Angela was only 36 years old when she was diagnosed with a very aggressive, high-risk case of breast cancer, shortly after adopting her infant daughter, Bella.
“I will never forget the terror of hearing “You have breast cancer.” Time stood still. My heart plunged into my stomach. I couldn’t breathe. I cried hot, angry, terrified tears. I hugged Bella, my 6-month old daughter, as hard as I could. I didn’t think I would ever be happy again,” says Angela, reflecting on receiving her diagnosis.
As a corporate lawyer, however, Angela was never one to back away from a challenge.
“Time abruptly split in half: “Before Cancer” and then, “Fighting For My Life.” My motto became Fight Like Hell. I refused to give up hope. I was as fierce, kick-ass, and passionate about beating cancer as I was defending my law clients.”
Angela began volunteering at San Francisco’s public shelter, socializing and walking dogs there. Eventually she became a foster to dogs in need (which, over the years, has totaled in the hundreds). She, like so many others, felt the incredibly healing power of the love these dogs gave her. 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 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. In 2010, Angela founded Family Dog Rescue in San Francisco, California.
While the shelter has faced its fair share of challenges, just like our founder, we have never given up on our goal to save homeless dogs, no matter their breed, background, or disability. We never back down from a challenge and, in doing so, have saved thousands of deserving dogs, and have become nationally recognized for our work with deaf, blind, and physical disabled dogs.