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A Whirlwind Adoption Weekend for Rocket Dog Rescue

Editor’s Note: It’s not easy finding forever homes for homeless dogs, but Rocket Dog Rescue seems to have a real knack for it and just keeps at it. The San Francisco nonprofit with an East Bay urban sanctuary and rescue center never gives up on the dogs it rescues, saves, and re-homes. Rocket Dog operates under the motto, “No Dog Left Behind.” On Sept. 15-16 for the Bay Area Pet Fair put on my by Pet Food Express, Rocket Dog had a truly amazing successful placement rate on one weekend alone, and founder Pali Boucher shared the thoughts below about what the effort took. If you want to help Rocket Dog, visit to learn how. In the meantime, the awesome organization pulls out all the stops for its annual fundraiser, The Bummer’s Ball. Bummer’s Ball 2! is set for Sat., Oct. 6, at the Haight Street Art Center in San Francisco where Emmylou Harris and Friends, as well as the Rock Bottom String Band, the Smokestack Relics, the Union Bugs, and The Green Ribbon Band, will play. They’ll be entertaining at the full-of-fun fundraiser — where “every dime goes to the dogs!” — that sports a silent auction, serious snacks, and cocktails. Find out more at You’ve got to love a rescue whose adoptable dog landing page says, “Welcome to the center of our universe.”


Weeks of preparation for the biggest adoption event of the year. Driving animals back and forth from the vets’ and endless phone calls, emails, shelter visits.

Taking in those animals endangered in the fire zone, and then meeting, meetings, meetings.

An unexpected emergency call to rescue 72 sickly animals left behind in an abandoned home. Fundraising. A midnight text to rescue a tiny kitten badly burned in an Oakland trailer fire.

And overseeing it all, a volunteer team that gives everything they have to make it through, and they do so with steady professionalism and a bright hope, entirely from the heart.

Then, boom, just like that: 98 animals found their forever homes in 48 hours.

A huge feeling of joy and accomplishment wash over us all.

And then early Monday, we hit the ground running to make follow up calls, scan records, and deep clean the mostly empty (for the moment) sanctuary.

And the planning for the animals who need to be rescued today starts. Repeat.

This is how it’s done. And it’s pure magic.


Pal Boucher is founder of Rocket Dog Rescue, the all-volunteer nonprofit group dedicated to saving homeless and abandoned animals from euthanasia in overcrowded Bay Area shelters. It was founded in 2001. Rocket Dog Rescue is a 501-C3 nonprofit corporation supported completely by donations. See the accompanying Doggie in the Window for Rocket Dog Rescue dogs in need of homes.


Editor’s note: The above article in print included the wrong byline. It has been corrected online.


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Adopt Me From Rocket Dog Rescue

At press time, all these dogs were available for adoption from Rocket Dog Rescue in San Francisco and Oakland. To see more animals and to learn more about these special dogs, visit



This under-10-pound Chihuahua is a super easygoing and affectionate pup who’d love to be your go-anywhere guy. He walks easily on leash, enjoys the outdoors, and likes being held, He’ll curl up right next to you on the couch, does fine with other dogs and cats, and won’t make a peep. Just a few years old, Taco is recovering from a flea infestation that did a temporary number on his skin. He’s one amazing pooch.




Full of love, kisses, and snuggles, this 65-pound pooch is an old soul with a big heart, a big smile, and a deep, gruff bark that almost always comes with tail wagging. He’s a low-maintenance 13 year-old who would love to be your best couch buddy. Hyphy would do best as an indoor dog. He does tolerate other dogs but might prefer to be an only dog or at least matched with a similar energy-level companion.




Meet Eleanor, or El, a simply adorable Dalmation-and-hound mix who is about 2 years old and weighs 45 pounds. Mature yet playful and eager to please, she’s very loving, well-mannered, housebroken, and crate-trained. This high-energy gal loves to go out on walks and on car rides and adores dog parks and all outdoor spaces where she can run.




What’s so special about this old man dog, Spike? Literally everthing. From his flirty smile, ridiculous sense of humor, and cowboy swagger to his lovely kind heart, he is a diamond in the rough coat, ready to shine. This “Oakland Brown” Shepherd mix is probably around 8 years old and ready to nuzzle his way into your family.


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Main article photo by: Photos courtesy Rocket Dog Rescue