May 2023 Coachella Valley Spotlight Grant from the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation goes to local nonprofit California Paws Rescue.
"I look at the dogs we have here, and I know we save their life. We can't save them all, but we save their life," said founder and president of the organization Lori Weiner.
The organization helps dogs like Apollo, who was hit by a car and heavily mistreated, have a chance to start again. The nonprofit saves abandoned and medically challenged dogs facing shelter euthanasia.
"[Apollo] is gonna have a better life here until he gets his forever home," said Weiner.
Since 2011, the nonprofit has helped more than 1,500 pets get adopted. Board member Marc Kutten helps recruit more volunteers for the cause.
"There are so many neglected and abused dogs out there that need homes, but they need us to help them, and we need help to help them," said Kutten.
The nonprofit also created the Bull Terrier Rescue Ranch, which helps free bull terriers from potential behavior issues that can likely develop in shelters.
"We can't. We can't take them in fast enough. You know, we're scrambling to pull dogs off death row. And we don't always make it because we need room. That's why we created this ranch," said Weiner.
The six-acre open space gives each dog its own cabin. The organization plans to use the $25,000 grant from the Berger Foundation to expand the ranch.
"It feels we are beyond grateful to the Berger Foundation because it's helping us to get air conditioning lines put in here to be able to have insulation," said Weiner.
On a mission to change one life at a time.
"It's up to us to make them the best quality life that they have," said Weiner. "They deserve a lot. I want this to be a paradise for them."