What’s Up Dog! LA | Animal Rescue

What's Up Dog! LA is a 100% volunteer run nonprofit dog rescue whose mission is to place destitute animals from high kill shelters with loving Forever Families. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, which means that the IRS has recognized us as a tax-exempt public charity and charitable donations are 100% tax deductible for donors. We also promote spaying and neutering pets to minimize pet overpopulation issues. You can read more about this issue here.  

All of our dog rescue efforts are directly related to prevention, awareness and reducing (eventually eliminating) the number of animals in shelters:

  • Education: helping pet "owners" understand the importance of being responsible pet guardians.  The more folks we get on board, the fewer dogs end up in the shelters.
  • Fundraising: we can only help as many pets (and people) as our bank account allows. Donations are 100% used towards helping our dogs get in tip-top shape (proper vet care, foster care, and training) and placing them with Forever Families.
  • Rescuing: physically removing dogs from high-kill shelters and preparing them for adoption. Seeing these once hopeless dogs enjoy long and happy lives with their new families is what keeps us going.

Here's how we do this:

(1) Identify adoptable pups that are in dire need of being rescued

Animal Shelters are where abandoned, abused, and simply unwanted animals are housed until they're euthanized if no one rescues them. What's Up Dog! LA has cultivated relationships with LA-based animal shelters and identifies dogs that only have days or hours left to live. All dogs are in desperate situations once they're discarded at animal shelters.  We do our best to identify and rescue dogs that are highly adoptable and otherwise would have no chance of getting beyond the shelter walls.  When we have the means we'll take on hard medical cases — dogs that require immediate and expensive vet care.

(2) Pull dogs from shelters and place them within our network of responsible foster homes

Foster homes provide an intermediary for rescued dogs to adjust to normal life outside of the difficult circumstances they previously endured. All of our dogs receive the absolute best vet care and grooming (we use The Village Vet in Silver Lake & Dr. Shipp's Animal Hospital in Beverly Hills). Once healthy, a pup with a new lease on life moves into his or her predetermined foster home. A foster home not only acclimates a pup to normal life (crate training, house training, getting along with kids and cats, etc.), but also gives us an opportunity to learn more about a dog's personality. This ensures that we place pups with the best fit Forever Families. Check out some of our "happy tails" to learn more about the dogs that we've successfully rescued and placed in Forever Homes.

(3) Find great homes for the dogs

This is the most critical step. We do this through social media (check out our Facebook page), Petfinder.com and Adopt-a-Pet.com, traditional networking methods, appearances on the local news, adoption events, and  anything and everything else we can do to match desperate dogs with the right pet guardians. Placing a dog is a four step process: (1) review adoption applications; (2) conduct a meet-and-greet with family including other household pets; (3) home-visit to validate application; (4) adoption contract and donation.

(4) Review applications, conduct home checks, and generally do our due diligence

It's critical that we make sure these animals are going into loving homes with responsible owners, otherwise all of our efforts are wasted.The more efficiently we can place a rescue with a Forever Family the sooner we can save the life of another dog by starting the process over.

This is what motivates us every day.

We're happy to report that we've successfully completed this process with dozens of dogs and dozens of families. With your help we can keep it going. A quick donation into our PayPal account is a fast and easy way to make an immediate difference but there other ways to help as well.For information on how you can help a pup without donating a dime or a minute of your time, please take a look at our page dedicated to no-cost ways to financially help out our animal rescue: 4 Ways to Help What's Up Dog! LA (coming soon).


The groundwork for this organization is rooted in What's Up Dog! LA founder Jessica Landesman's positive experience fostering her first puppy (here's the story) and her passion to do as much as she can for the pups that don't have a voice.  Jessica started What's Up Dog! LA in 2011 as a natural progression of her lifelong love for animals. She's had a tremendous amount of help and would love nothing more than to be able to continue saving as many animals as possible for years to come. These are some of the dogs What's Up Dog! LA has saved: Happy Tails