People Assisting the Lodi Shelter has existed as a no-kill, nonprofit animal rescue since 2004. It was confounded by Nancy Alumbaugh and Daunis Bradshaw.

Sadly, Daunis is no longer with us, but her legacy is honored daily with the works of this phenomenal organization.

As the director of PALS, Nancy carries on their shared vision of an organization where the top priority is the welfare of stray and abandoned companion animals in our community. PALS is currently housed adjacent to the Lodi Animal Shelter on city property, in a 700-square-foot modular building. They currently save more than 500 dogs and cats annually, but they plan to be helping many more in the near future.

PALS strives to increase the quality of life for the orphaned animals at the Lodi Animal Shelter through increasing adoptions, reducing animal suffering, providing care, socialization, training and more.

This is an extremely dedicated crew of more than 50 volunteers that assist in making life amazing for the companions under their care. There is only one paid full-time staff member. Daily, their only focus is to bring joy to these loving creatures.

In some cases, they provide long term medical care for animals with terminal conditions. Sick animals are currently treated through local veterinary clinics.

Their new location, PALS Haven, is almost completed, and is expected to open later this year. It is a 13,000-square-foot facility adjacent to Sycamore Lane Kennels.

The facility is equipped with a large building for dog kennels, a main building with several large catteries and roomy cat towers, and a 500-square-foot free roam cat room. It features multiple meet-and-greet play areas outside, and much more. And there is room to build more as needed over time.

Funds are still required for a few final projects to complete stage 1, which will allow for the ability to house about 40 dogs and 100 cats.

The facility has separate isolation areas for dogs and cats, each room with its own ventilation system. Each wing of the facility has its own food preparation and laundry areas. Eventually they will have a functioning on-site veterinary clinic and an adjacent community room.

So much thought and careful planning has been put into making this a state-of-the-art venue, and the most amazing thing is that fundraising has paid for every step. There is no debt. This explains why it has taken some time for opening day to happen.

I had the privilege of meeting with Stephen Curr, the facility manager, for a guided tour. We were accompanied by his buddy Moose, a beautiful MN German shepherd who has experienced a lot in his 2 short years of life. After coming in to the shelter last year, he would be adopted a few months later, and over the next few months he would wind up in four private residences, a rescue, and two shelters (including one in the Bay Area) before PALS was able to rescue him.

Several months later, this once very active and vibrant force to be reckoned with was suddenly losing weight and having labored breathing. It was discovered that he had a congenital issue with his heart, and that this vital organ was failing. PALS stepped up for Moose, and he was soon under the care of a cardiologist.

Now, he is is a happy baby. He has his meals cooked for him by the team, and he is on four different medications daily to keep his heart pumping for as long as possible. During the day he is a fixture at PALS, and his nights and weekends are spent with Stephen’s family. He may not have long to live, but his last days are filled with joy.

Multiple local businesses and organizations assist PALS. Robinson’s Feed provides care bags for adopted animals. Target and Walmart give food and other supplies. The Lodi News-Sentinel, Galt Herald and Wine and Country Magazine feature animals needing homes. There is always room for other businesses to support this amazing organization.

How can you help? Monetary donations are always welcomed. You can set up an Amazon Smile account. Volunteers are always wanted. PALS is also in need of cleaning supplies, bowls, toys, beds, grooming supplies, etc.

They also receive funding through the thrift store Wags To Riches, located at 101 E. Pine St.. The store is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. The store accepts donations of gently used clothing and housewares.

Please support this vital resource in the Lodi community!

Dr. Julie Damron, doctor of veterinary medicine, is the medical director of Stockton Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Center. She has worked as a veterinarian in San Joaquin County for more than 20 years and is the founder of Loving Tails, an organization that assists the pets of the homeless.

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