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Cleft Pup Brigade (under Fred's Friends 501c3)  specializes in cleft lip/palate puppies and special needs newborn puppies. We realized after being in rescue for a few years that there was a dire need for help with cleft puppies, as they are typically  euthanized at birth since they cannot nurse. We were the first organization, 8 years ago, on the WEST Coast that specialized in these pups. We are an educated group of individuals who tube feed these newborns around the clock and help them grow big and strong. They typically do not require corrective surgery, except for rare occasions; they can live perfectly normal lives and eat on their own once old enough.  FOSTER HOMES and TRANSPORTERS ARE DESPERATELY NEEDED for these little ones, especially weaned puppies. We are happy to help train any and all,  who are willing to help. Please complete our foster application and we will be in touch as soon as we can. PLEASE NOTE we are located in Northern California, with direct contacts in the Bay Area, Sacramento area, and Los Angeles area,  however we work with a wide range of volunteers who help us transport from Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Arizona and all over California.

A brief history on how we got our name: Fred is an amazing Boxer, who has the kindest heart, gentle soul and amazing patience. He is so incredible with all the little creatures his Mom brings home and treats them as if they are his own.....His Mom couldn't do what she does without him and thus needed to make sure he was recognized for all of his hard work.

Thanks so much,

Cleft Pup Brigade Team


RACHELE-Founder/Executive Director
About 9 years ago Rachele, the Founder/Director of Fred’s Friends was given a tiny kitten, whom had been tossed into a Sheriff’s patrol car by some young kids. The Deputy had no idea what to do with this tiny kitten, so, like any of us would do he thought to take it to his local animal shelter. When he arrived with this pint size little creature the staff looked at him and said “If you leave that here it will be euthanized; it can’t eat on its own and it is under 2lbs.”  Mortified, the deputy took the kitten to the next best place, a 911 operating facility, where of course, everyone offered to take this little kitten in and bottle feed him. Rachele’s best friend was one of these kind-hearted people and she brought the kitten to Rachele, knowing Rachele’s passion for animals . Rachele took him in, bottle fed every 3 hours and named him after the wonderful Deputy who saved him, Zooby. Zooby opened a door to a whole new world for Rachele, a world she never new existed, filled with so many unwanted litters of kittens and puppies that were being euthanized in our shelters everyday.

 Since then, Rachele has taken in over 2000 kittens and  hundreds of puppies, all of whom have needed round the clock bottle feeding and care. She has lost numerous babies due to illness and unexplained causes.  She finally decided after 5 years of rescuing on her own, that she needed to make a bigger stand in the community, she needed to get the word out to as many people as she could. She needed to start a non-profit animal rescue. And so began Fred's Friends.  She has raised over 850 cleft pups now! See Rachele's favorite pics below!  

FRED-The Inspiration and Star of the ShowCleft Pup Brigade originally Fred's Friends was named after Rachele’s boxer dog, Fred; he is her angel.  He helps care for all of the babies that come through his door, treating every one of them as if they were his own; with lots of kisses and lots of concern. Every one of them becomes his friend once they are old enough to crawl around and bite him.  See Fred's Favorite Pics below!  

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