WHO ARE WE
Love Leo was founded in honor of Sasha’s pitbull Leo who was rescued from NJ. He’s mom had been the subject of abuse and sadly did not make it. Leo went on to live a charmed life in Vermont and in his later years in Southern California.
Leo was one of the lucky ones, he found a forever home. The statistics are grim for pitbulls in the shelter. One study estimated that only 1 in every 600 pitbulls in the shelter find a forever home. In fact – all shelter dogs and cats have the deck stacked against them. Leo’s legacy lives on in every single life that we save. Consider adopting a dog or a cat and giving them a second chance. You would make Leo proud!
Love Leo Rescue is a non-profit based in Los Angeles founded by Sasha Abelson. We are dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating abused, injured, abandoned and forgotten dogs. We provide medical care, training, and other services to these animals to make them ready for adoption and forever homes. Many dogs we rescue require complicated surgeries and costly medical care.
In addition, we launched a spay and neuter program which provides FREE spay and neuter surgeries to people and their pets living in low income and underserved areas. We are dedicated to helping battle the pet overpopulation problem through rescue and preventative programs.
Sasha has been involved in rescue for 7 years. When she first moved to Southern California she had no idea about the serious pet overpopulation crisis that plagues this region (and in fact – most of the country – and the world). She started volunteering once a week for another rescue group and soon felt it was her obligation to do more. That is when Love Leo Rescue came to be.
Sasha has always had a soft spot for the sick, injured, abused and neglected dogs. She knows these dogs need a little (or a lot) of extra help to make it out of the shelter alive. It is not often that a member of the public will walk into a shelter and choose to adopt the sickest, most broken animal. That is where Sasha and Love Leo Rescue come in. Over the years – she has rescued dogs used as “bait dogs” in fighting rings, a dog that had been dragged behind a car, dogs with broken legs, dogs with missing eyes, dogs that have been staved nearly to death, dogs rejected by breeders due to birth defects, sickly puppies… the list goes on.
After all these years of working in rescue – she realized there was something else that needed to be done. The urgent need for preventative programs became very obvious. That is why Sasha and her team launched her spay and neuter program. The city and county of LA have very few spay and neuter programs. The ones they do offer are usually hard to connect with and are almost always booked. Sasha and Love Leo chose to target the low income and underserved area of South El Monte. South El Monte is well known for the number of stray animals roaming the streets. With the help of her project coordinator, Evelia Ramos, and the spay4LA spay and neuter trucks – they have spayed and neutered over 124 dogs and cats (to date: September, 2016). That is 124 animals that will not be having “unwanted” litters which may eventually find their way to our overcrowded shelters.
Sasha plans to continue her rescue program and hopes to expand her spay and neuter program to surrounding areas.
Puppy Foster Extraordinaire
Kathy connected with Love Leo when she adopted a dog from us. She wanted to find out how she could help with our mission and has become one of our most beloved fostered. Kathy cannot turn away a puppy in need and has become a temporary mom for countless puppies who would have perished without her. Kathy has fostered all kinds of puppies including a litter of pit bull puppies whose mother passed away at birth. She bottle fed them every 3 hours, setting her alarm throughout the night to make sure the young dogs did not miss a feeding.
Kathy makes sure fostering is a family affair and her 3 children are involved in the process. We are so grateful to have the Thompson family as part of our team.
Shalee and Sasha met 4 years ago. Shalee had been a regular donor to Love Leo but was eager to see how she could help on a larger scale. A friendship was born and Sasha guided her on how to start her own rescue, and shared her policies and process with her. Soon Shalee took over ARK Animal Rescue – while at the same time juggling a full-time job and raising two sons. Today, Shalee and Sasha work closely with one another and often take on dogs as collaborative a effort. For example – they will often rescue a mom and her puppies and work together to make sure they are all happy, healthy, well socialized and eventually placed in forever homes. They share fosters and resources, advice and friendship.
Katja has been a long time volunteer at the Baldwin Park Shelter. Every other week when she goes to the shelter to help photograph and network the dogs there – she finds a new dog to add to her “wish list”. She was saddened by the staggering number of unwanted and stray pit bulls (the breed of dog most commonly euthanized in shelters). She and her wife Tuppett made a decision to help this misunderstood breed and decided they would exclusively foster pit bulls. Their foster dogs are lucky enough to spend weekends at their cabin in big bear and weekdays at doggy day care. Over the years, this team has rehabilitated dozens of severely abused and neglected dogs and helped them find forever homes.
Project Supervisor – Love Leo Spay and Neuter Project
Evelia is truly the heart of our spay and neuter project. She grew up in South El Monte and for years she witnessed the real life ramifications of not having accessible and affordable spay and neuter in her neighborhood. Dogs freely roam the streets of South El Monte, dogs wander out into traffic and are run over, many puppies are not vaccinated and die from fatal and preventable illnesses such as parvo and distemper.
When she found out we were launching this program she was very eager to be involved. She singlehandedly keeps track of the spay/neuter calendar and she is present at each clinic with a smile – answering questions and helping with check-in and discharge. She helps inform the public of the benefits of spaying and neutering and why vaccinating pets is so important. She has also helped many “unwanted” litters from this area find their way to safety with Love Leo Rescue – rather than being brought to the local shelter. To date she has helped us spay and neuter 124 dogs and cats. We are so grateful to have her onboard.