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Success Stories

Success stories are happening every day at the Mission Viejo Shelter!

DAWG spends anywhere from $7,000 to $20,000 a month on medical care for animals at the Mission Viejo Shelter. We've been busy helping these animals and not posting as much as we should! We will share more photos of the amazing stories happening every day at the shelter soon!

June 2016

DAWG saved Mallory’s life. She was attacked by a large animal and near death when our officers found her and got her right to Dr. Echolds. She received extraordinary surgery to help her with a dislocated jaw but she did have to have a badly damaged eye removed. Before you feel too sorry for Mallory you should know this little gal is healed and ready for a great game of hunting down feathers. A kitty tickler will keep her entirely amused for hours. Once she has played and played some more she is ready to curl up in your lap and purr up a storm.


August 2017 - We just got an update from Mallory's family! She has adapted purrfectly, not even aware of her missing eye. They love her dearly and she's a happy part of their loving family.

March 2016

We rescued Schmitty from the Riverside Shelter with a large wound on his chest. It appeared to be an animal bite of some sort, maybe even from a cat. Intensive surgery was performed to clean up the the abscess wound. Needless to say, Schmitty feels like a new dog!


He is a great dog, cuddly, easy to walk and super soft! And he is available for adoption at the Mission Viejo Shelter!

February 2016

Adorable young Snickers arrived at the Mission Viejo Shelter with a leg that had been broken for weeks. DAWG got him the surgery he needed to regain use of the damaged leg. Dr. Eich of Southern California Veterinary Specialty Hospital in Irvine worked his magic and Snickers is on his way to recovery.


As if it wasn't bad enough for Snickers to have a broken leg, it also appeared he would require a crypt neuter surgery.  After an exploratory procedure performed by Dr. Echolds of Rancho Niguel Animal Hospital, it was discovered Snickers only ever had one testicle. Poor fellow!


The great news is that a lovely couple fell in love with Snickers and he is now living the high life in Pacific Palisades! We wish him all the best and look forward to many updates!

September 2015

The future was looking bright for sweet puppy, Cali. A family had fallen in love with her so she went to the vet to be spayed so she could go home with the family of her dreams. Before her surgery, the vet listened to Cali‘s heart and noticed it sounded a bit like a washing machine. Something wasn’t right! The Dedicated Animal Welfare Group (DAWG), the private fundraising arm of the Mission Viejo Shelter, took Cali to Dr. Sarah Miller, a heart specialist for dogs. Dr. Miller took a look at Cali to see what was the matter. It’s hard to believe this puppy, with a heart so full of love, has a hole in her heart that needs to be closed ASAP! Her congenital heart defect, called a PDA (Patent Ductus Arterioles), can be fixed by putting a stent in which will allow a layer of tissue to develop and close the hole so Cali can live a long and healthy life. This surgery is life saving and also quite expensive! Even after our generous discount, we need to raise $4,000 to save Cali’s life. We think she’s worth it! Don’t you? Cali's surgery is scheduled for September 18th. If you can help Cali, please donate to DAWG today!

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Surgery Needed to Freeze Inward Growing Eyelashes that cause Tugboat Pain and an Eye Ulcer

January 2015


Tugboat has a pretty irritating problem. His eyelids are growing lashes, but in the wrong location. Deep down into the eyelid, our eye specialist confirmed there are multiple lashes causing his eyes to water and become so irritated that an ulcer formed on his cornea. With vet care and the right medication that ulcer is now gone. We need to have our eye specialist perform a procedure to rid little Tugboat of those offending lashes. 

Sweet Ella, the Dog No One Wanted, Hit by Car and On the Mend after Surgery to Repair Shoulder

January 2015


Ella, an adorable Brittany Spaniel, went from home to shelter to home to home to hit by car to shelter all in her first 6 months of life. DAWG and the Mission Viejo Shelter are determined to heal this frightened girl's spirit and body and get her into a home where she will never fear being abandoned again.

Trio - Amputation of Deformed Limb Gives this Mistreated Boy a 2nd Chance at a Happy Life

January 2015


Trio, and his "sister" Annie were abandoned in a local parking lot. Both dogs arrived at the Mission Viejo Shelter believing people were something to be terrified of. Trio quickly learned that not all people are cruel and with lots of love and affection from staff and volunteers, this sweet boy began soaking up the attention and enjoying loving upon all those who surround him. Trio was born with a badly deformed front leg and one testicle inside his abdomen. DAWG used to raise the funds needed to remove the deformed leg and get him the surgery he needed to become healthy. 

16 Pomeranians, 1 Australian Shepherd, 3 Birds, 2 Cats (and a litter of kittens) Arrive Together in Need of Help and Homes

November 2014


The Mission Viejo Shelter received a large number of animals from a single home just before the holidays! These animals were in need of medical and dental care and DAWG jumped right in to help! Some of these animals had special needs including debarking scarring issues, major dental concerns and structural concerns. Thanks to donations, DAWG was able to get these sweet animals the care they needed so they could be placed into wonderful new homes.

Ill and Neglected Mama Cat and 3 Newborn Kittens Healing

October 2014


A mama cat with three, one week-old babies who were extremely ill and covered in filth and fleas, came to the shelter in desperate need of help. The vet wasn't sure if the babies could be saved, but with treatment and care at both the shelter and in their foster home, the beautiful babies are thriving. Shelter staff noted how much their mother, newly named Margarita, doted on her beloved kittens. The kittens are being socialized and are receiving treatment in foster care. DAWG paid to have them treated by an animal eye specialist to help heal their recurring viral eye infections. Sweet Margarita was recently adopted and her kittens will soon be at the shelter looking for loving homes of their own. 

Four Shih Tzu's Saved from Neglect

October 2014


Donations to DAWG made it possible to get the best possible veterinary care for four severely neglected Shih Tzu dogs.

After a month of care to treat badly infected skin, ears, teeth and injuries to their feet, these little dogs are ready to enjoy life to the fullest. DAWG has spent $3,000  to restore these adorable dogs to good health. It's been great fun to watch them play together with such an abundance of joy, after all they have been through, and find loving new guardians that will cherish and protect them the rest of their lives! 

Dakota: Found on the side of I-5 with a Compound Leg Fracture

August 2014


Dakota, a less than 1 year old Siberian Husky, was picked up from the side of I-5 by a good samaritan. The vet estimated she had spent at least two days by the side of the freeway with no food or water and a compound fracture to one of her front legs. 

Dakota was a trooper as she went through extensive surgery and recovery, resulting in over $5,000 in expenses before she was back on her feet (literally).  Dakota ended up finding her dream family and spends her days being doted upon and playing and relaxing with her new Husky brother and sister. Check out our Facebook Page for occasional updates!


May 2014


Ruby, just a pup when she was found as a stray on the border of Mission Viejo and Lake Forest, had been nearly starved to death. Though the Orange County Animal Control picked her up, DAWG convinced them to let her come to the Mission Viejo Animal Services Shelter so her complete rehabilitation would be ensured. Ruby thrived with love and nutrition and bounced back like resilient Pit Bulls do. Ruby found a wonderul home where she will be able to enjoy the best life has to offer!

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