Denise Richards Helps Save 30 Death-Row Dogs
Along with the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary's Pup My Ride program, Richards, and her pal, Dancing With the Stars alum Joanna Krupa, helped get 30 pure and mixed breed small dogs ready for a 14 hour drive from L.A.'s Baldwin Park Animal Shelter, a county kill facility, to the Humane Society in Salt Lake City, Utah, where they have a waiting list for small canines.
"She was fantastic she came early in the morning with a group of friends, and they just got right in there and helped get the dogs out of the kennels," says Nora Della Maddalena, regional gift advisor for Best Friends. "They took them over to a little walking area to let them relieve themselves and get a little bit of exercise. They looked them over for any fleas ... and they spent a little time with the dogs, helping them calm down a little bit and feel a little reassured. And then they put them into the crates we have in the van."
Della Maddalena says Richards has always been a supporter of Best Friends and immediately jumped to help when she heard about the transport operation, which spared the 30 dogs from probable euthanization at the overcrowded county shelter.
"Last year she adopted two dogs from us, one special needs and one little guy that was having a really hard time getting adopted," she says. "Since that time she's heard about the various programs that we do and she was very interested in Pup my Ride and wanted to participate."
Richards even helped two dogs who weren't lucky enough to make it on the van that day. She announced on Twitter Tuesday that she is fostering a pair of older brother and sister terriers who were relinquished by their owner at the shelter. "She felt badly about leaving them at the shelter," Della Maddalena says.
Even with all of the good work she did on Monday, Richards is still left with a tinge of sadness. "It was heartbreaking leaving the ones we couldn't take behind," Richards tells PEOPLEPets.com. "But I will continue to help and support as much as I can."
Want to help? Visit www.animalcare.lacounty.gov to learn more about the dogs that didn't get transported to Salt Lake City on Monday. And, to find out more about Best Friends Animal Society and the dogs involved in the Pup My Ride program, visit www.bestfriends.org and network.bestfriends.org.