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Holidays 2012 To Our Pet Orphans Family - Holiday Greetings! Another year is drawing to a close, and personally I cannot regret its demise! Due, mainly, to a stressful economy, we have been forced to readjust our whole operations and plans for the future (including our dream of a vet clinic that is so badly needed here!) in order to continue to provide critically needed care for the animals that depend upon us for survival. However, just as “the Phoenix that rose from the ashes,” Pet Orphans has been REBORN, and is looking forward to its “BIG 40th” anniversary celebration next year. As the co-founder of the organization, I have been searching my soul and memories of these past 40 years for a graphic example that defines our philosophy as to what we do and why. There are THOUSANDS of them now, with stories like the following one, that will warm your heart and bring to each of you the most precious gift you could receive this Holiday season. The fact that these blessed unions occur between orphaned, lonely animals and their new owners who cherish them, is because you made this happen. You have given them the gift of life because you shared with us in caring for our orphans while they were awaiting their special someone to come and light their way to a loving future. This family’s beautiful story is just one of the many heartfelt tributes to your kindness and generosity; thank you on behalf of the beloved pets, their happy families, and on behalf of the staff and volunteers of our Pet Orphans family. Diane Scripps President

Josh and Bella It was almost a year ago that our family visited Pet Orphans to adopt a dog. We had looked over the web site prior to our visit. By viewing the photos and descriptions, there were several dogs we were interested in, however one in particular we dismissed because she was a Pit Bull Mix (Bella). Our 10 year old son Josh has Down’s Syndrome and we needed a dog that was gentle, patient, and tolerant of his specific behaviors. We visited with a couple of dogs. Then they brought out Bella. Immediately there was a magical connection between Josh and Bella! It was silent but evident in the joyful and excited energy both Josh and Bella displayed. Josh did not exhibit this behavior with the other dogs. However we were still ready to dismiss Bella because of her breed. Thanks to the great people at Pet Orphans for pointing out what we were afraid to see: the strong, natural connection between Josh and Bella. Bella the Pit Bull Mix is now a valued member of our family! She is the gentle, patient, and tolerant dog we were searching for! When our house is full of Josh’s friends, Bella is the life of the party. When Josh is sad or not feeling well, Bella is by his side. The breed is clearly misunderstood. Josh’s best friend, Bella, is sweet, lovable, extremely gentle, and tolerant. Thank You Pet Orphans! Bella is the absolute best dog! Kathy and Wade Barneck

Bringing Animals and People together since 1973

The Life of an Office Cat

Most people think being an office cat would be easy. My name is Lucia, I live in the office at Pet Orphans, and I’m here to tell you being an office cat involves more than just sitting around looking pretty. I have to greet visitors, use the computer, make copies, answer the phone (without getting distracted by the blinking lights), and use the cash register. Plus I have to put with pesky foster puppies or dogs visiting from the kennels! But the worst is that I can’t be around other cats. Don’t get me wrong – I love all the attention I get from people. But I have feline leukemia, and that means I can’t be around my own kind. Mostly I don’t miss that, but at the moment we have these kittens housed in the office hallway and I’m kinda curious about them. I’ve been told I could pass on my leukemia to other cats through bodily fluids like if we shared supper dishes or a litter box. I feel fine and don’t have any symptoms, but that doesn’t matter. I’m not complaining though. It’s not all work and I certainly don’t feel sorry for myself. People in the office pay a lot of attention to me; they scratch my ears, we play with toys, and sometimes they even share bits of their lunch with me. Other times I just nap in a sunbeam or watch the birds outside my window. It’s especially exciting when a fly gets in! I am available for adoption. So until someone comes looking for an only cat and isn’t scared off by my leukemia, you’ll find me hard at work in the Pet Orphans office happily fulfilling my duties as resident office cat.


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We Are Family!

Though some of them have kids of the two-legged variety, all of the staff of Pet Orphans are “virtual parents” to our houseful of four-legged ones in fur coats. Yes, we are family, united in mutual caring and compassion for our beloved orphaned animals. Our staff is committed to “giving their all” to every animal. They help each one survive the nightmares of their past by showering them with lots of love and attention, readying these deserving guys and gals for their future new homes. Our excellent staff members, together with our ever-faithful and great team of volunteers, comprise our “extended family” by whom our orphans are truly blessed and cherished. We consider all of you to also be part of our family, and we are ever grateful you choose to join us in our mission each and every year!

Pet Orphans Staff Page 3

Training Is For Dogs Of ALL Ages!

Jody Davidson

Many people don’t realize that to have the dog of your dreams, and not a canine nightmare on your hands, regular positive and consistent training is the key. In short, upbeat training moments puppies as young as 7 or 8 weeks old can already begin learning basic skills such as “sit”, “stay” and “come”, as well as polite household manners. As they get older, dogs should be taught the correct way to “play nice with others” so they can master meeting other dogs without dominance or aggression. Teenage dogs (age 7 - 16 months), like their human counterparts, tend to test the boundaries of all of their relationships and need consistent reminders of skills and commands that they learned as puppies. Often rowdy and goofy, teenage dogs need plenty of exercise; the mental stimulation of training helps them channel exuberant energy into positive behaviors instead of negative ones. Adult dogs often thrive on the challenge of learning and mastering new skills. Training helps add enrichment to their daily routine, and like people, dogs seem to take pride in demonstrating what they’ve learned. At times it can be hard to recall that adorable, rambunctious puppy you first brought home when you look at the canine “senior citizen” now snoozing on your couch. Do you remember how much attention and energy you lavished on the new arrival? It’s not uncommon for our older dogs to become part of the scenery as they age, still much loved yet sometimes taken for granted. But dogs and people alike never stop learning. Consider a training class to revitalize your older dog. It’s a wonderful way to encourage scheduled one-on-one time together, and the 15 minutes you spend daily reviewing your “homework” will soon become the highlight of the day for both you and your canine companion.

For more information about our training classes and registration visit or contact Jody Davidson: Page 4

Grooming’s Dynamic Duo Meet our new grooming team: Rhonda and Nick. Both share an intense passion for grooming, which they each discovered while working as volunteers at Pet Orphans. Both are now Certified Brusher/Bathers. Rhonda began volunteering at Pet Orphans in 2002, and was an experienced dog walker and adoption counselor before she learned to groom. Rhonda’s first experience with grooming was bathing the dogs that had been adopted before they went to their new homes. Before long, Rhonda was also bathing and clipping the newly rescued orphans, many of whom were often flea and tick infested, filthy, matted, sick, and terrified. As a nurse, Rhonda felt the need to offer comfort and compassion to these dogs. Sometimes when the dogs were brought back to the kennels after grooming the staff did not even recognize them. Not only were they clean and fashionable, but they seemed more confident and secure. One of our adopters was so impressed with Rhonda’s skills that she asked if she could bring her own dogs in to also be groomed. In 2006, Rhonda began grooming dogs for the public, working at first as a volunteer with all of the proceeds benefiting the dogs and cats of Pet Orphans. By 2010 Rhonda was so successful that she was brought on staff as the weekend groomer, and Pet Orphans also hired a weekday groomer. Nick joined Pet Orphans as a volunteer in June of 2011. He did anything that was needed, including bathing dogs. Rhonda recognized Nick’s potential as a groomer and encouraged his professional growth. When he was hired as member of the kennel staff in February of 2012, he did not give up his pursuit of a grooming career. Nick bravely began offering cat baths and nail trims for the public. When Pet Orphans was in need of a weekday groomer, Rhonda suggested that Nick be “groomed” as a full-time groomer. Nick is now Rhonda’s grooming apprentice on the weekends, and provides dog and cat brushing and bathing services for the public during the week. Nick continues to practice his clipping and scissoring skills with the shelter animals as he learns new techniques. Rhonda and her clients are very impressed with Nick’s ability to handle some very challenging animals in a manner that is calming and reassuring. There is no doubt that Nick will be a full-fledged groomer in no time.




Fozzy and Rhonda


Goldie and Nick

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{Take Us Home Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley! I’m a 3 ½ year old Pittie girl and if you ask any of the staff, volunteers, or dog walkers about me, they will tell you I’m the sweetest girl around! Unfortunately, I have a skin condition that too often causes me to be over looked. I had a rough start at life until I got here to Pet Orphans where I’ve learned my basic obedience, and I’m also on my way to earning my AKC Canine Good Citizen title! I would do best in a home with no other dogs or cats. I’m an active girl with a lot of love to offer; do you have room in your home this holiday season for a sweet girl like me?

Hi, I’m Kimi! I’m a spunky teenage girl, about a year old. I’m a unique mix of Shar-Pei and Terrier - who knew I would be so cute? I bet you’ll never find another like me! Even better, I’ve got a great personality to go with my looks. I’m a young, active girl who would benefit greatly from a home that could provide me with a lot of interactive outdoor play. I have recently graduated my Civilized Canine class here at Pet Orphans where I was a super star! I’d fit right in with any active individual or family, won’t you take me home for the holidays?


Hi, I’m Emma! I’m a sweet little Beagle Mix just a little over 3 years old. I’m a real laid back kind of girl who would be a good candidate for living in an apartment; I don’t require a ton of exercise and I’m not very vocal. I enjoy going for walks and spending time with visitors, and although I wouldn’t win a beauty contest, I’m a real gentle girl with a mature personality. I also get along with all the other dogs, so I’d also be good as a companion for your current dog. I’ll fit right in, please take me home!

Hi, I’m Wheeler! I’m a Border Collie/Spaniel Mix, just a little over a year old. I’m extremely people oriented and full of energy. I love to play out in the yards with both my two and four legged friends. I’m a smart kid who’s graduated my Civilized Canines class with flying colors. I have a lot of potential and need an active couple or family to help me burn off my energy in a positive way. If you are looking for that intelligent, loving, family dog - look no further - I’m here waiting for you!



Hi, I’m Elvira! I’m a four-year-old Chihuahua Mix who tends to be afraid of a lot of things in this big bad world. After all, it is a big place for a little girl like me. I’m talking about my size, not my physique. You could consider me “pleasantly plump”. I’m looking for a home where someone will be patient with me and give me the time it takes for me to bond, because once I can trust someone, I’m a really sweet girl! I’m pretty good around dogs my size, but I can be selective at times. If you have the time to help me overcome my fears, come in and meet me! I’m waiting to relax in your home!

Hi, I’m Dawn! I’m a beautiful Orange and White Cattle dog mix. I am a little over a year old and would love to go home to an active younger couple. I can never get enough attention and get sad when people try to leave me. I am very people oriented and a great listener. Did I mention how smart I am? Our trainer here at Pet Orphans has involved me in nose work games! The only thing I have not been able to sniff out is a home! I would love to find a couple interested in keeping me involved in this game as it’s a good way for me to burn off some of my extra energy. If you are looking for that awesome active addition to your family, I am here waiting for you! Page 6



Special thanks to our volunteer Suzanne for these pictures!

for The Holidays} Hi, I’m Jax! I am 1 ½ and more of a serious young man with a magnificent coat of long black fur. You can see me think things through before I decide on any action. Though I am a young cat, I am very mellow and I enjoy watching the world go by. I would do well as an only cat, as a second cat, or even with a dog. I have the type of personality where I would take any home situation in stride.


Hi, I’m Panda! I’m a 1 ½ year old beautifully marked tuxedo girl who has a very sweet personality. I am young, playful and extremely acrobatic, being a fine hunter of insects. I would be a great addition to a family as a second cat, or perfectly happy to be an only cat as well. I am sure to make you smile with all of my silly antics.

Hi, I’m Arrow! I’m about 2 ½ and I’m as handsome as they come. I do enjoy being petted, however I am easily overstimulated and have no problem letting you know when I have had enough - but that doesn’t mean I love you any less! I will have all of your guests exclaiming over how they have never seen such handsome cat, and how the silver arrow on the top of my head is unique. I am a very dominating guy, so the staff at Pet Orphans feels that I would do best as an only cat and without any dogs.




Hi, I’m Dixon! I’m the senior guy around here, coming in at 8 years old. I was adopted out as a kitten and returned to Pet Orphans six years later because my family was moving to the East Coast and they didn’t want to take me with them. I can be a bit of a grump, but as you get to know me you will realize it’s part of my charm. Plus I have been here at Pet Orphans for over almost two years now, and at this age I should be at home relaxing on the couch, grooming myself, having a grand ol’ time! I have a quiet chirp when I talk to people and I give a full body slam when I hand out leg rubs. I am more comfortable around dogs than other cats, so I would be best suited as an only cat.

Hi, I’m Dahlia! I am 3 ½ years old and have lived a very sheltered life before coming to Pet Orphans’ free-roaming cat house. I was literally in a 2’ long, 3’ high, and 2’ deep cage for a year before I was rescued. I can be a little people shy, but if you sit down and let me come to you, I will lie beside you and purr as you pet me. I am very nervous around other cats, so I would be best off as an only cat or with another low dominance cat.


Hi, we’re Blaine and Bowie! We are 8 month old brothers and life didn’t start off so great for us. The adults in our home abandoned us along with two human sisters ages seven and three. After three days being alone together, the brave seven-year-old girl went looking for help when she found a nice police man and asked him for food. The two sisters are now together in a foster home, and the adults are in jail. We brothers were taken to a county shelter, and on the day we were going to be euthanized for being there to long, Jeff from Pet Orphans heard our sad tale and decided that it would not end that way. We are both super sweet and affectionate; you can carry us around on our backs and we just purr up a storm! The staff here would love to see us go home together as a bonded pair, but what we really want is a family that will love us.

Blaine & Bowie

You can see more of her work at

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Brenda and Bianca

George and Jerry

My Adventures as a Pet Orphans Volunteer

I have been a volunteer with Pet Orphans for approximately three years now, and it has been quite an adventure. I started socializing with the dogs, working in the laundry, sweeping down the outside areas, and going out on mobiles. I finally got through the dog-walking course, and at some point I started answering the phone and directing traffic from the front office. I fell in love with probably a dozen dogs and cats but managed to resist adding to my own collection. At least that was the case until this year. It started with me babysitting a couple of mother cats and their kittens rescued by another volunteer. They were all adorable balls of fluff. Unfortunately, two black boys had health issues and I kept them so long I couldn’t let them go. I recently had lost two other black guys I adopted off the streets 17 years ago; George and Jerry filled that spot. They have personality plus, and they love everybody. The vet raves about them - she picks them up and goes off to do all kinds of yucky stuff, yet they still purr and climb her pant legs. My housekeeper loves George, and my pool man wanted to know if he would to go home with him. Unfortunately, they are a two-cat demolition derby, at times bent on destruction. But they also love to cuddle and are ready to play 12 hours a day; the other 12 they need to rest. Since they weren’t enough trouble I brought Bianca, a spaniel mix, home with me too. She had failed at two other rescues and Pet Orphans was at a loss as what to do with her. Listening to the stories, I was filled with trepidation, but after much discussion and support from the kennel staff, I decided to give it a try. I now have a two-cat and one dog demolition crew. Actually, the boys destroy; she just chases. The boys gang up on her and she goes in circles trying to decide which one to chase! Bianca seems to be settling in. She loves to go on walks, ride in the car, and just hang out. We are working or her social skills, and so far she has demonstrated herself to be eager to please and very smart. Her future looks bright, and I will have my hands full for a very long time. Brenda Shope

A huge thank you to our junior volunteers Molly Yumkas and Abby Barber! The girls teamed up with Jersey Mike’s Subs and held a Bake Sale outside the store. They baked like crazy and then emailed and texted all their friends to come. They raised $700, plus five bags of items to be donated. (Donations included: towels, blankets, paper for the office, and even a large dog crate.)

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Molly and Abby

Our shelter is entirely run on donations, and we depend on the generosity of our donors for saving the lives of homeless animals, especially during these tough economic times. We have been partnering with wonderful local organizations and individuals to raise funds for our orphans, and increase awareness about our mission. However, saving lives is an ongoing work and we still have a lot to do! Of course donations and fundraising are not the only forms of help; whether it’s through adoption, volunteering, monetary or in-kind donations, your assistance makes a great difference! Below are some of the organizations that have lent a helping hand to our orphans and we would like to thank them for their generosity:

Bunny Luv Rescue ⍟ Campbell Hall School ⍟ Chico’s, Studio City ⍟ Cohasset Elementary 5th Grade Class ⍟ Creative Minds ⍟ Disney/ ABC Television Group ⍟ FOX 11 ⍟ Gelson’s Markets ⍟ Harvard-Westlake Middle School ⍟ Jersey Mike’s Subs ⍟ KTLA 5 ⍟ Most-Fit and BiomechaniX ⍟ Paws and Hooves Rescue ⍟ Pet Orphans Of Southern California Volunteers ⍟ Reptile Outpost ⍟ Roam’n Baths Mobile Dog Grooming ⍟ Second Spin, Sherman Oaks ⍟ Southern California Labrador Retriever Rescue ⍟ The Help Group ⍟ Tierra Del Sol ⍟ Unleashed by Petco, Simi Valley Due to limited space, we are not able to thank everyone who has helped our cause, but we would like you to know we are grateful for each and every one of you.

Animal Book Corner ROMANCING THE DOG, by Marion Zola: a humorous memoir that reminds the reader just how much one dog can transform human lives. It will take you on a romp of unique adventures laced with poignant moments. When Chips, a rescue dog, enters the neat routines of a middle-aged couple and messes them up in the most delectable ways, the new guardians are led from one challenge to another. A Tibetan Terrier, who always seems to have the upper paw, sends Marion’s and Sam’s stress levels off the charts. Readers will smile, laugh and cry as they follow this trio though their journey of angst and joy. Page 9

Camp Pet Pals Kids

Activities galore filled the days with fun and learning for the kids at Summer Camp. It was so successful that we have added a Winter Camp with lots of projects, programs and the always present animals for them to interact. Of course our Humane Education Department does more than putting on camps for the 8, 9 and 10 year olds; we still offer our presentations at schools and are looking forward to adding in a monthly reading hour for our 5, 6 & 7 year olds. Keep your eyes open for the coming attractions. Call 818-901-0190 or email for more information.

Brownie and Family

Enjoying the Finer Things of Life: Shining Star Brownie!

Just as aging enhances fine wines and cheeses, so does adding a few years to a pet’s life. It may leave behind a little of the cuteness and charm of all things baby, but they are replaced by much better qualities in the long run - mellowness, gentleness, sensitivity, responsiveness - all the desirable attributes of maturity. One should really bear this in mind when seeking the companionship of a pet. To be caring enough to see beyond the superficial attractions of the young can be rewarding beyond description! One of our alumni, sweet boy Brownie, was one of these older dogs. Some of you might remember him, the handsome, 10 year old Chihuahua mix that was left behind by his owners when they moved away. He was suffering from terrible separation anxiety, causing him to chew on his paws. Plus he was competing with younger animals for attention while trying to find a forever home. That was until Alex and Susan Jones came along and adopted him together with another orphan of ours: Evelyn, a younger female Terrier mix. Brownie’s troubled days are now long gone. Far from being nervous any longer, he is now confidant and enjoying all the love and attention he can get. He likes playing with Evelyn in the backyard (some even think that she is his “trophy wife”) and he has an affinity with convertible cars. During the rides he lifts his nose up to catch the breeze, not to worry, because he is wearing his car harness for safety! So, Brownie got his second chance and is enjoying his life to the fullest. The question is: will you be one who will give a second chance to an older pet? Page 10

This delightful holiday card design was created just for us by noted cartoonist Cathy Guisewite. We are happy to announce that you can purchase these cards to send to all of your animal-loving friends and relatives, and all proceeds benefit Pet Orphans.

A pack of 10 cards with envelopes is $25 and they are available at our Pet Store.

Inside Text:

Happy Holidays, cozy New Year

In Closing: “Tis the season to be jolly” and do all of the fun things that make the Holidays joyful and bring families together. We adorn our trees with twinkling lights, and candles that flicker to brighten the night. Even our “four-footed side-kicks” enjoy sharing the preparations for the celebration. Our dogs are so eager to “wash the dishes,” and our cats “find pleasure in the ribbons and wrapping of Holiday gifts.” They are so helpful! But, there are so many more gentle, lonely ones that will not yet share festivities as part of a family. They lie in their beds at “our house” reliving, as they sleep, happy memories of their past. Dogs’ legs race in pursuit of a squirrel through their “field of dreams,” and cats’ whiskers twitch at an imagined bird on the window sill. They dream of tomorrow, the dawn of that promised day, when those dreams again become reality. All of us at Pet Orphans, the board, staff, and volunteers, hope that you will join us in helping to give them the gift of sharing their life and love with a family again. The old saying is so true - there is no place like home! Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Blessed New Year to ALL!!! Diane Scripps President Newsletter layout and design by Kari Elaine Skinner:

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7720 Gloria Avenue Van Nuys, CA 91406 818.901.0190 Open Mon-Fri 11am to 4pm Open Sat-Sun 11am to 5pm No appointment necessary

Pet Orphans of Southern California Holiday 2012 Newsletter  

Happy Holidays everyone! Thank you for your continued support in rescuing animals! Don't miss all the incredible "tails" inside this year's...

Pet Orphans of Southern California Holiday 2012 Newsletter  

Happy Holidays everyone! Thank you for your continued support in rescuing animals! Don't miss all the incredible "tails" inside this year's...