Angela's Story

Family Dog Rescue was founded in 2010 by Angela Padilla, a corporate lawyer who has been active in the dog rescue world for many years. In 2008, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors appointed Angela to serve as a Commissioner on the Commission on Animal Welfare & Control. She started Family Dog Rescue for two reasons — she wanted it to be easier for families to adopt a dog, and she wanted to pay back a debt to the rescue dogs who helped save her life.

Angela was only 36 years old when she was diagnosed with a very aggressive, high-risk case of breast cancer in 2002, shortly after adopting her infant daughter Bella. During her cancer treatment, Angela started working with rescue dogs, spending every afternoon socializing dogs at San Francisco's public shelter and eventually becoming a foster for hundreds of homeless dogs. Angela always says, "Saving dogs helped save my life. The profound love that rescue dogs give to the people who save them helped me win my battle with breast cancer."

After a year-long fight, Angela was determined to be in remission. She returned to her job, adopted 2 more children and resolved to make the most of the rest of her life. She recognized the therapeutic role her rescue dogs, Hooch, Molly and Sparkle, played in her survival, and became committed to finding great homes for great dogs.

She wanted to open a physical shelter in San Francisco where people could come together to help dogs. A place where she could offer behavioral training and programs for kids and teenagers. And she did. Angela and Family Dog Rescue moved into the old SF SPCA building on Alabama Street, now dubbed "Rescue Row" for being home to SF SPCA, Animal Care and Control, Family Dog Rescue and Muttville Senior Dog Rescue.

Since then, Family Dog Rescue has not only saved thousands of homeless dogs, it has joined forces with a number of partners, including the Kern Project, Lopu Garou Rescue, FDR International, FDR Kids and Teens Committee and become nationally recognized for its innovative work with deaf, blind and physically disabled dogs, known at Family Dog as the (W)Under Dogs.