There’s something about Betty

By Denise LeBeau

The Best Friends Pet Adoption and Spay/Neuter Center in Los Angeles is a pillar of salvation. Helping Los Angeles become a no-kill community, the center has a goal of adopting out 3,000 pets each year. Their pets-in-waiting come from all over the area. They routinely take animals from L.A. animal shelters and bring them to the center, where they are guaranteed a place to stay until they find safe haven.

Who’s that girl?

Betty’s time was just about up at the shelter. Betty, a large pit-bull-type dog who is not light on her feet and has a gray muzzle, was likely overlooked countless times by potential adopters.

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There's something about Betty.

Betty was transported to the center where she was safe but a little less than thrilled with kennel life. She wasn’t thriving, and it was determined that she would be the perfect candidate to be an office dog.

Nick Carranza, marketing specialist for Best Friends’ L.A. programs, took to her immediately. "There’s something about Betty," says Nick. "While she wasn’t happy about being in the kennel, she was really happy to see people. You could see she just wanted to be with you."

Perfect office mate

Betty became Nick’s office dog, and it was a match made in heaven. The first day in Nick’s office, she just slept like a baby all day.

At her age and with her frailty, Nick treated her with kid gloves, as did all the staff. "Everyone loves Betty," shares Nick. "She was one of our most popular pets at the center. If she wants to go on a walk, she’s going on a walk; if she wants to take a nap, she’s taking a nap. We all figured she had earned her right to do as she pleased and be loved for who she was. Everyone wanted to spend time with her. My co-worker Kaylee Hawkins was one of her biggest fans."

As Betty’s sparkle started to shine a bit brighter, Nick knew she wanted a home of her own.

Coalition connections

It turns out the perfect fit for Betty was waiting in the wings.

Best Friends had run a story about Akasha, one of our coalition partner’s older pit bull terriers. Akasha had gone on to be adopted from Downtown Dog Rescue. Along the way, she had collected a few adoption applications that didn’t pan out.

Many members of the Best Friends Pet Adoption and Spay/Neuter Center staff have known Lori Weise, founder of Downtown Dog Rescue, for a long time. Jen Woodard, senior manager of the center, was talking with Lori about Betty when the light bulb moment struck — Lori knew potential adopters in Las Vegas who would be perfect for Betty.

"Betty’s adoption is the perfect example of the coalition working together," says Mike Harmon, adoption center manager. "We’re taking all kinds of animals from other shelters — many of them do not fit the profile of being highly adoptable — so when a dog like Betty goes home, we’re ecstatic. When it’s because we’re all working together to have the best outcome for the animals, we’re beyond ecstatic."

Betty’s new life

Barbara Silver had seen Akasha’s story in the Best Friends magazine, and while Akasha was too exuberant for her home, she knew an older pit bull terrier would be right for her. When she heard about Betty, she hoped they would be a good match for each other.

"I’ve had pit bulls for many years and they’re the most loving dogs," Barbara says. "Betty is doing great in our home. She bonded with me right away, and she sleeps in my room every night. It’s wonderful to have her around."

Adopt a best friend

Adopt your next best friend from the Best Friends Pet Adoption and Spay/Neuter Center or from one of our coalition members.