From death row to assistance dog

Dogtime’s Road to Rescue program salutes San Franciso’s Pets Unlimited.

How did your organization get started?
Pets Unlimited was created by a small group of dedicated animal lovers in the 1940s. When a group of San Francisco citizens realized that wayward pets taken in by the pound were euthanized after a very short stay if not adopted, they decided to take matters into their own hands. What began as an impromptu adoption center out of the home of Mrs. Carter H. Downing, has since saved the lives of over 250,000 cats and dogs to date, who were all given a chance to find a loving home.

Lincoln: slated for euthanasia, now future therapy dog

What is your mission?
The chief purpose of Pets Unlimited is to raise money for cats and dogs in need by running a state-of-the-art veterinary center and through donations from people who care about helping animals. Pets Unlimited believes that every cat and dog deserves a chance to live a happy and healthy life in a loving home.

How do most of your animals find their way to you?
Nearly all of the cats and dogs who are saved by Pets Unlimited are rescued from local, Bay Area animal shelters where they face certain euthanasia due to a medical condition, behavioral problem or simple overcrowding.

What happens to the animals once they are in your care?
One of the most unique aspects of Pets Unlimited is that in addition to our Shelter and Adoption Center, we also operate a state-of-the-art, 24-hour Veterinary Center. This allows us to treat medical and surgical conditions that the animals we rescue might suffer from allowing us to save the lives of animals who would otherwise be lost. After a clean bill of health, our dogs and cats arrive in our Shelter and Adoption Center where they are housed and cared for until they find loving homes, no matter how long it takes!

Tell us about a particularly compelling animal or inspiring rescue.
Each of our shelter animals has an amazing story to tell, but one of my favorites is that of Lincoln. Found wandering through a field neglected and alone, Lincoln’s hair was so matted and he was so mistreated that he could hardly move. Unclaimed and slated for euthanasia at a local Bay Area shelter, Pets Unlimited rescued Lincoln from certain death.

Our doctors treated his abuse injuries and, after a fetching hair cut, Lincoln moved into our Shelter and Adoption Center where he promptly found his forever home. However, Lincoln’s story is far from over. He is training to become an Animal Assisted Therapy Dog, accompanying his new owner every day to a local nursing home where his charming smile and contagious energy have made him the star of the senior living community. From therapeutic walks with the residents to post-surgery room visits, Lincoln is bringing joy and happiness into the lives of everyone he meets!