C.A.R.E. aka: Cat/Canine Assistance, Referral & Education

C.A.R.E. aka: Cat/Canine Assistance, Referral & Education Logo

Basic Information

Address: P O Box 56631, Sherman Oaks, CA 91413 (shelter is located near Palmdale, CA)
Phone Number: 818 685-9980
Director: Mary M Zupan

Action Shots

C.A.R.E. aka: Cat/Canine Assistance, Referral & Education
C.A.R.E. aka: Cat/Canine Assistance, Referral & Education
C.A.R.E. aka: Cat/Canine Assistance, Referral & Education
C.A.R.E. aka: Cat/Canine Assistance, Referral & Education

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Additional Information

Causes Served: Homeless cats and dogs
Population Served: Los Angeles County
Ages for Volunteer: 18+
Hours of Service: 11AM - 3PM
Mission Statement:

C .A.R.E.’s mission is to shelter and provide the cats and dogs who have come under our stewardship with a quality life via spacious living quarters, good food, veterinary care, love and gentle handling regardless of age or health or handicaps. We strive to carefully seek new loving homes for all cats and dogs, provide quality lifetime care for those who are not yet adopted, support individuals who have rescued homeless dogs or cats, educate the public and pet owners about spay/neuter, behavioral counseling, counseling on any issues that might arise and public outreach toward a more loving, responsible and permanent relationship with pets.

Philosophy/Belief Statement:

Albert Schweitzer's philosophy of "Reverence for Life" as the universal principal of ethics is at the heart of C.A.R.E. We feel that all life should be respected and treated with compassion. This is why we especially care for cats and dogs who would otherwise be killed because they are old, infirm or have "behavioral problems". Dr. Schweitzer influenced us to pen these words for our 20th anniversary celebration in 2012 -"We are humans but “human” does not necessarily mean “humane”. As humans, we must cultivate that trait within ourselves, our children and those we reach out to. But kindness and respect for all beings knows no boundaries so let us all, everywhere, work to see that all beings are able to pursue happiness, free from abuse and neglect."

Program History:

C.A.R.E. was born in 1992 when a few such people came together to help homeless animals and their human rescuers. We began as 5 women who all volunteered at a San Fernando Valley "no-kill shelter“ although there were certain exceptions to that rule, on occasion. So, we decided to form our own little group to especially look out for the less adoptable animals and to offer support and guidance to individuals who might contact the shelter for assistance in their attempts to rescue abandoned cats and dogs.

After much deliberation, we voted on the name Cat Assistance, Referral & Education with the acronym C.A.R.E. In a year or so, things changed at the shelter for us, so we left and began fostering cats and dogs in our homes and finding them homes at local adoption fairs.

All that changed in 1998 when a Valley private shelter went out of control and was shut down by the Dept. of Animal Regulation. There were over 600 cats and 20 some dogs; half of the cats were euthanized by the Dept. right on the spot. One of C.A.R.E."s Board members located a wealthy lady who wanted to help and promised she'd always have our backs right! So, we were able to bail out the remaining cats and dogs and located a properly zoned property in the high desert near Palmdale to set up our Sanctuary. It was a little old house on an acre of land next to the California Aqueduct but the zoning was right and so we rented it and with some handy-females (and a handy male or so) we set it up to house the cats in the house and the dogs in outside runs. We took on the name C.A.R.E. aka: Cat/Canine Assistance, Referral & Education.

Remember we said "right!" about that wonderful lady who pledged to never let us down? In about six months, she decided that animals weren't really her mission and moved on. But somehow we survived. It was a really tough row to hoe - we started out totally backwards - many animals and little funding - where most rescues start out with few animals. But with a lot of blood, sweat, tears and sleepless nights , we kept on keepin' on. It's through our wonderful supporters , people like you, reader , who made it possible.

IrwinWe were and continue to be especially concerned for animals who are not the most adoptable, older, manageable health conditions, FeLV, feral kitties, etc.. Thus, we have many animals who will never be adopted but we also have many who are and so we constantly look for forever loving homes for them via internet adoption sites, adoption programs, etc.. But it doesn't matter. They are all welcome with us for as long as they need - 7 weeks, months, years, life.


A rescuer's dream is to one day open a cage-free shelter, where abandoned pets can live, well-fed and well-loved until the right adopter comes along. We had done that but we always had that niggling insecurity of being tenants and having our fur folks' home sold out from under us!! In 2012 a miracle occurred. Thanks to a wonderful lady's bequest, we were finally able to purchase our Sanctuary property and the adjoining acre!! Our fur folks' home is now as safe as we can make it! Only more funding, new housing and volunteers can make it safer!

Additional Information:

The Cat Troops We have now embarked on a capital campaign to build two new large buildings on that adjoining acre complete with air conditioning and heating for both cats and dogs. The current buildings were built in the early 1950s and the dogs currently have no A/C or heating. They have do-gloos, loafing sheds for shade, misters in the summer, wading pools, rubber maid sheds but still, it gets over 100 F degrees in the summer and snows in the winter up in the desert. We have a campaign going on at GofundMe.com but donations can be made towards that project in any fashion-.PayPal (see link in the left column), checks, donations in kind, donations of materials, your know-how-.anything!