You may have heard of Ghetto Rescue FFoundation (yes, with two F’s) recently in the news when they took in a dog that had been nailed inside a doghouse left in the street. It turns out this rescue has knack for taking in some of the most difficult canine rescue cases. Here’s how GRFF is making the world a better place for dogs.
1. Why and when was your organization founded? Where did the name come from?
Officially founded non profit in 2012, but police and fire folks help dogs daily and independently. Unofficially started in 1993 – the reality is we rescue ghetto dogs. The name came from community member as we were forming the non profit. He said, “Good you are getting the dog out of the ghetto.” We knew there were many rescues with happy fluffy names, so we are unique.
2. What are the biggest challenges your organization faces rescuing dogs in LA?
One of the biggest challenges is the spay/neuter issue. If people would take advantage of the FREE spay/neuter programs it would help with the stray dogs and overflowing shelter dog problem. Yes dog fighting is an issue and difficult to investigate since police need community involvement/tips.
3. You say your rescue team is comprised of police, firefighters and civilian personal. How important is community involvement to your rescue?
We help the community with medical costs and rescues. Community cooperation is important.
4. What is one of your most memorable rescue to success stories?
Moxie Antoinette, a small Golden Retriever mix, was found by a police officer in Los Angeles, who witnessed what appeared to be a dog without a face eating something in the street! Upon closer inspection, the officer could see that Moxie did indeed have a “face” of some sort and he discovered what she was eating was the carcass of another dead dog. Moxie had such a bad case of mange, that her entire head was covered in scaly scabs. She was bone thin and obviously in distress. The officer contacted GRFF and Moxie was immediately taken to a vet for evaluation and treatment. It was discovered that she also tested positive for Parvo, a highly infectious deadly disease.
Moxie fought back against the odds and her new life began! Moxie completely recovered and now lives with her new mom and dad who spoil her rotten!
5. What is one thing an everyday person can do to make the world a better place for dogs?
Do something, anything. Don’t just assume someone else will stop for a dog, make a call, foster, donate because only a few people actually do.
6. Who are some of the dogs at your organization that are having a hard time finding a forever home?
Usually “pit bull type” dogs and senior dogs. We dont usually rescue “ready to adopt” dogs. We rescue dogs needing extensive medical or training which can be $100-$2000 per dog per month.
7. Tell us about Walter. What happened to Walter and how did you find him? How is he doing now?
Walter Worthy Higgins was found in one of the most cruel situations GRFF has seen. Police were alerted by a homeless man in South LA about a boarded up wooden doghouse that was in the middle of the street. He told the officer that the doghouse had been sitting there for THREE days. He suspected that there might be a dog inside. Sure enough, when law enforcement arrived with LA City Animal Services, they discovered an incredibly frightened cowering dog hugging the farthest corner of the doghouse as if he wanted to fade right into the wall. Left with no food or water for those 3 days, Walter was totally traumatized. Upon rescue, he was transported to LA Animal Services where a veterinarian evaluated and treated Walter. Once his physical needs were met, work started on his mental state. Walter is in the care of an experienced dog foster dad who is slowly acclimating Walter to life outside the box. Volunteers visit him daily just to sit by him, pet him and allow him to hear praise and a gentle voice. He has a long way to go, but he’s gonna get there.
8. How often do you deal with dogs who have been suspected of being involved in dog fighting or bait dogs?
We deal with “bait” dogs used for fight training on an almost weekly basis. Community members are key to solving this problem but are very reluctant to report dog fighting in their neighborhood for fear of retribution. Dog fighting is linked to other criminal activity. One of the most common forms of cruelty we encounter is neglect and people dumping dogs on the street with no regard for their safety or survival skills.
9. Where can people find you online?
10. What is the biggest issue facing your rescue that you would love to conquer?
Physically we would like to cover 20 square miles of residential and assist with spay/neuter but that requires A LOT of money and help. Donations pay for dogs but additionally money pays for help we desperately need when we cant get dedicated volunteers.