Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed individuals can change the world.  In fact, it’s the only thing that ever has. ~  Margaret Mead

Early History in California

In 2012, there was a movement starting around the country to educate people about where puppies in pet stores actually come from – commercial breeding facilities where profit is more important that the health of the animals.  In these facilities, puppies are dollar signs and the breeding parents live in small cages barely large enough to turn around in…for their entire lives. A small group of professionals in Burbank, CA, moved to do something, set out to get legislation passed in local city government that would stop pet stores from selling animals coming from these inhumane warehouses. Success on the local level would set footing and a framework for larger nonprofits to then takeover and work at the state level.

Operation Adopt

In 2013, the group formally organized as The Animal Protectorates and set out to test alternative business practices – rather than purchase “puppy mill” puppies from a pet store bring shelter animals into a storefront in the same retail zone as the pet stores and see if people would adopt rather than purchase pets. After two years of research into understanding how the municipal shelter system worked; coordinating a veterinary and animal care team; and, developing adoption protocols, The Animal Protectorates opened Operation Adopt – a rescue-only pet store aimed with two goals –educate the public about puppy mills and refine animal adoption procedures to the highest standard of care.

From 2015 to 2020 (when Covid disrupted our Los Angeles operations) over 1500 dogs and cats and horses were adopted from Operation Adopt pet adoption center after receiving the very best in veterinary care and nurturing.

In 2019, California became the first state in the nation to prohibit pet stores from selling dogs, cats and rabbits unless they come from animal shelters or rescue groups.

Animal Law Guild

The Animal Protectorates professional and forward-thinking way of working with animal welfare issues, attracted many attorneys who wanted to get involved.  They developed the Animal Law Guild program which hosted an annual think-tank conference for attorneys interested in animal welfare to share how to better protect our furry friends through the legal system.  This conference was held at Loyola Marymount Law School in Los Angeles from 2014-2016 and featured attorney speakers at the cutting edge of animal law in their respective fields.  The slogan for this program was Raise the Bar for Animals.


Working with nonprofits around the country, we were able to rescue a large number of dogs qualified for police work from Los Angeles shelters and then coordinate transport for them by land and air to those receiving organizations.  Many of these dogs finished training and became working canine officers in departments who would not otherwise be able to afford them and the others were adopted into waiting families.

Humane Education

The Animal Protectorates believe that helping our youth develop compassion for animals will protect animals into the future.  We worked with Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Eagle Scouts, elementary schools, high schools and provided disabled adults the experience of caring for animals.


In 2018, our founder and her husband moved to Friendsville, Tennessee to open a luxury pet resort on 10 acres.  When they donated 8 rooms and staffing at Friendsville Animal Center to The Animal Protectorates, our first Tennessee program was born – the Friendsville Scholarship Pets.

While the majority of our physical operations and programs are in Tennessee now, our board of directors is comprised of members in both California and Tennessee.  We remain committed to each and every animal that was adopted through Operation Adopt in Los Angeles through our Purple Collar Promise program. We still have fosters in place to take them back should they ever needs us again.

There have been so many special donors and volunteers through the years who have graciously and enthusiastically helped the nonprofit grow.  Working together we have made and continue to make changes in our communities to improve animals’ lives and transform peoples’ attitudes about shelter pets.

The Animal Protectorates is funded entirely through donations and adoption fees.