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The Melrose Vet: Championing LGBTQ equality while keeping pets healthy and happy

Dr. Grewal is a proud ally



Dr. Grewal, aka The Melrose Vet, is a proud ally of the LGBTQ community and was happy to support the Los Angeles Blade for their Pride events last month.

“At The Melrose Vet, we are committed to fostering an inclusive and welcoming environment for all,” said Dr. Grewal. “As a proud supporter of the LGBTQ community, we believe that every individual deserves to be treated with dignity, respect, and compassion, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Our clinic is dedicated to creating a safe space where diversity is celebrated, and everyone feels valued and supported.”

Dr. Grewal recognizes the unique challenges faced by the LGBTQ community and strives to ensure that his practice is a place of acceptance and understanding.

“The Melrose Vet stands firmly in support of LGBTQ rights and inclusivity, both within our clinic and in the broader community. We are honored to serve a diverse clientele and are committed to advocating for equality and respect for all.”

He added: “It’s so important — especially for allies — to support the Blade,” said Dr. Grewal. “They are a tireless advocate for the LGBTQ community, and we love working with them.”

Dr. Grewal recommends that all Blade readers take their pets in for their annual checkups.

“Regular check-ups are essential for early detection and treatment of common pet issues. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your vet if something seems off,” he noted. “Being observant and proactive about your pet’s health can prevent minor issues from becoming major problems. Trust your instincts and seek professional advice when needed.”

Now that we are in the summer months, Dr. Grewal highly recommends you keep your pets well hydrated. “A healthy diet and adequate hydration are crucial for maintaining your pet’s digestive health. Ensure they have access to fresh water and a balanced diet.”

If you can’t make it into his vet office, Dr. Grewal and his experienced team are also mobile vets, bringing their veterinary care directly to your doorstep.

“Traveling to a veterinary clinic can be stressful for pets, especially those who are anxious or have mobility issues. A mobile vet service allows pets to receive care in the comfort of their own home, reducing stress and anxiety. In this way, we can prioritize your pet’s comfort and health by offering personalized attention in the familiar surroundings of your home. This ensures minimal stress for your pets.”



Pets and the Pandemic



As  the largest funder of pet surrender prevention in Los Angeles, Michelson Found Animals has been committed to helping people with their four legged friends. Since the onset of COVID-19,  the nonprofit organization has provided support to over 7500 pets. 

“We love working with dozens of local organizations to build programs that serve underfunded communities and pets at the highest risk,” said Brett Yates, executive director. “We believe that everyone should have the right to the joy of pets in their lives, regardless of socioeconomic status. Pets bring companionship, love and hope that we all need, especially right now.”

Last weekend, Michelson held their Pet Wellness Day in Maywood, where a number  of attendees received an assortment of dog food, microchipping, vaccinations, grooming, flea treatments and pet tags. The event was part of the Foundation’s Better Neighbor Project, an initiative to support underserved communities and their pets.

“In these unprecedented times, so many people are struggling to make ends meet – food insecurity is a real problem, and that extends to pets, acknowledged Yates. “That’s why we’ve partnered with Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, the Cesar Millan Foundation, and the YMCA to host this Pet Pantry and Wellness Pup-Up.” 

Participant John Angela was thrilled that his two pups could get their nails trimmed and monthly flea treatment. “Everything is so expensive these days. Events like these really help those who are struggling to make ends meet. I am really glad I am here with my family.”

Yates notes that Michelson will continue working with local and state government officials to fix the system to support families with pets. 

“We are also working with landlords to increase the availability of affordable, pet-friendly rental housing. In addition, we are developing new programs to help women and people of color find careers and launch new businesses in the pet care industry.”

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National Spoil Your Dog Holiday, LA style



Over the past few days, pet walkers and volunteers transported dogs currently up for adoption from spcaLA, L.A’s independent, non-profit shelter and animal welfare organization, to the pet-friendly Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows.

At the 4-star hotel, the dogs are being treated to the full suite of “pet-menities” currently available, including in-room pet spa treatments, special chef-prepared dog meals and R&R in a pet-friendly room complete with luxe dog beds, toys and more.

The pampered dogs are being featured during a pet adoption drive at the hotel that day and treated to walks from dog walkers. Orbitz and are waiving adoption fees for dogs at spcaLA through the weekend in honor of the National Spoil Your Dog Holiday.

“Searches for pet-friendly hotels are up 30% on, and that prompted us to look into pet travel trends and ways we can help customers plan a rewarding vacation – with or without your pet,” said Carey Malloy, director of brand marketing at Orbitz.

“In partnering with, we’re showcasing ways travelers can take care of their pet while they are out sightseeing or back at home. And The Fairmont is a great example of one of the pet-friendly hotels you can book on Orbitz with “pet-menities” that go above and beyond. Helping shelter dogs from spcaLA take a break to enjoy a day of pampering is the cherry on top.”

“We know travelers treat their pets like family, so we wanted to make it easy for travelers to bring them on vacation, too. At, we curated a list of not just pet-friendly properties, but properties with ‘pet-menities’ that go above and beyond, like room service and spa treatments.”

Added Fairmont’s Jennifer Bennet: “We consider pets a part of the family here at Fairmont Miramar, and when Orbitz reached out with this thoughtful collaborative opportunity we were more than happy to work with them. We all see the enjoyment that pets bring to families and individuals, which ties in perfectly with what we strive to do every day here at the Miramar—bring enjoyment to our community.”

Bennet was impressed with the value and incredible services that the SPCA delivers daily.

“Orbitz highlighting pet friendly hotels and travel options is a message we would like to help amplify. Rover can arrange wonderful services that we as a hotel would like to pass on to our guests who travel with their four-legged family members.

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West Hollywood set to take action after animal grooming incident

New requirements for animal grooming businesses could become a national model



ORIGINALLY Published on December 17, 2017 and UPDATED OCTOBER 10, 2018 (final paragraph) 

When Troy Masters, Publisher of the Los Angeles Blade, got a call from the grooming salon manager at a newly opened and prominent West Hollywood adjacent (Beverly Grove) pet store to which he had taken his 1-year old dog Cody, his heart sank. He was told that one of Cody’s eyes was extremely red and that he needed to be seen by a vet.  

Masters, who was at work, agreed that the manager should rush him to a nearby vet and call as soon as they returned with Cody. Masters says he made a conscious decision to remain calm rather than explore the story of what happened on the spot. The manager seemed to minimize it, saying “this happens to some dogs when they get stressed out,” according to Masters.

“I called the vet the groomers had taken Cody to and had them send me the notes from his visit and it was then that I realized the severity of the injury,” said Masters. “Severe ecchymosis of the sclera of both eyes,” the report read, “likely due to tugging at the grooming restraints.”

The blood vessel in both of Cody’s eyes had burst.

Cody Masters-Jimenez is a one year old, 25 pound miniature schnauzer.

But Cody’s own veterinarian confirmed Masters’ worst fear — Cody had likely jumped out of the tub during bathing or off of the grooming table, and for a few seconds was left hanging by the noose around his neck. There was no other explanation for the injury, the vet told him.

Masters shared images on Facebook of Cody’s eyes with an explanation of what happened and dozens of people commented online about the trauma. “I was fishing to find out how common the injury is and it was apparently unheard of. People were incredulous that such an injury could happen. Many urged me to sue and some wanted me to name the grooming salon, but I had unfinished business with them,” he said.

“I called upper management and demanded to see video of the entire grooming,” Masters says. “They were cooperative and responsive. What they showed was me was ultimately inadequate because despite having cameras in every corner of the store, they were unable to show me video of the bathing area,” he says. He was told that until this incident they had not realized video was never installed in the bathing area.

“The company admitted the injury happened during the bathing process,” says Masters.

After some back and forth, Masters says they offered to cover vet bills related to the injury, provide food for a year and give free grooming to Cody for one year. “I wanted them to make internal or procedural changes and asked them to promote those changes by purchasing an advertising campaign in this newspaper. I wanted more from them for my dog’s trauma and for my own, certainly not their grooming services.”

The advertising proposal was rejected and withdrawn but the company promised to identify and address the issues that led to the injury. “I wanted them to get ahead of regulatory changes that I decided I would pursue through my contacts but they have a public relations arm,” Masters said.


In nearly all grooming facilities, a groomer’s “noose” is used to restrain an animal during bathing or styling.

West Hollywood Councilmember and former Mayor Lauren Meister has introduced a code that seeks will insist grooming businesses have breakaway collars for dogs, so something like what happened to Cody doesn’t happen again.

Groomers are not required by state law to have certification from an accredited program. Although there have been attempts in the State Legislature to develop a formal, statewide certification process, these attempts have faced opposition from the pet grooming and retailer industry.

A grooming business must hold a license to conduct animal grooming in the City of West Hollywood, but there are currently no requirements for training or certification for groomers or other individuals handling animals.

This new item proposes the City develop amendments to its Municipal Code to require the following:

1. Groomers and anyone involved in the bathing or styling of animals at the facility must be certified by an accredited (or reputable) animal grooming program.

2. Proof of training certification must be required to attain a business license for new businesses or renew a business license for existing businesses.

3. Certificate of completion of training must be displayed at the place of business.

4. Only breakaway groomer’s leashes may be used at bathing stations and styling stations. Standard groomer’s leashes (such as “nooses” or “loops”) do not have a way for the animal to be automatically released in case the animal should jump or fall from the groomer’s table or bathing tub. A breakaway leash may be one that works with Velcro strips along the neck-line or a leash with a buckle that releases when pressure is applied (similar to breakaway collars) or some other similar mechanism that will protect the animal.

5. Video cameras would be required in bathing and styling areas of grooming facilities.

The consent item was approved by the entire City Council and in coming weeks will be open to public comment and debate before being implemented.

“Sparked by Troy’s experience with Cody, and as a dog guardian myself — every time I bring my dog (Spike) in for grooming and see him on that table — and my dog can be a little nutty, I wonder if my dog jumped off what would happen. And if someone isn’t trained to deal with that possibility, we could have more accidents. Although current codes regarding pet grooming in WeHo are very robust, there’s always room for improvement,” Meister says.

“As grooming and doggie day care become more and more popular because people are busy or they can’t do grooming themselves, it’s important for us as Councilmembers to be aware about what’s going on and be flexible to make changes to laws when necessary. And for people who say this might be overkill, well, if it’s your dog and your dog wasn’t being supervised and jumped off a table and the groomer wasn’t trained or wasn’t in the room, then you’d be wishing there was more regulation,” Meister adds.

West Hollywood Councilmember, John D’Amico says the reality of the City is that residents take their pet guardianship very seriously. A prime example is the expansive two new pet areas set to open in January in the West Hollywood Park.

The new areas are all off-leash and furnished with artificial turf. They will be located on either side of the outdoor basketball courts at the north end of West Hollywood Park.

The small dog area will be 4,250 square feet, and the large dog area will be 7,350 square feet.

Each dog park features benches, shade trees, small mounds and turf terraces for romping, and water stations.

“Our city has about 450 kids under the age of 5-years-old and at the time of the West Hollywood Park design, we spent a lot of time and were going to give space to a tot-lot and for many of us it was a completely oddball decision,” D’Amico says.

“We were making a regional park for all the rich people who lived in the Los Angeles Hills, instead of the residents of the City who had dogs and wanted the dog park. There just aren’t that many kids in WeHo. Ultimately it’s a demographic issue of a unique city. The city of L.A. is 40 percent kids, but WeHo has about 5 percent or less. Residents and visitors alike are excited. It’s about community making,” D’Amico adds.

Joshua Schare, Community Manager for the City of West Hollywood, says the City has a deep history advocating for the rights of animals and has been on the leading edge municipal legislation to insure that they’re treated humanely and fairly.

“The city has an ordinance prohibiting the sale of puppies from puppy mills being resold in retail establishments. The city has an ordinance against cat declawing – pet issues and the welfare of animals are at the heart of the city of WeHo,” Schare says.

Meister says her goal is to make the breakaway restraints and other requirements state law.

West Hollywood Councilmember and former Mayor Lauren Meister and her dog Spike.

“If we can get this passed and put something together that works for everyone, then I will go to colleagues outside our city… and once we get other Westside areas on board, we can go to Assembly member Richard Bloom or Senator Ben Allen, and say, ‘Hey, look at what we’ve done — we want this to be statewide. If we can get it there to the state level, I will push for ‘Cody’s Law,’” Meister says.

The City of West Hollywood has added this item to its consent calendar as a legislative agenda item for Monday, October 15, 2018. Cody will be in attendance with Troy.  See agenda item 6.

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