To Top

Meet Suzanne Allison of Pet Orphans of Southern California in Van Nuys

Today we’d like to introduce you to Suzanne Allison.

Suzanne, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I brought my new puppy for training classes. The classes were held at the rescue. I became impressed with the facility and decided to become a volunteer. I enjoyed volunteering and became a regular at Pet Orphans. With my skills as a photographer, I started taking photos of all the dogs and cats that needed homes. Soon, Pet Orphans started using my photos for all their social media. After a year, The co-founder was impressed with my dedication and asked if I would like to become a board member. Her name was Diane Scripps(president) and she and two other women founded Pet Orphans in 1973. I admired Diane and was thrilled to join the board. After a short time, Diane wanted to step down as president and asked if I would like to be president. I was hesitant. I had no experience running a pet rescue.

Diane had more confidence in me than I did. She convince me that I had what it takes to run an already successful rescue. As she put it ” You have an Iron fist and a Velvet glove” I decided to give it a try. At first, I was a little unsure but shortly after I got the hang of things. It is a huge responsibility but I knew it was something I really wanted to do. I deeply care about every animal that has come in and out of Pet Orphans. I have now been at Pet Orphans for seven years. I am incredibly lucky to have found such an amazing place. Within those seven years, I have hired the best team anyone could ask for. With LaTanya Montgomery as my Directors of Operation, her and I have kept the facility in topnotch condition. We have saved thousands of animals and found them loving homes, and kept with the founder’s mission. Rescue, rehabilitate and re-home. We promote, spay/neuter and microchipping. After seven years, I still am thrilled to go to work everyday and enjoy being a part of something so special. Diane Scripps and the other two founders Virginia Haley and Lorraine Neikirk Were definitely trailblazers and I hope to continue to keep their legacy and vision alive for many many years.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
In most part is has been a smooth road, but when working with live animals, there is definitely days where anything and everything can go wrong. The wellness of taking care of them is overwhelming sometimes and to see so many animals in need of homes can be sad and depressing at times but the thrill of knowing I am a part of saving so many dogs and cats overrides the hard times.

Pet Orphans of Southern California – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from others?
Pet Orphans is a 501c3 nonprofit. We go to high kill shelters and rescue dogs and cats from euthanasia. We rehabilitate them and find them loving homes. We make sure all our animals are healthy, happy, well taken care of and trained until they find their loving forever homes. We make sure all our animals are spay/neutered vaccinated, groomed and microchipped. We are known for making sure each pet gets adopted by the right family. I am most proud of the facility and how clean and wellrun it is. People tell me that our facility is clean and they are impressed that it’s not a sad, dirty rescue and that all our orphans seem happy and healthy.

What sets us apart from other rescues is, we have been around for 46 years and continue to grow. We have in-house grooming and veterinarian Clinic.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success for us is making sure each and every pet is placed in the perfect home. We try and save as many as we can and we are part of the solution to this horrific population problem we have throughout the country. By rescuing as many as we can, spay/neutering, microchipping, we are hopefully decreasing this problem.

Our saying is… when you adopt one, you are saving two. The one you adopted and the space you made for us to save another one.


  • Adoption fee ranges from $325.00 to $350.00

Contact Info:

Suggest a story: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.


  1. Alexandra Radcliffe

    September 23, 2019 at 17:06

    A GREAT tribute to a great lady and organization! Thank you, Suzanne; for all your hard work that goes into making a rescue a success.

  2. Renee

    October 7, 2019 at 20:10

    thank you for your hard work! I adopted Jinky – an orange tabby mix and he’s been a joy! So happy that you all are there and take care of the animals so well.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in