Wags & Walks [The Best Place To Adopt A Dog]

Wags & Walks [The Best Place To Adopt A Dog]
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Seeing the joy of an adopted dog recognize their new pet parents is a profound, emotional experience. The dog may be skittish around strangers, but that momentary uneasiness evaporates when the dog’s new parents walk through the door. It’s something to treasure because you can see the dog’s genuine relief, happiness, and gratitude in their eyes.


Wags & Walks is the best place to adopt a dog, and HolistaPet Helps is proud to support this unique, non-profit rescue and adoption organization. By supporting them, we’re making a difference and just getting started. Please keep reading to learn more about this dedicated and caring group of people, especially if you want to adopt a happy dog for your family.



The Reality Of Animal Shelters Hits Hard

In 2011, Lesley Brog learned firsthand about the potential horrors for dogs in animal shelters. The sheer number of abandoned pets and the lack of fundamental resources force many shelters to euthanize millions of dogs (and cats) every year. Lesley vowed to take action, which led to her founding Wags & Walks in Los Angeles, California. As a rescue organization, Wags & Walks has saved over 11,000 adoptable dogs by placing them in a new forever home or volunteer foster homes while waiting for the perfect match.





But the never-ending need to house, feed, and provide medical care to shelter dogs means that Lesley and her amazing, passionate team must constantly find allies to sustain and hopefully grow their non-profit organization.



HolistaPet Helps Wags & Walks

We believe that every pet deserves to live their best life, and supporting Wags & Walks is critically important to us. Dayla Zadoorian, HolistaPet’s Director of Brand Relationships, reached out to Lesley to offer our support and form a new, long-term relationship. To celebrate, we kicked things off with an evening event so team members could meet one another and, more importantly, meet the dogs!





At Wags & Walks, the culture is all about the dogs. They come first and second. The team comes third.” — Saundra Jay Dunbar, Wags & Walks Veterinary Technician


On August 22, 2023, HolistaPet’s CEO, Dareh Zadoorian (below, right), along with Project Street Vet’s Dr. Kwane Stewart, joined Dayla and a plethora of HolistaPet employees to shake hands (and paws) at the Wags & Walks Los Angeles rescue shelter. But the evening was far more than enjoying perfect weather and delicious tacos.






Caring for a Wags dog averages $500 for all the medical care, supplies, and food. So to demonstrate HolistaPet’s commitment, Dareh presented Lesley and her staff with a (large) check in the amount of $51,355, enough to sponsor 100 dogs during their adoption journey!





The Perfect Process For A Perfect Match

For Wags & Walks, dog adoption is much more than simply visiting a pet adoption website and choosing a pretty puppy. They insist that potential adopters are in it for the long haul. Erica Fox, Director of Animal Placement, explained, “We vet a prospective pet parent enough that we feel comfortable giving them a dog that they may have for the next 10-15 years. Our application process is quite thorough, and we don’t want to give a dog to just anyone. We also offer a foster-to-adopt program to ensure that everyone is comfortable with the situation.”


A Forever Home Almost Anywhere!

The goal is to find the best matches while avoiding unnecessary roadblocks for qualified applicants. Whether a prospective pet parent lives in a house with a yard or an apartment, they work full-time at an office or from home, the team strives to find the best fit. Their flexible criteria are part of the enormous efforts to reduce hurdles for dog lovers looking to help save a life by adopting!


Wags & Walks: How Their Adoption Process Works

The first step in adopting a Wags dog is putting in an application. Their adoption teams essentially play matchmakers, so they ask many questions and review the adoption application to learn what type of dog is a perfect fit. Then they conduct an interview either over the phone or in person. “If there’s a dog we think will make a good fit, you can meet the dog while you’re here, and if it works, you can go home with the dog the same day. If the dog is in a foster home, the team will schedule a meet and greet here in our office,” Erica said.


The goal is that no dogs are dying in shelters.” — Erica Fox


Wags & Walks is not an open-intake facility, meaning don’t take random dogs on an ad hoc basis. Ninety percent of their adoptable pets come from high-kill shelters around Los Angeles. Erica explained, “We go out to local shelters once a week, and depending on space, we try to rescue 15 dogs a week.”






A “Temperament-Based” Rescue Organization

Unlike most rescue groups, Wags is known as a “temperament-based” rescue organization in that they seek dogs that are a good fit for adoption. Erica said, “They usually stay in our adoption center at first while we get to know them. We do their medical intake on-site, and then we spend a few days with them, seeing how they interact with other dogs and how they act on a leash. Some will stay here until they’re adopted, and some will go to foster homes. It just depends on the availability of foster homes that week. Timing is important, and every day is different.”


We want to change people’s hearts & minds.” — Chloe Esperiquette


Chloe Esperiquette (above, left), Wags & Walks Brand and Communication Strategist, started as an intern six years ago. “My job is to create conditions for people to get involved, whether it’s volunteering, adopting, donating, partnering, whatever it is, I help facilitate that support.” It’s a crucial position, and Chloe’s eyes light up when talking about her role and their mission. It’s a passion shared by the entire Wags team, and it shows. You can feel the good-energy vibes the moment you set foot on the property, and it helps in changing people’s perceptions about adopting a rescued dog.


Bringing Rescue Joy

According to Chloe, looking for brands, partners, and even celebrities who are dedicated to saving lives is fundamental to their survival. “Our biggest need is dollars to support the dogs, and HolistaPet Helps is supporting us in doing that. We spend half a million dollars a year on medical care alone, so fundraising is really at the core of our needs,” she said.






Enthusiastic financial supporters allow Wags to continue their programming, hold adoption events, and plan ahead. Chloe put it best by saying, “That’s really what the relationship is, but also to bring rescue joy to as many people as we can. Programs like Puppy Yoga, Puppy Sit & Paint, anything fun that includes dogs, rescue dogs in particular, are what allows us to continue spreading our message and getting in front of people.”



People-Driven Support Means Saving More Lives

Founder Lesley Brog and her incredible staff are creating more adoption sites beyond their Los Angeles facility. But the key is finding the right people to gradually lay the groundwork for success. When a former Wags employee moved to Nashville, TN, it wasn’t long before she brought home a stray dog, which set things in motion. Over time, they worked to create a second pet adoption facility, Wags & Walks Nashville. Since 2019, they rescued over 3,000 dogs and counting!


Lesley originally hails from Long Island, NY, and over the summer of 2023, Wags opened a temporary pop-up shelter to start raising rescue awareness in the New York metro region. Again, the goal is to attract positive attention to the mission, find the right people, and build support. The Tortoise and the Hare parable is appropriate for Lesley’s approach, and we’ll keep our readers posted about further developments.



Want To Volunteer At Wags & Walks? Here’s How!

Wags & Walks love volunteers, and they need your help. If you want to volunteer, you can join the Wags Club. Volunteer orientation sessions occur every other week, and most volunteers enjoy walking the dogs in the neighborhood and playing with the dogs onsite. Volunteers learn about leash protocol, how to open our kennel doors, walking routes to take, and more.






When you’re ready to volunteer after training, you can sign up for volunteer sessions using the Wags App. The staff welcomes any amount of volunteer time, whether it’s 20 minutes or several hours. People can walk the dogs, play with them, and help clean and feed them. Children can volunteer as long as a parent or an authorized adult is there to supervise them.


Reach Out With Open Arms

If you’d like to connect with the staff at Wags & Walks, here are your options:

Wags & Walks Los Angeles:





Wags & Walks Nashville:


Final Thoughts – Wags & Walks [The Best Place To Adopt A Dog]

Wags & Walks is one the best rescue and adoption organizations to save loving puppies and adult dogs, no matter the breed. Their comprehensive, temperament-based approach is built for individualized success for each adoptive family or individual. There is an adoption fee, but it helps cover some of the costs of caring for the dog during the entire adoption journey. Consider it a donation for goodness that will not only help save a dog’s life, it will also warm your heart.


When you’re ready to adopt, please read our article, “Rescue Adoption Tips: A Helpful Guide for New Pet Parents.” As with any new journey of discovery, it’s best to be prepared, and HolistaPet Helps! To see more photos and videos from the event, follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok!




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Rescue Adoption Tips: A Helpful Guide for New Pet Parents

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