Actor Leo Grillo's Delta Rescue Houses 1,500 Abandoned Pets In Southern California

35 years ago, Leo Grillo, an actor, was naive enough to think he could get people to stop dumping dogs and cats in the forests and deserts of Southern California. He soon discovered how wrong he was. There has been no end to the number of discarded animals he finds along the road.

Because of this Grillo promised that every unwanted animal that crossed his path that he would keep it safe and do all he could to keep it happy and healthy for life. He started DELTA (Dedication & Everlasting Love to Animals) in 1979 and today, with 1,500 dogs, cats and horses, it is the largest no-kill, care-for-life sanctuary in the nation for abandoned pets.

The sanctuary sits on 115 hilltop acres in western Los Angeles County and has an annual budget of $8 million and about 50 employees. It includes a state-of-the-art hospital, a full-time veterinarian and its own fire department. DELTA Rescue was one of the first no-kill sanctuaries in the country.

To make the houses for the dogs to live in, so Grillo came up with straw-baled dog houses. The houses have wood on the inside and stucco on the outside to make them last longer. A pool completes each dog's quarters.

"The sanctuary is my line in the sand. With the animals, it is fire," Grillo said.

Responses to "Actor starts animal sanctuary and houses 1500 discarded pets (Photos)"

  1. Anonymous says:


  2. Anonymous says:

    God Bless you for taking care of the precious four leggeds:))

  3. Unknown says:

    I can't tell you how impressed I am about your work and your passion. This is something I have always dreamed of doing. I'm thrilled that you are able to do it.

  4. Anonymous says:


  5. vickie says:

    I would volunteer full time if needed. Contact for

  6. Anonymous says:

    God Bless you for your love and caring of all of these babies. There is a special place for you in Heaven. You are amazing!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Anonymous says:

    God bless. You are an angel for doing this !

  8. Anonymous says:

    Wow what a wonderful person

  9. Anonymous says:

    You are indeed a worthy man

  10. Anonymous says:

    This is my dream too! I still learn to do it and if I lived in your country, I would've found a way to work for you. I wouldn't even care if I wasn't paid.
    Bless you, bless you, bless you.
    You're a real live Angel.

  11. Anonymous says:

    It is wonderful to know that you are caring for animals that have been abandoned and thrown away by people who got tired of them and these people need to be found, charged and fined as well as their identities be made public and no more pets for them. Love what you are doin Leo, I wish I had the money to do the passion is caring for animals, keep up the good work and I hope there are security cameras catching the human garbage throwing away pets they were supposed to care for.

  12. Anonymous says:

    what an amazing soul you are god has angels at work and you are one of them . the animals are blessed to have you in their lives . you are an inspiration to the human race .god bless you beautiful man

  13. Anonymous says:

    You are showing the animal world that there are still humans who care enough to go all out to rescue them from uncaring, selfish and too often cruel humans. My hats off to you and I know that you have the gratitude of all true animal lovers who cannot help because of distance or other reasons.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Fantastic!!! I have a deep respect for someone who have that level of compassion. Humanity???? There should be a licence for raising children
    (to teach them empathy and respect for ALL LIVING CREATURES) and those who discard animals should be banned from ever having any...But the "animal industry" is without any control and those who suffer is the animals.
    It is a very lucrative business and should be regulated. In many countries the strays (like in the US) suffer and are subject to horrible treatment.

  15. Anonymous says:

    thank u

  16. Anonymous says:

    I love this, thank you.

  17. Anonymous says:

    If only I won the big lottery. this would be my mission.

  18. Anonymous says:

    This is lovely story and so wonderful that this man is making a difference with his life. We should all take a lesson from this.

  19. Anonymous says:


  20. Anonymous says:

    You know, if there were no shelters of any kind, gov. would have to pass a law that only people that pass an sign papers could have pets. But as long as we have places to dump our unwanted, then we can just keep on getting more unwanted. catch 22...tough love and all that. Only trouble is, the animals didn't choose this cruelty. Bless this man's heart and those like him. Wish I had millions, I would go after the ignorant people and let men like this take care of the animals.

  21. Unknown says:

    This guy is truly amazing. Thank the lord for him.

  22. You Sir, are a gift from God <3

  23. Anonymous says:

    thank you Leo Grillo. I have an animal sanctuary also, much smaller scale. Santuario Cielos Azules on FB. You are welcome to visit anytime for R and R.

  24. Anonymous says:

    How awesome!!

  25. Mr. Grillo, Thank you for having the courage of your convictions and the will, strong enough to carry them out. No doubt through the years you have saved countless thousands of deserted and homeless animals that would otherwise have perished had it not been for your intervention and assistance. Delta Sanctuary must be an amazing place. I can only imagine being surrounded by dogs, cats and horses living without fear, secure and content. Nirvana comes to my mind and the only place better might be heaven, where lions and lambs might lay together in peace. Thank you.

  26. Unknown says:

    I donated to D.e.l.t.a for about 20 yrs.

  27. I would move just to work with you.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Is there a link to donate to this hero?

  29. Unknown says:

    please support one animal from your local kill shelter.

  30. @thelastwolf113 - I agree and know a host of folks who would most likely do the same. @Mr. Grillo - would love to get ideas on how to get sponsor involvement and implement a sanctuary such as yours in NY/NJ/CT area.

  31. Unknown says:

    You are a Earth Angel X

  32. Thank you.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Bless you for your dedication and love for these discarded furries. You're living my dream.

  34. kerrie ferguson says:

    That's what I'm aiming to do. So anyone in Australia who feels the same, lets pool together and start one here... If he can do it, we all can. it only takes one to start something going. The more people there are helping unwanted, abused, discarded animals, the more we can help educate and hopefully stop this occurring!!!

  35. Anonymous says:

    Amen and ditto all of above comments x 100! Great big heart!! Newcastle, CA

  36. Anonymous says:

    I applaud you for doing what so many of us animal lovers wish we could. I'm sure we all lack the same You must have a little of it to get started. Bless you for using some of yours to do such a wonderful thing <3

  37. Unknown says:

    Need any help?

  38. chuy says:

    Are you the same Leo that helped Jennifer from San Felipe Animal Rescue before she passed away. If so, I thank you so much as she was a wonderful person and so are you. It's all about the animals! <3

  39. stacey says:

    You are truly a angel here on Earth! You will be greatly rewarded! #WARRIOR #SOLDIER #togetherwesavethem

  40. Anonymous says:

    No finer human being...

  41. May God bless you and keep you.

  42. Anonymous says:

    This sanctuary does rely heavily upon donations. Just google the name of the sanctuary to find phone number, address, etc.

  43. Anonymous says:

    I went from a post I read that made me cry because of its animal cruelty to this one that gives me how for humanity again. God bless this man!

  44. ROJO says:


  45. NosyNancy says:

    I love this guy for doing this! The author is mistaken, however. Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah is larger, has more employees, animals, acreage, and budget.

  46. Anonymous says:

    You are one of a kind, Wish daily that I would hit the lottery and do the same. Right now I am doing what I can have 5Dogs&2Cats all from the streets of Philadelphia.

  47. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like my friend and this guy should get together!

  48. Scott H. Smith says:

    While I am sure Best Friends Animal Sanctuary is a fine organization, the author is not mistaken. While Best Friends is bigger, more employees, animals, acreage, and budget, they do adoptions, while DELTA is the largest care-for-life sanctuary in the nation.

  49. Maia says:

    Thank you for yopur kindness!

  50. Unknown says:

    Wonderful work, well done!

  51. Anonymous says:

    Omg he is an amazing person.I would love to be able to do that.

  52. Anonymous says:

    Awesome I'm so glad u have devoted ur life to the rescue of all these animals. I wish there was a res like that on the east coast. If I had the money I would have a rescue like that of my own.

  53. Anonymous says:

    Thank God for you and your love for animals.

  54. Unknown says:

    That is remarkable what one person can do. Thank you for what you do for all the animals that are forgotten by those people who had them who forgot that once you take one on it's for the life of the animal.

  55. Unknown says:

    now THIS is a MAN <3

  56. Unknown says:

    God bless you

  57. Unknown says:

    Love this man!

  58. Mara says:

    You are AMAZING Sir. Thank you. I wish I could do the same thing but I am thankful you exist. God bless you.

  59. vnv4 says:

    Whenever someone takes on the responsibility of helping animals they are rescued by the animals. They are the ones that bring wonderful things to our lives and we derive the most benefit. Thank you so much for loving these precious sentient beings.

  60. I live in the mountains of Kern County, and if I become wealthy, I hope to do the same thing.

    Bless you sir, for taking care of the four-legged's.

  61. Anonymous says:

    This is fantastic! Thank you for the time, money, and effort you and your team put in to help these animals every day. Gretchen

  62. Anonymous says:

    This is my dream, after I retire in a few years. I may come see you, in case you could use full time volunteer help. Would love to see more about your animal sanctuary. Bless you for helping so many homeless animals.

  63. Linda W. says:

    Thank you for everything you do.You are there angel.

  64. Anonymous says:

    My deepest respect and gratitude to you sir! Thank you for what you are doing.

  65. Unknown says:

    God Bless you Sir

  66. How can I go and work for you and the animals? Seriously

  67. Richard Call says:

    You are an inspiration for one of my poems:
    Maybe God doesn't care what we say we believe,
    As long as we manage good works to achieve,
    Helping God's creatures and easing their pain,
    Without selfish motive of personal gain.

  68. Unknown says:

    You are Wonderful; and may God Richly Bless you here and forever. Love you for who you are as the Precious Souls that Rescue from Despair and Suffering. I would do this If only I could. Thank you for doing my Dream Job.

  69. Anonymous says:

    May God bless you for doing this great service for the animals.i thank you. If I had the means to do this I would too, I love animals. I'm for a No kill nation. Much respect . S.Ervin/facebook

  70. Anonymous says:

    You are truly an angel! You're doing what so many of us would do, if we were able. Thank you so much for all that you do for the animals -- you gave them back their lives!! Bless you....

  71. Anonymous says:

    It is so lovely to see and read about somebody who cherishes the lives of the animas that are in their care and not put them to sleep to make room for the next animal that crosses their path. You deserve an Oscar for your work with these uncared/unwanted animals, long may you carry on this good work. Kind Regards, Debbie Moore from the United Kingdom x

  72. DEDE says:

    PRAYING for you anmd your efforts and animals,GOD BLESS you sir.
    I HAVE SO MUCH ADMIRATION for your loving kindness to the helpless.HUGS a Texas animal adovacate

  73. Anonymous says:

    Thank you,this restores some of my faith in humanity.

  74. Blessing to you good soul and blessings to your animals. Thank you for what you do.

  75. Anonymous says:

    what an Awesome person you are !!!!

  76. Lell says:

    Amazing unselfish person, thank god for people like him...

  77. Morgana says:

    What an amazing person, to spend his time and money for the rescue of those angels, thank you.

  78. P. Stept says:

    Great men do great works. That is you, my friend! Keep up the brilliant work you are doing on a daily basis. We all love you!

  79. I have donated for many many years each month not a lot, but if everyone that has commented did it would be a great help Leo you are amazing.

  80. jennifer says:

    So I read many many comments praising this man, some saying they want to help. He is an angel There is something you can do , which is please stop eating animals . All animals are sacred and deserve to live a peaceful free life. πŸ‘πŸΎπŸ΄πŸΆπŸ±πŸ·πŸ„πŸ‡πŸ¦ƒ

  81. Anonymous says:

    Wonderful! What a special man.

  82. Unknown says:

    I disagree with the person that said Best Friends in Utah is bigger. I've been there 4 times they may have more land but they DO NOT have as many animals as Grillo does. I was shocked each time we were there that they didn't have many dogs at all.

  83. Unknown says:

    Incredibly, there are several top level execs at Best Friends who receive a salary of around a quarter of a million - $250,000. Most of the big animal charities are corrupt and very little of the money goes to animals. Also sadly many of the one man bands are scams. Please research carefully if you want to givef as there are so many deserving rescues who are in need and they are most often not the ones with the best internet profile.

  84. Unknown says:

    May God continue to bless you and the animals in your care!

  85. Anonymous says:

    GOD BLESS THIS WONDERFUL MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  86. more heroes, less zeros!

  87. Unknown says:

    You my man have a beautiful soul !

  88. You Rock!

  89. KarMar says:

    You are doing really awesome work. Much needed. I wish people nation wide would follow your lead. God Bless you and the animals you have rescued.

  90. You are a living saint. A dream come true!

  91. I MILLION heartfelt thanks for BEING YOU!!!

  92. Unknown says:

    How wonderful of you!!!! Do you have a website? Would you consider supporting a documentary by an award-winning nonprofit OPEN EYE PICTURES exposing the dog meat trade in Korea? Crew needs to go to Korea one last time for filming ... editing in progress ... just needing more funding ...

  93. Unknown says:

    Thank you so very much for caring about Gods gifted, innocent creations.

  94. Thank you so much for taking care of these poor animals. I wish I lived out there. I would happily volunteer to help out.

  95. a fine and beautiful hearted man...thank you!

  96. Unknown says:

    you sir are wonderfull, kind, amazing...i wish i won the lottery then i would buy a huge bungerlow with 4 acres of land and rescue many disabled so i would get employ people to help me look after them and look after them and the grounds and rescue them for would give me great joy to rescue and give love and affection to the animals that are so cruely dumped on and they would all be spoilt rotten

  97. Stoccado says:

    Good people like you are too far between each other. It's heart warming to see what you are doing. Keep on and God Bless You@

  98. Anonymous says:

    I would be very interested in working with you company. Please let me know if there are any positions available. Thank you, Sally

  99. Thank you so much for doing what other animal lovers like me can only dream of doing ! You are an inspiration to us all . I wish the world had more wonderful , compassionate , dedicated animal lovers like you ! Bravo !!!❤️

  100. Melissa says:

    Amazing....u are living my dream. I have always wanted to do that.. GOD BLESS U

  101. Unknown says:

    Way to be. I always said I would live perfectly fine on an island with just me and many dogs. I love them so much and you doing what you makes me very must be an old soul to be so inclined. There are many people have to root their soul to a place that furthers life and doesn't get it in a stranglehold. As a species we rest on the fence and must become a real part of nature/life... to be more responsible....try very hard to take responsibility for our actions or inactions. All of life is connected.

  102. Unknown says:

    I am so happy to know about your unselfish, fabulous mission. You are a true hero

  103. Anonymous says:

    I never knew about DELTA until today ... or that it is the largest for life sanctuary! I'm so glad there are people out there who feel like myself.. that animals are just as valuable as humans and should have a caring place to live. I would love to start a sanctuary of my own someday... so, congrats to you Mr. Grillo for starting this so long ago and keeping it going all this time.

  104. Unknown says:

    What a wonderful Unselfish situation,. You are of a rarity in these years of turmoil & hatred,.

  105. Unknown says:

    There aren't enough words to express my thoughts on the wonderful world you've made for those sentient beings. They deserve all the love we can give them. I am an elderly woman with 4 cats - they come first with me - they are my babies and I'd be lost without them. Keep up the good work. Actually you are doing the Lord's work and I can't thank you enough. God bless you.

  106. neache says:

    Words for appreciation of what you do are not enough to thank you sir, Bless you and your sanctuary for the love of those that are thrown away
    There is a special place in Heaven for you and all of your staff and your wards, Bless you Wished I had the money to do the same, I have 4 that I have taken from kill shelters that is all I can do but at least to them its everything... God be with you and your staff..

Write a comment