Our History

Serving our Lodi community since 2004

Old PALS Building

For the Love of Animals

Like most non-profits, PALS started with a simple idea and a desire to help out in the community. For PALS founders, Nancy Alumbaugh and Daunis Bradshaw, the desire was to help the homeless and abandoned animals of Lodi, and the idea was to do so by supporting the Lodi Animal Shelter. And, so, in 2004, PALS (People Assisting Lodi Shelter) was formed, and would shortly thereafter be granted 501(c) 3 status.

In the beginning, PALS had no building to call our own; many of those who would become PALS volunteers had been volunteering at the Lodi Animal Shelter already, and after PALS was formed, we continued to do so in many capacities, even fostering animals in our own homes. Shortly after forming, PALS would enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with the City of Lodi, authorizing PALS to undertake fundraising, and perform pet adoptions, out of the Lodi Animal Shelter. In addition to our countless volunteer hours cleaning cages and kennels, feeding the animals, socializing the animals, and walking dogs, PALS, through its fundraising efforts, also provided vaccinations, microchips, FELV/FIV testing for cats, and other special medical needs, for all shelter animals.

But, there was still so much more that needed to be done. Plans to build a new Animal Shelter in Lodi were continually being placed on the backburner, and the current facility, which was built in the 1950s, was in serious need of upgrades. Inadequate housing space for stray and abandoned animals was also a concern.

As plans for a new shelter continued to stall, PALS looked for other ways to help alleviate the space shortage at the shelter. In 2006, Bill and Carol Meehleis, of Meehleis Modular, donated an existing modular building, and moved it next to the Lodi Animal Shelter. That same year, through a generous grant awarded to PALS by the Lions Club’s “Lions Love Lodi” grant program, PALS was able to erect four large covered outdoor kennels, behind the new PALS building, as well as the PALS sign along Kettleman Lane; an additional five kennels, for smaller dogs, would be added the following year.

While it was nice to have a PALS building, it was an empty shell at first. Fitting it out would require much more fundraising, and generous donations from local businesses, and individuals, for it to fully materialize into the PALS shelter and adoption center. Generous donations allowed PALS to construct four cat rooms inside the building, where cats can lived and socialized with one another in a more natural setting. An additional generous donation from Terri and Toni Clark allowed for the construction of the “Meet & Greet” room, where potential adopters could spend some time to get to know the animals they’re looking to adopt. Other necessities such as a refrigerator were donated by Lowes, and a washer and dryer were donated by Jenny Lind.

Through its fundraising efforts, and the generous donations of those in Lodi, and surrounding communities, PALS was also able to make upgrades to the Lodi Animal Shelter itself, including a fresh paint job, a new air conditioning unit, and a 100’ long decorative iron fenced-in dog-run along the south wall of the Lodi Animal Shelter, which PALS volunteers use daily to walk both PALS’ dogs, and shelter dogs; PALS would also be the first recipient of funding from the Art in Public Places Fund when their public art project, a mural that runs along the south wall of the Lodi Animal Shelter, was approved by the Lodi Art Advisory Board in 2007.

In 2009, PALS would create LSP (Lodi Shelter PALS) in order to staff the shelter’s front office. LSP’s staffing of the Lodi Animal Shelter’s front office allowed the shelter to offer adoptions to the public six days a week. LSP staff also tracked adoptions, and the licensing of cats and dogs within Lodi.

It has been a long journey, from those early days to where we are now. We’ve saved the lives of countless cats and dogs. And, we know we couldn't have done it without the tireless efforts of all of our volunteers who have given, and continue to give, untold hours of their time to this endeavor. Nor could we have come this far without the generous financial support of our many event sponsors, benefactors, and community members. Your generosity has truly been a blessing.

In partnership with the Lodi Animal Shelter, we made great inroads into cutting down on the needless deaths of companion animals in Lodi, through education, rehabilitation, and the adoptions of our furry friends into good homes. Many challenges have presented themselves through the years, and PALS, with the support of our volunteers, and the generosity of our donors, has met each one of them head-on.

Perhaps our greatest challenge, the lack of adequate housing for stray and abandoned animals, led PALS to undertake a project that would span a decade, and launch the first large scale, modern, state-of-the-art rescue facility in the area, PALS Haven.