Dedication and Everlasting Love to Animals Rescue
Founder Leo Grillo with Lazarus
|Legal status||Federally tax-exempt; No-kill|
|Headquarters||Acton, California, USA|
|Board of Directors|
|Slogan||Dedication & Everlasting Love To Animals|
Dedication and Everlasting Love to Animals Rescue (D.E.L.T.A. Rescue) is an animal welfare organization based in Acton, California, USA. With two hospitals and 150 acres (0.61 km2) of sanctuaries, it is the largest no-kill, care-for-life sanctuary in the United States. With more than 1,500 animals on the property, it is the largest animal rescue of its type in the world. Actor/producer/animal welfare activist Leo Grillo is its national president and founder. As of 2007, the organization is funded solely on private donations of more than $5.5 million per year.
In 1979 while driving to Bakersfield, California, Grillo rescued a black doberman which had been abandoned in the Angeles National Forest. He named the dog Delta, the first of thousands of animals Grillo made it his mission to save. A few months after rescuing his organization's namesake, Grillo discovered a few dozen more castaways during another outing to the forest. He brought them to his family home, which drew the ire of neighbors. Grillo purchased and renovated a condemned kennel for the animals and moved it to his present site in Acton.
In 1989, Grillo set the first traps in a campaign to remove feral cats that for decades had lived on the beachfront rocks along the promenade outside Holiday Inn in Ventura. He received an endorsement of the move from the state Parks and Recreation Department, which controls San Buenaventura State Beach. Grillo said the two dozen cats he rescued were remnants of a sick and dying colony that at one time numbered about 100.
D.E.L.T.A. Rescue is the only organization in America that rescues animals abandoned in the wilderness. It carries a care-for-life policy and does not put its animals up for adoption to assure their safety and longevity.
The sanctuary is located mountaintop in the dry and rugged Sierra Pelona Mountains with no sign at the gate. A security guard watches the entrance 24 hours a day. On rare exceptions, tours are held for donors three times each year. Otherwise, no visitors are allowed.
The dogs are paired off in hundreds of yards with stucco dwellings, wading pools and shade coverings. Hundreds of feral or previously abused and abandoned felines live in more than 40 indoor/outdoor catteries.
Straw bale dog house
Grillo's more successful housing idea has been a re-discovery of combining straw bales and stucco. The utilization of thick straw and stucco helps create an interior temperature of about 70 degrees Fahrenheit, or 21 degrees Celsius, when the ambient outdoor temperature is close to 100 °F (38 °C), or 37.7 degrees Celsius. The structures are also waterproof. Grillo's eco-friendly straw bale construction technique has been promoted by such animal rights activists worldwide as Maneka Gandhi.
In association with a physician at UC Davis Veterinary Medical Center, D.E.L.T.A. Rescue established the world's first kidney dialysis center for dogs and cats. D.E.L.T.A. Rescue has a total of two state-of-the-art hospitals that include dog and cat intensive care units, physical therapy and rehabilitation, deep-tissue ultrasound, electrostimulation, treadmill and hydrotherapy. "There are no restrictions on practicing medicine. We treat each animal like a person," said Grillo. "[We keep] them comfortable at all times. Heart disease, geriatrics, cancer, kidney disease and other chronic illness are treated here." D.E.L.T.A. Rescue chief veterinarian Dr. Gaylord Brown says he has no idea how much the medical care costs. "The nice thing about it is, I honestly don't have to worry about that," Brown said. "Leo says, 'You tell me what needs to be done and I'll get out there and see that it happens.'"
To date, the UC Davis Veterinary School has provided dialysis treatments numbering in the thousands to hundreds of dogs and cats which probably would have otherwise had only days to live. The procedure has saved roughly half of the animals, said UC Davis professor Dr. Larry Cowgill. "The contributions that Leo [Grillo] has made have been instrumental in making animal dialysis a reality today," said Cowgill.
Horse Rescue of America
The D.E.L.T.A. Rescue sanctuary is home to Horse Rescue of America, which houses more than 30 previously forsaken horses. It was established in 1988 for the purpose of saving the lives of wild horses and burros slated for wholesale slaughter in North America. In 2007, a bill was introduced to the 110th Congress aimed at restoring prohibition on the commercial sale and slaughter of wild, free-roaming horses and burros. This bill has not become law.
2009 California Wildfires
On August 30, 2009, the safety of the D.E.L.T.A. Rescue sanctuary was threatened when a nearby wildfire became treacherous. The arson fire started in La Cañada-Flintridge. Two firefighters were killed after the blaze moved in three directions. During a broadcast on KNX radio, Leo Grillo pleaded for an air assault. On September 28, 2009, Grillo distributed a nationwide press release, calling for a federal probe into circumstances that led up to the blaze. Grillo blamed a lack of air support for the wildfire, which became the largest blaze in the modern-day history of Los Angeles County. "[The United States Forest Service] had the golden opportunity to put it out and they didn't," Grillo said.
On 30 September 2009, U.S. Forest Service officials announced a review of the initial multi-agency response to the 160,000-acre (650 km2) Station Fire amid complaints from Grillo and other residents that the early firefighting effort was poor. In a signed statement on this same day, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor of California, applauded the probe. The United States Forest Service administers the nation's 155 national forests. The Station fire blackened more than 250 square miles (650 km2) of the Angeles National Forest.
In 2009, Grillo brought the idea of a pet tax exemption to the attention of fellow actor Robert Davi. Davi took Grillo's proposal to Thaddeus McCotter, a Republican who represents Michigan's 11th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives. McCotter introduced HR 3501, the Humanity and Pets Partnered Through the Years Act, or HAPPY Act, to Congress in July 2009. HR 3501 is a bill that will allow taxpayers to deduct pet-related expenses from their income taxes.
- “Gimme Shelter,” Cover Story. The Magazine of Santa Clarita, January, 2003, by Elodie Ackerman. Retrieved on September 25, 2009
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- “Cats, Dogs, and Dollars,” Premium Article. The Chronicle of Philanthropy, August, 2005, by Ben Gose. Retrieved on September 27, 2009
- “Who Is This Leo Grillo?,” Special Edition. Volume X, #2. Animal People, March, 2001. Retrieved on September 26, 2009
- KABC-TV, September 28, 2009, reported by Gene Gleeson. Retrieved on September 28, 2009
- “Governor supports probe into Station Fire response,” Whittier Daily News, September 30, 2009, by Brian Day. Retrieved on October 6, 2009
- “Station Wildfire Victims Call for U.S. Probe into Forest Service's Response,” The Los Angeles Times, September 29, 2009, by Paul Pringle. Retrieved on September 29, 2009
- "Burnt Offering: Leo Grillo Defines What Makes America Great". Andrew Breightbart Presents Big Hollywood. September 14, 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-20.
- "The Happy Act by Howard Gleckman". Tax Policy Center. August 7, 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-20.
- Spano, John (May 17, 2006). "A Place to Live, Let Live; Leo Grillo rescues hundreds of animals and keeps them at his no-kill shelter for life. But he has run afoul of animal control officials and prosecutors.". Los Angeles Times. pp. B.1. Retrieved 2009-09-20.
- Chakins, Steve (August 27, 1989). "Beach Cats to Swap Rocky Life Style for High Desert Shelter". Los Angeles Times.
- Cardoso, Bill (May 13, 1984). "Dog's Best Friend Combs Wilds for Abandoned Pets". Los Angeles Times.