Monday, February 18, 2013

I’m Joining Killer Characters

by Lauren Vancouver, pet rescuer, whose adventures are memorialized in the Pet Rescue Mysteries by Linda O. Johnston
Hello.  I’m Lauren Vancouver.   I’m delighted to say that I’m joining Killer Characters as a regular contributor.  The reason I’m happy about that is not because it because it means I keep finding myself in situations where I have to solve murder mysteries.  No, what I want is to publicize my wonderful no-kill pet shelter in L.A. ’s San Fernando Valley , HotRescues.  Even more, I want to ensure that as many pets as possible are saved there.
But somehow, I’ve been dragged into solving killings.  The first time was because I was a suspect.  Since then, I’ve wound up helping friends clear themselves.
I’ve guest blogged here on Killer Characters a couple of times to discuss some of those adventures, memorialized in BEAGLEMANIA, THE MORE THE TERRIER, and HOUNDS ABOUND.  There’s another that was just released this month, in February 2013: OODLES OF POODLES.
The main reason I’m willing to talk about those situations is that, in case you haven’t guessed it, I will do nearly anything to rescue pets.  If that involves solving murders, well, then, I’ll do so.
When I was here before, I talked a little about my background.  I’m pretty proud of it.  In addition to running HotRescues, I have two college-age kids.  I don’t see enough of them, but I’m always delighted when they come home for a visit.  I’m not alone, though.  I have a wonderful dog, Zoey, a Border collie-Australian shepherd mix who also helps me at HotRescues.
I’m happy to say that, unlike most shelters, HotRescues has no financial issues since it was founded by Dante DeFrancisco, the wealthy magnate who runs the large pet store chain HotPets.
Oh, and maybe I shouldn’t mention him, but I do have a wonderful guy in my life, Captain Matt Kingston of L.A. Animal Services.  He is the officer in charge of SMART, the Specialized Mobile Animal Rescue Team.  The only problem with our relationship is that he isn’t pleased at all that I’m out there solving murders now and then.  He worries about me.  That’s sweet, but I can take care of myself.
In case you’re wondering, since I the time when I was a murder suspect in BEAGLEMANIA, I’ve helped my former mentor who was accused of murder in THE MORE THE TERRIER, as well as the head of a very special pet sanctuary in HOUNDS ABOUND.
And in OODLES OF POODLES?  My good friend Dr. Carlie Stellan, a veterinarian who also has her own TV show about saving pets, was accused of murdering a Hollywood director who was shooting a movie about a small pack of rescue poodles.   Of course I had to help Carlie.  More to come about that story in future posts here. 
Yes, I’ll be back.  And I’m glad.  If reading about me here encourages you to go read my stories--and learn more about how wonderful it is to run a shelter, even when things go wrong--well, all the better.
And always feel free to go rescue a dog or cat or other pet yourself!

Linda O. Johnston writes the Pet Rescue Mysteries, a spinoff from her Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter Mysteries.  She also writes for Harlequin Nocturne and Harlequin Romantic Suspense.  Visit her at, and friend her on Facebook.


  1. Welcome Lauren! My BFF is deeply involved in rescuing dogs and cats. Thanks to her, I have my sweet Daisy, a mixed breed hound who has been known to help me out when murder falls in my path. So good to have you aboard!


  2. Welcome! It's good to have you here!

  3. Daisy sounds adorable, Sophie. Thanks for your welcome. And thanks to you, too, Elaine and Dru. --
    --Lauren (And Linda and Lexie, too.)

  4. Live with 2 rescued Boxers, my son has 1 rescued Boxer and my daughter has a rescued Springer, Clumber Spaniel and a Boston Terrier. We recommend rescues to anyone who asks.

  5. Love your attitude--and your whole family's, Annette!

  6. I adopted my two dogs, Sally-Forth and Tally-Ho, from a rescue facility, and they're the sweetest dogs imaginable. They never seem to forget that I brought them home with me, and they always seem grateful.

  7. Cute names, Willow. My dog Zoey accompanies me everywhere. Our pets are definitely family!

  8. Welcome to the blog Lauren, I am looking forward to reading about your rescues. I am too allergic to have pets with fur, so I have some (secondhand) birds.