“I will always be grateful for the help that PAWS/LA provided us. If it wasn’t for PAWS/LA, I might have been forced to give her up or lose her to malnutrition. But, like I said, she’s still right here by my side.”
“Years of living on the street left me with a hardened heart – but Bella melted my heart. She broke me down… in a good way.”
Kevin L., 55, is a Veteran of the United States Air Force. His best friend and constant companion is a little black Chihuahua named Miss Bella. Kevin depends on her for companionship and the unconditional love that only a beloved emotional support animal can provide. She looks to him for shelter, food and affection.
“Loneliness is crippling,” Kevin says. “I first met Bella at one of the loneliest and darkest times in my life. I had been living with HIV for close to three decades, I was a homeless US veteran for 28 years, I had recently been incarcerated because of my dependence on drugs and alcohol, and I was close to the edge." But, Bella transformed Kevin’s life. Thanks to her, Kevin has managed to stay sober. Her love has allowed him to put his life back on track. He now has a job, which he enjoys and is good at, and he even has a place to live.
“PAWS/LA has been a big help to my family,” he said. “Receiving the voucher to take Drake to the veterinarian to get his eye infection treated might have saved my boy’s life.”
“I know they would be there for me no matter what, and I would
do anything to protect them.”
Joe and his wife, Leslie, treat their two dogs, Drake and Lucy, like children. The couple, now in their 60’s, never had kids of their own, but their home has never been without love thanks to the affection they received from their often-misunderstood dogs.
When his little boy Drake got an eye infection that would not go away, Joe became concerned.
“No one wants to see their pets sick,” Joe said. “I know they would be there for me no matter what, and I would do anything to protect them.”But, as Joe will admit, with the ever-increasing cost of living in Los Angeles, it’s not always easy to take care of your beloved companion animals. Joe did not know where to turn. PAWS/LA’s help made the biggest difference.
“It is so wonderful to know there is a place like PAWS,” she says. “Thanks to PAWS/LA I am able to have and take care of Riley, who in turn really takes care of me.”
“She grabbed my arm (and my heart) and never let go”
When Sharyn was younger she was as a fashion designer. Now, in her late 60s and battling severe arthritis, Sharyn has begun to slow down a bit. But, never one to give up, she works hard to stay mobile. By her side is her constant companion, a service dog named Riley.
Sharyn credits PAWS/LA for giving her and Riley the resources to continue their special relationship. “PAWS/LA has been a wonderful help for Riley and me,” she says. “As a fixed-income senior, PAWS/LA has helped us with food for Riley as well as flea medication in the summer flea season. They are always available to answer questions and when possible to help with grooming and health care for Riley.”
"I honestly don’t know how I could keep my animals without the support of PAWS/LA."
“My animals are my family, and thanks to PAWS/LA, my family
Elaine turned to PAWS/LA for help because taking care of “special needs” animals can be extremely challenging for seniors like her who struggle to pay for their own healthcare and necessities. But she loves her companion animals, and she made a commitment to keep them safe and to care for them as best she could.
"When I adopted my cat Frankie and my sweet dog, Cora, I had no idea they both had chronic health issues. But I love them, and I made a commitment to keep them safe and to care for them as best I could. These babies are my pack. They are a responsibility I took knowing there might be bumps in the road. But given the joy they provide me on a daily basis, there really is no downside."
“Whenever life looks hopeless, my cat Ginger always lift my spirits no matter how upset or lonely I feel.”
For over 20 years, Tod has lived with the disease of HIV, and has recently battled cancer for over a year. But if you met him, you wouldn’t imagine this man’s life has been full of suffering and illness. About the most friendly and upbeat person you’ll ever meet, no one could ever guess all of the struggles Tod has successfully overcome. He believes the reason he keeps moving forward, and maintains a positive outlook, through all of life’s trials and tribulations is his cat, Ginger.