Events, Underground
Feb 22, 2012


PPLA strives to “Get What Matters” to our audience and we like to highlight other members of the entertainment industry who do the same. Casting Director Victoria Burrows is one of them. We recently attended a fundraiser for her animal rescue organization Star Paws Rescue at Dark Del’s in Burbank. The event brought out celebrities, industry guests, and animal lovers alike- all for a good cause!

Star Paws Rescue was founded by Victoria Burrows- an established casting director best known for casting Peter Jackson’s films. The rescue’s goal is to respond to the overwhelming need to care for abandoned, abused, and injured dogs in the city of Los Angeles. Started seven years ago, the organization has now rescued over six hundred animals and hosts animal adoption services every Sunday. Despite how busy she is in the film world, Victoria attends each one.

The goal of the organization is to find loving homes that fit the rescue dogs needs. Star Paws Rescue does this through foster care which sometimes turns into permanent placement. The recent event aimed to raise money to cover food, medical, and other costs of care associated with the animal rescue process. Dark Delicacies, a local book store and gift shop deemed ‘America’s Home of Horror’ (including eclectic horror film related items), donated its space to the organization for the evening.  The event included a table of raffle prizes with great gifts for your pup, a panel of celebrities signing autographs for donations, and a red carpet for photos. On hand at the event, were books filled with pictures and stories of the dogs available for adoption and information to apply.

The event was hosted by actress and stunt woman Tara Cardinal and industry supporters included director Uwe Boll (In the Name of the King), character actor and Hollywood staple Clint Howard (The Dilemma), producer Steven Sears (Xena Warrior Princess), actor Gary Graham (Star Trek Enterprise), actress Caroline Williams (Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2), actress Rileah Vanderbilt (The Guild), actor Adrian Paul (Highlander), actor Billy Boyd (Lord of the Rigns Trilogy), actress Spencer Locke (Resident Evil:Extinction), writers Marc & Elaine Zicree (The Lazarus Man, Star Trek), E! host Robbie Laughlin (Queer Eye for the Straight Girl), actress Natassia Malthe (Bloodrayne films), actor Michael Pare (Gone, The Lincoln Lawyer), author Michael Wallach, and special effects genius Cleve Hall (Monster), to name a few.

We spoke with Victoria Burrows to find out more about Star Paws. Check out our Q & A:

PPLA: Tell me why you decided to start Star Paws Rescue and how it has grown over the years.

VB: Well, I’ve always loved animals, and I was in between casting jobs and just fidgeting (laughs). One of my associates runs an adopt-a-chow rescue, so I started helping with them and realized that the foster program might be a really good fit for my lifestyle and a way to be charitable. When you foster, you get more involved. After a while of working with different organizations, I realized that I wanted to save dogs. . I decided to start my own animal rescue. . Everyone has their own way of doing things, so I learned a lot by being around a whole bunch of different rescues. Then, I  created Star Paws. I used a little Hollywood-ish name!

PPLA:  How long has Star Paws been around and how many dogs have you rescued?

VB: Star Paws has been around since 2005 but I have been doing animal rescue for over eleven years. In total, we’ve saved over 600 animals.

PPLA: If someone wants to adopt, what is the best way to get involved?

VB: Every Sunday we have our adoption event in Pacific Palisades. The U.S. Bank in that area provides us their parking lot so we have a place to set-up and show our dogs. We set up tents and we have handlers and volunteers to show them off to the people who are interested. We are located  right next to the Farmer’s Market so people can do their shopping and visit the dogs.Families always come, it’s a great venue. A lot of times it looks just like a petting zoo! . If someone is interested in adopting, they fill out an application to start the process.

PPLA: What is the process like from there?

VB: They don’t take the dog right then. They have to do an application because not all dogs are a fit.  Just because someone says, ‘Aahh! I want that dog’, it doesn’t mean it’s the right person. They might be a home-body and the dog may be a bit hyper and need a lot of exercise. Or the dog may not be right for small kids or other pets. We really try to fit the dog and the human together …..we are doggy matchmakers. We also  do home safety checks for the dog and the potential owner.  We can see things in yards/fencing that sometimes an owner does not.

PPLA: After you select the right applicant, what is the next step?

VB: We give the dog and owner a week or sometimes two-week trial period. Dog adoption is anywhere from $250 to say $350 and then we spay/neuter, de-worm, micro-chip & give a DHLPP vaccination. Microchipping your pet is very important. If the dog gets out or lost, this is a sure way to get it back if found by someone.  So all these things are done, but for us, it’s about making a lasting fit. The trial period is to make sure we’ve found the right match so the home will last the lifetime of the dog.

PPLA: Does Star Paws work with all breeds and sizes of dogs?

VB: I’m not breed or age specific so yes. We tend to help a lot of puppies right now because we have a wonderful foster that loves nursing puppies. The foster program is my lifeline in order to save dogs.

PPLA: Do animal shelters contact you to help find foster homes for the dogs or do you find these animals directly?

VB: It varies. This past Thursday, I got a call from Petco saying that there were two puppies eight weeks old abandoned next to a recycling bin station. The person that found them, took them to Petco. They called me and I called my puppy foster, and now they are safe & getting ready for adoption.

PPLA: So Star Paws has a main foster person but you are always looking for more fosters?

VB: We’re always needing foster homes. Like I said, that really is the lifeline for us. Star Paws provides all the supplies- the bedding, the food, the medical care- we just need a safe place for the dogs to live. So even if you can’t adopt long-term, fostering an animal is a great way to make a difference & get unconditional love at home.

PPLA: So the goal of tonight’s fundraiser is to get the word out about Star Paws and to help raise money for these costs?

VB: Yes. For example, I had a puppy suffering from distemper which is a disease that spreads quickly and kills. We have a few puppies & dogs that survived, but that bill can be upwards of $5,000 dollars per dog. When I finally adopt that puppy/dog out, we ask the normal adoption fee of $250. This event is to raise funds for all those emergency situations that animal rescues deal with on a day-to-day basis, so that we have funds ready for anything.

PPLA: Tonight’s even brought out a lot of actors, musicians, and creative types from the industry. Do you think being a known figure in the business has helped bring awareness to your cause?

VB:Yes, We do our adoptions in an area of the Pacific Palisades where we get to see a lot of different people, both in and outside the business, and they all support us. It’s a good community here but we get adopters from all over. We’ve even done out of state adoptions. It’s nice to see entertainers coming out tonight to support.

PPLA: What do you see for the future of Star Paws?

VB: I just want to keep rescuing. I want it to stay successful and keep allowing us to do save lives and make people happy matching them up with a forever furry kid.

PPLA: What is the best way for our readers to donate or get involved?

VB:  You can always visit the Star Paws website where you can find out how to sponsor or foster. Or if you want to volunteer in some way you can also email Star Paws (and you’re getting me when you email). There are different ways that people can be involved, so we just encourage people to do what they can. It can be very rewarding for everyone involved.

To donate directly to the event page, please visit Star Paws Fundraiser.

Visit our photo gallery of this event.

For adoptions, visit Star Paws in Pacific Palisades:

15305 Sunset Blvd. (cross street is Swarthmore Ave)

Pacific Palisades, 90272

10am – 1pm

*Parking is US BANK beside Farmer’s Market

*Adoption Appointments may be arranged if you cannot visit adoption location by phone (424) 229-1614 or email [email protected]