One fateful day back in 1985, Diane
Monahan and her family were driving home from an evening out to dinner and saw a skinny, tired dog limping on the side of the road. With much persuasion, she convinced her husband to pull over so she could see if the dog was okay.
Unfortunately, the dog was far from okay. It had a rope tied around its neck that it had clearly chewed through recently to escape its imprisonment. The poor dog had obviously not been feed in a long time as you could see almost every bone in its body jutting out of its now paper thin skin. Most of its hair had fallen out and it was bruised and battered all over.
One look at this dog and you knew exactly the fate it had endured: tied to a tree, with no food or water, beaten regularly, and LEFT TO DIE!
One look at this poor dog and you couldn't help but to cry at the inhumanity it had endured! It was like looking at a concentration camp survivor.
Strangely enough, this dog was friendly to Diane and her children and willing to be taken home. Perhaps she could tell that she was in good company, or maybe it was those great leftovers Diane gave her.
Diane named this abused dog Chelsea and made a home for her in the garage where she could be nursed back to health. After many vet visits and many nights of her children spending time with her, Chelsea began to heal, get her strength back and shine once again.
Diane wanted to keep Chelsea, but unfortunately she already had 3 dogs that were a little confused about who this fourth one was, and not entirely accepting of the outsider. Diane realized that the garage was no place for Chelsea and decided that she needed to put her in a more social setting where she could be with other dogs and hopefully be seen by someone who would adopt her.
Diane found a nearby kennel in Canoga Park where she could board Chelsea and go visit her on a daily basis. Diane got to know the kennel owner and staff well and was shocked to learn that there were many abandoned dogs in the kennel. Apparently people chose to board their dogs for a week and then never returned for them! This appalled Diane who loved every dog she ever had and couldn't imagine ever abandoning one of them.
Diane began visiting the other abandoned dogs in the kennel, bringing them treats, spending time with them, taking them on walks and soon helping to pay their board.
Diane started actively trying to find these dogs homes and in 1985 officially created the
Friends For Pets Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)(3) Organization.
As the number of rescued dogs in Diane's care swelled, she realized that she needed a larger facility to house them all and in 1990 she moved locations from Canoga Park
to Sun Valley. The Sun Valley, California kennel is now home to the 50+ dogs in her care.
Now in its 25th year of operation, the Friends For Pets Foundation has helped rescue and place over
3,000 dogs who were abandoned, mistreated, neglected
or left in pounds throughout California. See some of our success stories.
The Foundation is still a fully-volunteer organization, in which no one receives a salary or compensation. We rely solely on our generous donors and volunteers to keep the organization alive and rescuing.
The conviction Diane found on that fateful day in 1985 are still alive within the organization and we look forward to another 25 years of rescue!