We are very proud to honor Karma Rescue at the 2016 Heaven on Earth gala — The Perry MacFarlane Legacy. Continuing the theme of our past two galas, this year’s hero among us will be the inaugural recipient of The Perry’s Passion Award, acknowledging Karma’s unrelenting dedication to animals, canine and feline alike. We hope you can attend the gala and help us thank the Karma Rescue team in person. If you are less familiar with their work and their history, just keep reading!
Founded in 2003, Karma Rescue, Inc. is a volunteer-led nonprofit organization dedicated to saving animals in need by finding them permanent homes and providing community resources and education for successful human-animal companionship. Karma’s goal is simple: We want to create a compassionate society that provides safety, refuge and protection for all animals.
In its early days, Karma Rescue, Inc., was a one-woman operation. Rande Levine, a long-time animal welfare advocate and native Angelino, began pulling dogs from a local shelter and finding them loving forever homes to honor her beloved beagle, Rufus. Compelled to save as many dogs as she could, Rande established Karma Rescue with a solitary objective: save more lives.
From inception, Karma accrued a dedicated following of volunteers, fosters and community partners. Each year, following in Rande’s footsteps, Karma Rescue saves more lives than the preceding year! This achievement has been reached without compromising the integrity of each animal’s welfare, nor the enduring quality of each animal’s placement. Karma’s success rate stems from the lifetime commitment made to each animal pulled from high-kill shelters and their human families: Karma Rescue is committed to each animal they save for the entirety of the animal’s life.
Recognized for their rescue efforts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and for saving Abigail Angel, a Pitbull set on fire in Lancaster, Karma Rescue established itself as a fixture within the local and national animal rescue communities. With its increased visibility, Karma Rescue gained enough financial and communal support to launch its own initiatives intended to enhance at-risk community access to resources vital to animal care and critical animal population control. Coupled with availing materials and veterinary services at low- or no-cost, Karma Rescue began teaching at-risk youth to turn education into action.
In 2007 Karma Rescue’s Education Program launched. The Karma Rescue Education Program was invited by the Los Angeles Public Libraries to host events covering a range of topics from proper animal care, the importance of spay/neuter, how to be an animal advocate in their communities to stop animal abuse, adoption vs. buying an animal from a breeder, and how to be a part of the solution of ending animal overpopulation. Over the next two years the Karma Education Program service area expanded to include Los Angeles Unified School District Community Day Schools, creating animal allies of high-risk youth all along the way. Karma’s Reading Isn’t Ruff is a literacy program through which reluctant readers can be paired with a captive canine audience to help facilitate positive reading experiences to improve literacy.
Working with high-risk human populations has evolved into the Paws For Life prison program. Paws For Life is the first dog-inmate prison program inside the walls of the California Department of Correction and Rehabilitation with life-term Level 4 inmates. Paws For Life is now expanding into other detention facilities in Northern California and beginning the process of entering into juvenile detention facilities.
In 2015, a life-long dream of Rande’s came to fruition when Karma Rescue began saving cats. This year, Karma Rescue established a partnership with Crumbs & Whiskers to open Los Angeles’ first ever Cat Cafe. In this cafe environment, potential adopters will be able to socialize with adoptable cats rescued from city shelters and learn about feline care and advocacy — all while sipping a delicious cup of joe! Karma Rescue hopes that the endeavor will help the organization reach its next objective: to save as many cats as they save dogs!
Although Karma Rescue has grown immensely over its 13 years in operation, its lifetime commitment to each animal, to each life, to each human interaction has been preserved. What began as one woman’s moral imperative to save as many lives as she could has transformed into a community of individuals working together to raise the standard of care we, as humans, provide to those who depend on us.
Together, we can and will save more lives!