, but the Zapetra family is having a very difficult time. Landlords have gotten pickier about renting to people with animals, with some asking for big deposits.
"Who has three month's rent for a deposit?" said Zapetra. "We just lost everything in a fire, at Christmas, no less."
Those looking to learn more about Pows for Life K9 Rescue can click here for more information.