Bobby Dorafshar, founder of New Leash on Life, began volunteering for the Department of Animal Regulation in 1994. Realizing that he could help more animals by increasing general public awareness about shelters and rescue programs, Dorafshar developed and coordinated mobile pet adoptions throughout the city and was able to place more than 5,000 animals in new homes. Building upon his success, Dorafshar followed through on his lifelong dream of opening a no-kill shelter when he and wife, Kelly, launched a New Leash On Life in December of 1997.
New Leash On Life is a nonprofit organization designed to "increase adoptions, reduce animal abandonment and euthanization in Los Angeles and increase public awareness on responsible pet ownership through education," according to Sean Tanner, who works with the organization. In 2002 New Leash on Life acquired a 13-acre property in Santa Clarita Valley. Other achievements include launching programs like the M.P.A. (Mobile Pet Adoption) program, the P.E.T. (Pet Education Trainers) program, which focuses on teaching children about animal awareness, care and safety, and a literacy assistance program where children build reading skills and confidence by reading to rescue dogs. Additionally, the foundation's Lend a Paw (LAP) program provides social and therapy dogs to people experiencing physical, mental, emotional or life challenges.
The organization holds fundraising events to help fund its programs. One such event is its annual NUTS for MUTTS, which features the 5K Walk for Paws and the Dog Show. Awards at the family-friendly dog show include "Best Kisser," "Fastest Eater," "Most Vocal," and "Mystery Mutt." To see some of the dogs currently available at New Leash On Life, check out the photos below!