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German shepherds shelter in need of donations

November 23, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
It was a dream come true for rescued German shepherds when a donor built a new state-of-the -rt facility in Los Angeles and promised financial support for the nonprofit.

But four months after moving day, that dream was shattered when the donor stopped the funding to Westside German Shepherd Rescue, leaving the shelter with mounds of bills and a monthly lease payment in the tens of thousands of dollars.

Many generous people have stepped forward with cash, but it's still not enough to keep the recue under this roof.

"This is a money pit," said the shelter's founder, Robin Janpol. "Even the utilities are crazy, there are $350,000 worth of electronics in this facility. So for us as a small group, we can't do it."

Next week, the staff will pack up and move the 60 German shepherds they care for to a modest location in downtown Los Angeles, a boarding facility where they will pay a daily fee per dog. The hardest part is having to say "no" to rescuing any more dogs.

"All day long we're sent pleas," Janpol said. "Some woman called in tears, she could hardly talk on the phone. She has a puppy she couldn't keep any longer. So it's trying to balance that and not take more than you can take care of."

The rescue is counting on people like the Funicello family of Santa Clarita, who heard about their troubles and came forward to adopt a dog.

"I want to do everything I can for the dogs," Matt Funicello said. "I see the stories on the website, how they come in abandoned or strayed or malnourished."

Westside German Shepherd Rescue saves about 700 dogs a year. However, in many cases it is the dogs who are the saviors by bringing joy to the lives of their newfound owners.

"She's been with me a month, she doesn't leave my side," said Frank Lindsey of Los Angeles, who adopted a dog. "She's training to be a service dog so I can take her everywhere and she's a wonderful addition to my house."

Janpol said donations are important so that the shelter can save more dogs.

The shelter's new home starting Dec. 1 will be at 3016 S. Hill St., Los Angeles.

For more information on donating to Westside German Shepherd Rescue, visit its website at www.sheprescue.org.


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