NorCal Poodle Rescue (NCPR) was founded in 1985 by standard poodle breeder Patty Moulthrop of Blue Skies Standard Poodles in Lafayette, California (now in Clayton). Patty says she couldn’t justify breeding poodles when she knew there were poodles in shelters that needed homes. She started rescuing and rehoming poodles by herself and then enlisted the help of other poodle lovers as NCPR volunteers. Since its inception, NCPR has rescued and rehomed about 3,000 poodles and poodle mixes.
“My passion is poodles — breeding them, raising them, showing them, loving them, and rescuing them.” Patty Moulthrop, founder, and Chair of NorCal Poodle Rescue. Patty passed away in February, 2022.
Patty’s philosophy was to help poodles while also enriching the lives of the people who adopt them. “It’s such an amazing, win-win situation when you have a really neat poodle and you find a family that really wants this poodle,” said Patty. “When you put them together, you see the happiness on both sides.”
Patty and her husband, Bud, owned Moulthrop's Blue Skies Standard Poodles, where they bred award-winning black standard poodles that Patty showed throughout the west coast.
She had five multiple all-breed Best in Show winners. In fact, in 2000, Patty had the highest-ranking poodle in the U.S., with 52 all-breed Best in Show wins.
NCPR rescues the three varieties of poodles and poodle mixes from private individuals and shelters. Foreclosures and financial hardships continue to force people to surrender their poodles and we've also seen an increase in surrenders from the ill or elderly who are no longer able to care for their poodles. Shelters continue to ask us to rescue "unadoptable" poodles for reasons ranging from simple issues like badly mat¬ted hair to serious illness or injury. As our resources allow, we take in as many poodles as possible, nurse them back to health as needed and find them all loving homes.
The heart of NCPR belongs to its two dozen dedicated volunteers. Volunteers provide most of the essential services our organization requires including: basic poodle care, training, grooming and transportation; hotline workers to answer phone calls and emails and coordinate surrenders and adoptions; event coordinators and workers; foster homes; and web design and management. Of course a large part of our budget is needed for professional veterinary medical care for the poodles including spay or neuter, vaccines, and treatments for illness or injury. Only three percent of our budget goes to administrative costs such as insurance, phone messaging, web hosting and office supplies.
Due to limited resources, rescue organizations are currently unable to rescue all the poodles and poodle mixes in Northern California that need new homes. One limiting factor is the difficulty in recruiting and keeping foster homes due to dual career families, smaller homes and properties, and city or county restrictions of three dogs per household. This forces many rescue organizations to board their dogs and deal with the accompanying expense. NCPR has decided to board most of our adoptable poodles and only foster those with longer term health or training issues. In 2011 we started to rent our own private space with 12 runs within the boarding kennel we have used for several years. This space allows us to increase the number of poodles we rescue; provide more specialized care for our poodles; and have better management of our boarding costs.
Having kennel space has allowed NCPR to handle two large intakes of poodles. For example, in 2010 NCPR took in 24 miniature and toy poodles from the Solano County Shelter when an elderly breeder passed away. In 2011 NCPR participated with many organizations in rescuing 22 dogs from a hoarder in Tulare County. In this case NCPR provided shelter and care for ten dogs including 6 poodle mixes and 4 Chihuahuas for several days until they were transferred to other rescue groups.
NCPR is honored to be the sole beneficiary of the annual Poodle Day in Carmel by-the-Sea, California. This extravaganza is the second largest poodle event in the U.S., includes a parade, poodle play at the beach, cocktail parties and the sale of beautiful and unique poodle items for the poodle lover. The proceeds from this fundraising event helps NCPR with the resources to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome more poodles and poodle mixes each year.