Easter is a celebration of rebirth and new life. And no one is more deserving of that opportunity than our best furry friends in animal shelters throughout the LA area.  So instead of buying a bunny or chick for your kiddos this Easter, why not open your home and most importantly, your heart, to some incredible animals in need? If you and your tots are ready for the responsibility and oodles of unconditional love, consider these fabulous organizations (and super kissable faces).

Dogs Without Borders Columbia
Columbia (above) is available through Dogs Without Borders.

NKLA (No-Kill Los Angeles) – A Best Friends Animal Society Initaitive
NKLA, an initiative of Best Friends Animal Society, has one very important mission – to make Los Angeles the nation’s biggest “no kill city” by 2017. By partnering with 75 rescue and spay-neuter organizations in the area, their admirable dream may soon become a reality. The state-of-the art NKLA Pet Adoption Center offers prospective owners the chance to meet over 100 precious pups and cats looking for a home. Families meet with super friendly adoption specialists who help narrow down the type of buddy they’re looking for then fill out a survey to make sure the animal’s a good fit for both parties involved. If a love connection is made (swoon!), owners pay the adoption fee and take their new BFF home. NKLA advises owners to really consider their type of lifestyle (active, more chill, kids, big house, apartment) before adopting, so it’s not only a great match, but also a permanent one.

Online: nkla.org

NKLA Adoptable Dog Becca

Becca (above) is available for adoption at the NKLA Pet Adoption Center.

Much Love Animal Rescue
Much Love Animal Rescue is a local, foster-based rescue for loving dogs and cats who are about to be euthanized at LA shelters due to overcrowding, illness and disease. The organization spays or neuters every animal that’s brought in and provides required inoculations and microchipping, so they’re ready to go home with your family right away. Prospective owners usually attend adoption events to meet their bundles of love, then submit an application in person or online. If a match is made, the staff follows up with a home check to make sure everything is a go.  For every animal that’s adopted, Much Love is able to save another little soul from a shelter.

Online: muchlove.org


Sochi (above) is available for adoption through Much Love Animal Rescue.

Dogs Without Borders
Dogs Without Borders is foster-based dog rescue whose pups get tons of love and individual attention from their foster parents until they find permanent families to call their own. This helps the rescue staff get to know the dogs well – which especially comes in handy when potential owners have kiddos and are trying to find the best match for their brood. Families can fill out an application online or at an adoption event after they spot an amigo they might be interested in. The staff then interviews the family to see if it’s a good fit. Dogs Without Borders says prospective owners should never judge a book by its cover when it comes to choosing a new pet. For instance, you may melt over seeing a small pooch who just begs to be cuddled in your lap for hours, right? That same dog may actually need a long hike twice a day just to chill out – so make sure to get to know the dog’s personality beyond their initial appearance. And be patient, the perfect fit is out there.

Online: dogswithoutborders.org

Dogs Without Borders Apollo

Apollo (above) is available for adoption through Dogs Without Borders.

The Gentle Barn
The Gentle Barn’s animal rescue sanctuary aims to teach children empathy, kindness and compassion for all living beings through interaction with the neglected and abused animals they’ve been privileged to save. Although this amazing organization helps find forever homes for pets from time to time, they also offer sponsorship opportunities for all their animals in need. This could be a fantastic option for families who aren’t quite ready to bring a pet home permanently, but would like to give back in some way. From goats and pigs to cows and chickens, folks can sponsor a brand new friend by making a monthly donation online which helps cover everything from daily needs to costly veterinary expenses. Sponsors will receive updates on their chosen friend throughout the year, as well a special photo. Or even better, you can visit your buddy (and all the other sweet animals) in person every Sunday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Online: gentlebarn.org

The Gentle Barn Courage

Courage (above) is available for sponsorship at The Gentle Barn.

Tip: As of this writing, all animals featured are currently available for adoption and/or sponsorship. Please contact the respective organizations for more updated information.

Are there animal rescue organizations your family has had success with around the area? We love to give mad props to groups doing this wonderful work.

–Jennifer O’Brien

Photo Credit: Best Friends Animal Society, Much Love Animal Rescue, Dogs Without Borders, Brian Fitzgerald via flickr and The Gentle Barn via Facebook.