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Umbrella of Hope Looks Within

Umbrella of Hope Rescue of Pittsburg is a 100 percent volunteer community committed to saving lives and finding adopters for vulnerable homeless animals in the San Francisco Bay Area. Our main focus is on the rescue, rehabilitation, and placement in forever homes of animals in shelter situations.

With five years under our belt, we are dedicated to making Umbrella of Hope stronger than ever. None of this would be possible without volunteers, and our volunteers rock. They are the heart of our rescue. They donate their time to save dogs (and cats) from overcrowded shelters and find them loving, happy homes. They also foster animals, bake cookies for fundraisers, transport adoptable animals to events, clean kennels, and scoop up the poop.

Rescue is the last voice for dogs (and cats) that, through no fault of their own, find themselves in shelters. Like most rescue organizations, we at Umbrella of Hope believe in the inner and outer beauty of our charges. But sadly some prospective adopters can’t get past the exterior.

For instance, if we at Umbrella of Hope were trying to place a purebred French bulldog, Cavalier King Charles spaniel, and an English bulldog, our job would be a lot easier just by virtue of their breeds. If they were all young, healthy females with friendly, outgoing personalities; had mastered potty training; lacked behavior issues; possessed good leash manners; and loved car rides, they would be even more desirable. If we could assure potential adopters that each one would be awesome companions for families with children, first-time dog owners, or people who just wanted a fabulous family member and all got along well with other dogs, they’d be gone in a flash. In short, if these girls represented the complete and total package, adopting one would be like winning the lottery on a fantastic canine friend.

If that were the case, many of you would be desperately trying to figure out how to contact us. You would be frantically reaching out to your family or significant other because, “OMG, a Frenchie!,” or “OMG, a Cavalier King Charles spaniel!” If Umbrella of Hope had those dogs, our website would likely shut down from all of the activity and hundreds of emails with impassioned pleas to please pick me.

In reality, however, it’s more likely that what we have waiting at Umbrella of Hope for you for his or her forever home is a tan Chihuahua mix—a pooch like Belinda. Her perky little personality lit up Umbrella of Hope for about 100 days with the petite princess persistently beseeching prospective parents to please pick her.

She has Tan Chihuahua Syndrome, a fictitious disorder related to her physical qualities. If she had been born into any of those other bodies, she would have lasted a day at the most with dozens, if not hundreds, of people interested in adopting her. Look closer at Belinda, and you will find a fabulous young dog, one that happily just fit seamlessly into a new home.

To learn more about adopting other Umbrella of Hope dogs—ones we believe are truly beautiful on the inside and outside—email us at

Natalie Amayan, Terri Lewis, and Dee Petersen are volunteers with Umbrella of Hope doing whatever they can to assist the organization and its animals in their quest for forever homes.

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Main article photo by: Courtesy of Umbrella of Hope