Las Vegas' Urban Underdogs helps pet owners enduring hardships

Urban Underdogs was honored to be featured in a story by the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Here is a short excerpt from the article.

It’s been about four years since North Las Vegas resident Nikki Dawson suddenly lost her husband of a quarter-century to a heart attack. He was 50.

“I struggled,” Dawson said. “I have very little income and, at one point, I was donating plasma to pay for gas, my car insurance and food for my (six) pets. I donated about two times a week for two years. I had a medical condition later that stopped me from doing it.”
— Las Vegas Review-Journal

To read the entire article, please visit the Las Vegas Review-Journal website.

"PAW"tnering with the Las Vegas Rescue Mission

The heat is rising around the Las Vegas Valley, making the pavement and roads dangerous to both humans and animals. Understanding this unique need, Las Vegas Rescue Mission (LVRM), a nonprofit that provides aid to the homeless and hurting members of the southern Nevada community, is teaming up with Urban Underdogs Corp., a non-profit organization created to help animals in underserved communities in the Las Vegas Valley, to hold a socks and dog paw booties drive for homeless residents and their pets. The drive will run from May 27 until June 14.

Join the drive and and help out by generously donating dog paw booties, or socks for their human companion.

For drop of locations and additional information please visit the “Las Vegas HEALS” website

To hear more about the drive, listen to Heather & Cynthia on a recent “TALKING Solutions” interview.

We’re making a difference.

We’re making a difference.

Our team of intrepid Underdogs leaving no stone unturned in our mission to serve the underserved animals in the Las Vegas Valley.

Though we be but small, we are fierce!

In their faces you may see your friends, your family, or your neighbors.  We see a person whose companion animal needs our care and our understanding. What we bring them is little in comparison to what they bring us: Daily lessons in hope, compassion, survival and love.  

We are not a rescue, nor will we ever be. We are a means to keep pets with their people. Each year we touch the lives of 100’s of companion pets by providing them with pet food, spay/neuter and vaccines. We help the pets of the homeless, our veterans, seniors and low-income families.

Our Wishlist

Our Wishlist

Pet Supplies

  • High quality dry dog and cat food (Please No Beneful)

  • High quality dry Dog and cat Food – Grain Free (Please No Beneful)

  • Single serving size flip top wet dog and cat food (Please No Beneful)

  • Dog and cat treats (all sizes)

  • Dog & Cat toys, kongs  (all sizes)

  • Dog/Cat harnesses (S, M, L, XL, XXL)

  • Dog/Cat Collars (S, M, L, XL, XXL)

  • Dog/Cat leashes

  • Dog/Cat Crates with Plastic Bottoms (all sizes)

  • Dog/Cat Wire Kennels (all sizes)

  • Stainless steel bowls

  • Dog/Cat Strollers

  • 4-5lb bags of clumping cat litter

  • Gallon size Ziploc bags (which we use to repackage dog and cat food)   

  • Puppy pads

  • Dog waste bags

  • Gift cards for Walmart (to be used to purchase companion animal items which have not been donated)

Plants can kill.

Plants can kill.

Plants can kill.

Did you know that many of the common (and the not so common) plants we find in our homes, gardens, and neighborhoods can be harmful to our animal companions?

Listed below are some of the most well-known and common ones that you should be aware of, as they can be poisonous or toxic to our pets:

Aconite - Is a garden flower whose roots, foliage and seeds can be poisonous.

Apple - The seeds of an apple can be poisonous to pets.

Arrowgrasses - These are marsh type plants whose leaves contain poisons.

Atropa Belladonna - This is a type of garden herb in which the entire plant can be poisonous to pets, especially its seeds and roots.

Las Vegas Homeless Stats

Las Vegas Homeless Stats

Down and Out in Las Vegas.

I recall once, years ago, seeing a homeless man with a dog. I felt a bit angry that this man was using an innocent dog in order to get more money. I’m happy to say that I am more socially aware now, and realize that the homeless see their animals as companions and more, as family.

I've learned that my response back then was not so unusual. Many people feel that homeless people with pets are being selfish and that they shouldn’t have a pet if they can’t even take care of themselves.

In fact, these animals are a lifeline to the homeless, who will often go without food to feed their pets. In many cases, the pet has become homeless along with the person. In other instances, homeless people take in street animals, often saving them from abuse or euthanasia.

Why do animals end up in the shelter?

Why do animals end up in the shelter?

Have you ever asked yourself this question:  What are the reasons that cause an animal to end up in a shelter? You might be surprised to learn the heartbreaking reasons that a beloved pet ends up being surrendered. According to a study from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), for low-income pet owners, the top three challenges that these pet owners faced were — veterinary bills, behavior issues, and basic needs (like free or low-cost pet food.)

Assisting basic needs is one of the founding principles of Urban Underdogs… we support the underserved communities of the Las Vegas Valley so that decision to surrender a companion animal doesn't have to be made. We assist and help provide meals to the furry family members of those in need so they won’t go hungry.

Helping on the Front End

Helping on the Front End

When people ask “what is Urban Underdogs?” our go to phrase has become “We help animals on the front end” What this means is we help the humans of companion animals, who are having financial difficulties, by providing them with dog and cat food, in the hopes of keeping their furry friends out of the shelter system.

According to the ASPCA, 7.6 million animals enter animal shelters each year. 3.9 million are dogs and 3.4 million are cats. Of these approximately 2.7 million animals are euthanized each year.

According to the Pets for Life program sponsored by the Humane Society of the United States there are 23 million pets living in poverty in the United States.

During our field work we hear comments such as:

“People shouldn't have pets if they can't afford them”
or “Its not fair for the dog/cat to live that way”

To have the love and companionship of a pet should be for everyone.

It Started with a Love Story

It Started with a Love Story

It all started with a boy named Duke.

Although I've been an animal lover and animal advocate all my life, Duke pulled at my heart like no other. He was big, as in 160 pounds big, he was clumsy, he was slobbery, he was messy, he was almost completely blind, and he was pure love.

I remember reading his story about how a Colorado farmer had said he would shoot him in the head if someone didn’t come get him immediately. I guess Duke had been chasing his chickens. It’s believed Duke had been beaten to such extremes he was completely blind in his left eye.

We had recently lost our tri-pod Golden Retriever, so adopting another dog wasn’t in our immediate plans. It was a Friday night and we arrived at the adoption event Duke was scheduled to be present at. The event was being held at a cute little art gallery in downtown Denver — we were living there at the time — and the weather was perfect.

I remember walking into the gallery and immediately being greeted by all the dogs who were up for adoption, but me, I was looking for Duke. Then suddenly I saw the biggest dog I had ever seen, with the most amazingly sad face, walking up the middle of the room towards me. Something happened at that very moment, something amazing.

Duke and I bonded immediately.

8 Things You Can Do to Protect Your Animals in the Summer

8 Things You Can Do to Protect Your Animals in the Summer

How to keep your pet safe during the summer:

  1. Never, ever leave your furry friend in the car.
  2. Make sure your fur baby has unlimited access to fresh water.
  3. Make sure your best friend has access to shade when outside.
  4. Take walks during the cooler hours of the day.
  5. When walking, try to stay off of hot surfaces (like asphalt) because it can burn your furry pals paws.

Our Mission

Our Mission

We see a need.

Everyday, we see people making the difficult decision about where their next meal will come from. For their pets — who have no voice in these decisions — it can mean the difference between life and death. Urban Underdogs is not a rescue, but a means to help companion animals stay out of local shelters.

We judge no one, for their circumstances. For some it came from losing a job, or a home, or from bankruptcy. Our clients include the homeless,  veterans, unemployed, and underemployed. They are your neighbors, your friends, and your family.

We’re on a mission.

Urban Underdogs is a non-profit organization created to help animals in underserved communities in the Las Vegas Valley. We’re an ALL-VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATION incorporated in the state of Nevada providing food for companion animals, animal welfare education, and negotiating basic emergency pet services.

We’re hard at work.

We were founded in May 2016 and in only 7 shorts months provided over 1,150 meals to dogs and cats in need. Our goal for 2017 was to deliver 5000 meals, but by July 2017 we had already served over 15,000 meals which, equates to over 4400 pounds of dog and cat food.

Through our Paw Partners we’ve helped get over 65 dogs and cats spay or neutered — which we hope to increase by 20% in 2017.

We’ve taken a stand.

Each and every day we're: