About Us

  • Who We Are

    La Jolla Loves Pets Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that dedicates all its resources to supporting animals and local animal-related charities. We believe that bringing our pet-loving community together allows us to make a positive impact while having a great time with our four-legged family members.

    Our Mission

    Our mission is to raise funds by organizing events for pets and their owners in the community. We use all proceeds to make grants to animal rescues and local pet charities.

    Our Vision

    La Jolla is such a pet-friendly town! So many people take their dogs with them when going to eat, running errands, or just out to play and socialize. People love their pets and treat them like family.

    We have dedicated our organization to holding 3 fundraising events each year: La Jolla Mutt Strut in the Spring, La Jolla Dog-O-Ween in the Fall, and La Jolla Santa Paws in the Winter. We also walk in La Jolla Christmas Parade – all dog lovers are welcome to join us in Ugly Christmas Sweaters!

    Each event will bring all pet lovers together. We will all get together and celebrate our dogs. We’ll play games and win prizes. We’ll make new two-legged and four-legged friends each time we get together. We’ll have lots of fun, but most importantly, we’ll be supporting our community together.

    All proceeds will be donated to local animal rescue organizations and local pet charities. We want to support these selfless hard-working people who dedicate their lives to the welfare of animals. We will always have these organizations bring as many pets available for adoption as possible.

    We want to impact these organizations as a community, bringing all pet lovers together. We have one common denominator among us: we love pets. Together we can impact so many.

    Financial Statements

    Coming soon

    Email us: lajollalovespets@gmail.com

  • Board of Directors

    We are a small team that bears overall responsibility for planning and organizing pet events in our community.

    We are all pet lovers who want to support animal rescues, and we realize that bringing other pet lovers together gives us the ability to raise funds and help find new homes for abandoned and abused animals.

    We are a growing team, and we are looking for volunteers and community leaders who share our love for animals and want to do something to help.

    Olga Wharton Newman

    Director and Founder

    Olga is a first-generation immigrant who came to this country with an American Dream. She earned two Bachelor’s degrees in Indiana and an MBA in Texas. She spent her 20’s successfully climbing the corporate ladder in Dallas in the consumer finance sector. Until she became a pet owner and needed a pet sitter for her own pets. And she saw so much potential in creating and scaling the concept, she decided to create a company of her own.

    And that’s when she gave up her business suit and started DFW Pet Sitting Services, Inc. Over the past 20 years, she grew her little one-owner-operator company into a large corporation that now services over 10,000 pet owners in Dallas and employs over 200 pet sitters. She now runs and operates this company out of La Jolla.

    She also developed proprietary software for her business that she runs alongside her company and licenses this software to other pet sitting companies. She is an entrepreneur at heart and channels her creative energy into businesses.

    La Jolla Loves Pets Foundation was born after Olga ran a pet event for the Foundation of La Jolla High School. She enjoyed being around pet lovers so much that she decided to open a nonprofit to raise money for pet charities and bring more pet events to La Jolla.

    The idea took off, and new traditions were born. The drive to keep going has been fueled by the support of our lovely community and fellow board members.

    Her dream is to be the ongoing support for local pet rescues. And to get every pet owner in La Jolla to purchase a $300 banner to dedicate to their pets. We will hang those banners at every pet event for years to come. She hopes this becomes a tradition that helps pet rescues and creates a memory lane for our own pets. How cool would it be to see photos of our pets displayed at local pet events 20 or 30 or 50 years from now? And it’s all for charity. One can’t go wrong here.

    Ron Jones

    Board Member, Official Emcee of La Jolla Mutt Strut, La Jolla Dog-O-Ween, and La Jolla Santa Paws

    Ron Jones has been the Emcee of ALL La Jolla Loves Pets Foundation events! He’s been our Lucky Charm and a cornerstone of every outing. His presence, music selections, and voice have become an integral part of our organization.

    He is widely known in our community for hosting La Jolla Concerts by the Sea for years.

    His most recent adventure is the creation of La Jolla Insiders where he shares his deep knowledge of everything La Jolla has to offer. In addition to knowing where to go and what to see, he is able to share a deeper understanding of La Jolla’s history and traditions, finding a deeper meaning in your experiences. Whether you are a tourist, a local, or a new resident, you will always find something you didn’t know about pretty much anything in La Jolla.

    Lauren Kossy

    Board Member, Director of Sales and Marketing

    Lauren grew up in San Diego, living in Sunset Cliffs. She went to school in La Jolla, and this town has a very special place in her heart. Even as a child, she’s always had a love and passion for animals. She would do anything to help those in need.

    Lauren holds a BS degree in biology with a minor in chemistry, and she spent her last 5 years working in software sales in the San Francisco / Lake Tahoe area.

    When moving back to the San Diego area, it was a no-brainer to pick La Jolla to be her new home. She now lives in the Village with her dog named Sibo, a saintberdoodle (half Saint Bernard, half standard poodle). She loves him dearly, and one can often spot them on Girard taking a stroll or doing errands together.

    Since day 1 of her return to La Jolla, she started networking with other pet lovers in the area. Her focus is on promoting underfunded shelters in Tijuana. She often travels back and forth transporting animals. She fosters dogs in her own apartment all the time. She also runs a dog rescue account on Instagram updating it with photos and descriptions of pets available for adoption.

    Lauren joined our board with the hopes to use her sales and marketing skills to promote the Foundation and its events. She also runs our social media accounts and works closely with the Director to foster and deepen mutually beneficial relationships with local businesses in La Jolla. Her ultimate goal is to save as many neglected animals as possible. And she is dedicating her efforts to raise funds with us to improve facilities, purchase pet supplies, and cover medical procedures when pets need them. Animal shelters and rescues need all the help they can get. And Lauren’s vision is for us to be that helping hand when animals’ lives are at stake.

    Rosie MacAuliffe

    Board Member & Treasurer

    Coming soon

    Stacey Gubernator

    Board Member & Secretary

    Stacey lives in La Jolla with her husband, three children, and two dogs. Originally from Boston, she graduated college and moved to New York City where she had a successful career in public relations/marketing focusing on lifestyle and hospitality brands.

    An animal lover her whole life, she adopted two dogs, Ziggy and Rosie, during COVID. Ziggy, a three-legged husky mix, and Rosie, a spunky terrier mix, have brought her family so much joy. She has a passion for animal rescue and hopes to open her own shelter one day.

    Cody Decker

    Board Member, Director of Collaboration with Local Merchants

    Cody Decker owns a famous pet store in La Jolla: Decker’s Dog & Cat. Besides bringing the highest quality pet products to its customers, Cody is an active member of our community.

    He’s been the President of the La Jolla Merchant Association in the past and is now actively involved in pet events in La Jolla. He’s been a naming partner and sponsor of each pet event held by the La Jolla Loves Pets Foundation.

    Sonia Sharma

    Board Member

    Coming soon

    Want to join our board?

  • Beneficiaries

    Since our inception in 2022, we’ve dedicated all our resources to raising funds for local animal rescues.

    2022 Grants

    Frosted Faces Foundation

    Frosted Faces Foundation specializes in senior pet rescue. Their dedicated vet clinic discloses all medical conditions of each pet available for adoption, and they fully support all fosters and adoptive parents for the life of the pet.

    To support them directly, or to inquire about dogs and cats available for adoption, visit their website at frostedfacesfoundation.org or follow them on Instagram.

    County of San Diego Animal Services

    San Diego County runs two shelters where they care for surrendered, abused, and neglected animals. One is in Bonita, and another one is in Carlsbad. Their shelters can be visited by appointment, and they also are looking for volunteers.

    To support them directly, or to inquire about dogs and cats available for adoption, visit their website at sddac.com or follow them on Instagram.

    K9 Connection Pet Re-Homing and Adoption

    K9 Connection is a 24/7-365 pet rescue even after the adoption. They save 200-300 pets per month, mainly from shelters across the border in Mexico. All their pets are microchipped, vaccinated, and vetted prior to adoption.

    To support them directly, or to inquire about dogs and cats available for adoption, visit their website at k9connectionpetadoption.org or follow them on Instagram.

    Baja Paws Rescue

    Baja Paws is a foster-based animal rescue in San Diego. Established in 2020, they bring animals from Baja, Mexico, and also pull animals from local San Diego shelters.

    To support them directly, or to inquire about dogs and cats available for adoption, visit their website at bajapawsrescue.org or follow them on Instagram.

    The Barking Lot

    The Barking Lot is an all-volunteer non-profit dog rescue organization in San Diego. They have been around since 2010. They rescue all breeds of dogs.

    To support them directly, or to inquire about dogs available for adoption, visit their website at thebarkinglot.net or follow them on Instagram.

    Apply for a nonprofit grant