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The Animal Pad

Cause Area

  • Advocacy & Human Rights
  • Animals
  • Community


4620 Avocado BlvdLa Mesa, CA 91941 United States

Organization Information

Mission Statement

The Animal Pad is a nonprofit, all-breed dog rescue based in San Diego, CA that focuses on saving dogs from the streets of Mexico and high kill shelters. We get them the vet care they need, place them in foster homes and then find them loving forever families. Our mission is to form a safe space for dogs experiencing crisis and neglect, and to build a community of compassion through education, rescue, rehabilitation, and adoption. Our community of volunteers and fosters strives to ensure that all dogs get a fighting chance, and believes that no case is too extreme to be helped - meaning our rescue is full of perfectly imperfect dogs who can’t wait to meet you! Being operated solely by volunteers and funded entirely by donations, none of what we do could be possible without our dedicated team!


Here at TAP, we give voice to the voiceless and our mission is to rescue, rehabilitate and find them the best homes possible.

The Animal Pad was founded in 2010 and we are 100% volunteer run and donation based. We rescue dogs primarily off the streets of Mexico, and provide them full medical care and a loving foster home to heal in before they head to their adoptive home. In addition to rescuing, we have an activism arm called TAPACT where we bring the community together to tackle issues that affect dogs in hopes to evoke permanent change.
If you are interested in any of our Volunteer Opportunities, please head over to our website and fill out an online Volunteer Application: https://theanimalpad.org/volunteer/


Would you recommend The Animal Pad?
10 reviews Write a review
by Farah J. (September 4, 2023)
Because it supports a very important cause that helps animals in need and it also has a very flexible schedule which makes it easy for people to dedicate their time to it!
by Judy R. (May 7, 2023)
I've been volunteering with TAP for 3 years. I am on the east coast so 100% of my volunteering is remote. They are an extremely dedicated group of people doing amazing work! I have done a lot of remote volunteering with animal rescues and there is no better group, in my opinion.
by Kelly J. (May 6, 2023)
I have been volunteering for the animal pad for the past three years. I volunteer a couple days a week on the care team for the dogs that are new arrivals. I love their mission, the volunteers and of course all the dogs and occasional cats.
by Jessica M. (May 1, 2023)
I have volunteered with The Animal Pad for almost 1 year, a mixture of remote and in-person responsibilities. The entire team is comprised of hardworking, dedicated volunteers who support and appreciate one another. Volunteers are motivated to go "above and beyond" to support TAP's mission of rescuing dogs in need. The Animal Pad also supports the surrounding community through school presentations about dog care and safety, providing supplies for San Diego's unsheltered pets and their owners, providing training and behavioral resources for pet owners, hosting fun events, collaborating with local businesses, and private / corporate events for human-animal bonding. I've participated in these events and always walk away feeling gratitude for this organization and the work they are doing for the community. Join the TAP Tribe!
by keren r. (April 29, 2023)
I have been a vetting coordinator for a little over two years and all the volunteer work I do is online! I am absolutely amazed every day by how dedicated everyone is to bettering the lives of cats and dogs!! These are some of the best people I have ever met that will go great lengths to help in any way they can! Would totally recommend volunteering at TAP!
by Corina A. (April 28, 2023)
I have been volunteering with The Animal Pad over 3 years and it’s the best choice I have ever made in my life. This tribe of volunteers is like my family and I can always lean on them for support when I need it. The dogs and cats we rescue are truly the sweetest and most deserving animals you can meet making the work incredibly rewarding. I currently volunteer with our care team and with our outreach and partnerships team. Most of the volunteer work I do is remote. I couldn’t imagine life without my TAP family and am incredibly thankful I found these amazing and selfless group of people.
by Kristeen W. (April 28, 2023)
I've been a volunteer with TAP for 3 years! I live 3 hours away so I do 99% of my work remotely. Even though they mostly know me through Slack, they still make me feel like family!
by Lauren B. (April 27, 2023)
This group is so much more than a dog rescue, it’s a community of people who genuinely care about each other as much as they do the dogs they are working to save every day. Would recommend volunteering here to feed your soul! Lots of positions available, both in person and remote.
by rhonda s. (April 27, 2023)
I would not volunteer for these guys , they dont do remote work even though t says it does
by Dani L. from San Marcos, CA (Administrator for this Organization) (April 2, 2022)
While The Animal Pad is operated solely by volunteers & funded entirely by donations from the community – lovingly dubbed our “TAP Tribe” – we all dedicate our lives to the dogs. I initially joined just to fulfill my comm. service. What I found was SO much more – a tight-knit family & nothing but support & inclusivity. I found a greater calling, & I found purpose. Now, 4+ yrs later and TAP’s Volunteer Director, I feel like things have come full circle & can genuinely say my life is forever changed. We’ve seen some of the most horrific cases imaginable, but from that pain something beautiful is born. Watching a completely shut down dog become who they were always meant to be is hands down the most rewarding experience I’ll ever know. The fulfillment that TAP gives is unparalleled to anything I’ve ever felt, & being part of something so much bigger than any of us is literally second to none. I’ll always love something our Director of Operations once said – “TAP saves us humans, too."

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