Rescue Dogs

Just three months ago, Emma was limping around the streets of Los Angeles, struggling to find food, comfort or shelter. Her hind left leg shattered in three places dragging across the ground. Emma and her brother were spotted and taken to West Hills Animal Hospital. After extensive surgery on her leg, and a full month of rehabilitation, the emaciated Emma survived, but her brother did not.
Emma received her name from Janet Lester just one month after all her surgeries. Lester remembers the first time she found the dog online at Lange animal rescue.
“Her entire body was wrapped in a blue cast, all we could see was her tiny face in the picture,” said Lester. “But the second we saw her face, we knew we had to adopt her.”
Lester already had a thoroughbred beagle, Comet, but was looking for a companion for him. She said adopting Emma has been the best thing her family has ever done.
“Deciding to rescue the dog and bringing her home, there’s nothing I wouldn’t do again, she’s great,” said Lester. “The two dogs have been great together.”
The two dogs are now inseparable, sleeping together, Comet against the couch, and Emma against Comet. The two dogs even walk in sync, one gets up, and the other follows in suit. Lester said Emma has fully recovered since they adopted her two months ago. Emma, a pug mix, has gained four pounds and now goes for walks with Janet and Comet daily.
“When we first got her, we were worried because she could barely even walk without being in pain; now she runs like any other dog, she’s truly amazing.”
Life Animal Rescue, is a nonprofit organization that rescues dogs from animal shelters. Linda Ribas, the volunteer in charge, said all the animals they rescue, like Emma, are great dogs. She still remembers the first time she rescued the dogs.
“I was shocked because the dogs were absolutely adorable and very well behaved and I couldn’t understand why they didn’t have homes already,” said Ribas. “It’s extremely rewarding when you save somebody’s life.”
Ribas said the economy is having a sad effect since many dogs that previously had owners no longer could provide for them, and therefore are bringing their dogs in.
“A lot of the dogs at the shelters when we go there, we see they have names, the shelter does not give names to the dogs that are strays,” said Ribas.
Since last July, the Ventura County Animal Department has accepted about 3,500 dogs, 27 percent more than the previous year, and was forced to euthanize almost a third of them.
There are thousands of animals across the country, like Emma, that need homes. To adopt one from Life, the website is To find the closest shelter anywhere in the country, visit The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals at, which has searches by zip code.


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