In 1998, with the approval of the LCA Board, Martha Kalina and Linda Mullins Spirio founded the Leonberger Club of America Rescue program. Martha and Linda felt that the time had come to formally organize volunteers into a national group capable of helping homeless Leonbergers. Its mission statement read:

The Leonberger Club of America Rescue was formed to assist in the placement of Leonbergers that are in need of a new home, and to educate and support animal shelters in the identification of Leonbergers in their custody.

Linda and Martha ran the program from 1998 to 2002 at which time the program became an independent corporation Leonberger Rescue, Inc. For their efforts Linda and Martha were given the Heinrich Hessig award in 2003. In 2004 the corporation gained its 501c3 not for profit status.
Since then, Leo Rescue Inc was strengthened further by merging personnel and resources with Leo Pals Inc., resulting in the most united and experienced team of Leonberger responders in the U.S. This organization is national in scope and organized by regions with each representative covering a number of states. We rely on volunteers to identify, transport, foster, evaluate and assist Leonberger dogs and Leonberger mixes that are in troubled circumstances. Together, our members bring many decades of sensitivity and commitment to the complex challenge of identifying new families who will help these dogs be their best.

We fully evaluate and vet all dogs, and we place them as fosters-only until we are certain that the situations are right for both the new owners and the dogs. We support our foster families and hope to stay in touch with our adoptive families throughout their dog’s lifetime.

LeoRescuePals has some remarkable foster homes that have shown the ability to deal with a range of issues. Foster homes have access to professional help should they need it. Dogs coming from the wrong homes, unsocialized or untrained, used to dominating the household, dogs with territorial issues, problems with one gender or the other, with other dogs…all of these issues have been successfully resolved. It should be clear however that some dogs have serious aggression problems that include biting history, those cannot be placed safely.

We make every effort to identify and notify a Leo’s breeder, either before or immediately after the dog comes into rescue, however our policy is to respect the privacy of anyone dealing with us, therefore relinquishing owners are asked for permission to have us contact their breeder. Rarely, has anyone requested us to not contact the breeder.

There would be no Leonberger Rescue Pals without the participation of its invaluable volunteers who are always ready to help and of those who make donations. We share our love and respect for this magnificent breed by giving our time. We would love to have you join us.

Thank you to all for your continued support!