PugHearts of Houston Blog


Tuesday, 28 December 2010 21:47 by cindyr

I wanted to take a minute to write about my dear little foster pug, Eloise. She has become so much a part of our family that I sometimes forget she is a foster.

Eloise came to PugHearts mid-May after being found in another pug owner's back yard. My husband and I were between fosters at the time, but were the ones to pick her up and name her. It became apparent very quickly that this little girl had been part of a home and was a pampered pet at some point in her life. She has not had one single accident in the 7 months we have had her and she is very aware of other house etiquette as well as how to demand to be spoiled. Sadly, after her first visit to the vet, she was diagnosed with kidney failure. Her prognosis is uncertain. It could have been only a month or two, or she could live several more years. So far, she seems happy. I don't think she is always comfortable and perhaps sometimes in pain, but she still enjoys all the little things in life; Food, treats, warm/comfy places to sleep, and toys. She goes absolutely nuts for her mini tennis balls.

It is such a great feeling to provide this little girl a warm and loving home, even if she possibly won't be with us much longer. I mean, how can you resist this face? 


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Rainbow Bridge page

Monday, 6 December 2010 19:33 by cindyr

As many of you have noticed, we added a new page to the website. The Rainbow Bridge page allows us to be reminded of those that we have lost. This page has had a fair amount of discussion around it. We know that loss is a part of rescue and we cannot win all of the battles we take on. We also know that it is so hard to look at these faces and remember the love we feel for each of them. I was one of the ones that was not sure that we should put it out there. I do not like to lose. It is hard and I take many of these personally. We cry for each one that crosses the bridge. We try to figure out what happened and what we could (and can, in the future) do differently. Each pug in our care teaches us something. We try to hang on to those lessons. Sometimes, all we can see is the loss.

The last few weeks have added several new names to the Rainbow Bridge page.

Lilly_2 was an older lady in our care. She developed an intra-nasal tumor. This tumor eventually caused her to really struggle to breathe. We held her as she crossed the bridge to health and vitality.

Avery was my "perfectly adoptable beautiful 6 year old girl". She was happy, active and loved life. One day her neck swelled up...this was the beginning of the end. Avery was diagnosed with lymphoma and the condition grew worse quickly. The swelling became increasingly worse in her neck and began effecting her breathing. We released Avery 10 days after Lilly crossed the bridge. This is what makes rescue hard.

Avery and Lilly were both fosters in my home.

Now, we add BeBe's babies to the list of those lost. Last Wednesday night, our BeBe went into labor. We were thrilled when she delivered 7 babies early in the morning hours of Thursday. We all cried when we lost the first puppy immediately. The others were so small, cute and squirming (as puppies should be). Sadly, they did not thrive and by today, we have lost all the puppies. This is one of the hardest things to explain and even worse to go through. We are all devastated. I am including a photo of the happy moment after delivery. This is what we must remember.

So, why did I change my mind about the Rainbow Bridge page?

We need to remember the sadness, the love, the journey and the loss. It is all a part of rescue. It is not possible to get one aspect without dealing with the other. I would not trade one moment with any one of the fosters listed on ANY page of this website. I have loved each of them, for different reasons and at different times. I had a volunteer say to me: "We need a memorial page. The available pugs are listed. The adopted pugs are listed, but the lost pugs are just gone. I cannot see his face. He is no where." Well, they were a part of us and we need to remember them.

So please, take a look at our Rainbow Bridge page. Remember that we commit to all of these pugs, whether we win or not.

Please consider donating so that we can continue to help all these pugs, not just the ones that we can save, but the hospice, hopeless and helpless as well.


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Tuesday, 23 November 2010 15:42 by richardc

During the weeks before Christmas, more puppies are bought from pet stores than any other time of year—meanwhile, animal shelters are overcrowded with wonderful pets just waiting for loving homes. And the puppies in these stores almost invariably come from high-production facilities and puppy mills.

mill Click on the image to watch the video on YouTube

Puppy mills look forward to this all year long, but this year, lets educate consumers about puppy mills so they choose shelter pets instead of buying puppies in pet stores.

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A Time for Thanksgiving

Tuesday, 23 November 2010 09:22 by ChrissieP

Hello Pug World!

As Thanksgiving is fast approaching (loosen that belt buckle!), it is a great time to sit back, take time to reflect on the past year, especially for the people you are most thankful to have in your life. Always included in my list each year are my friends at PugHearts. My life was forever changed after adopting Lou & Andy in August 2007 (and subsequently Flip in April 2009) and as my relationship with PugHearts has developed from adopter to volunteer, my appreciation for this organization continues to grow. A day doesn't go by that I don't think of all the lives that have been saved and changed for the better due to the generosity and selflessness of all the PugHearts volunteers. Sure, I help with the fundraising and blogging (although I have admittedly slacked a little on that), but that doesn't compare to the people who are out there every day rescuing, transporting, and nursing these poor babies back to health. In 3 1/2 very short years, we are quickly approaching 700 dogs whose lives have forever been changed for the better. While it sickens me to think that there is such a need for just ONE breed in ONE city alone, I am still so thankful that those 650+ have been provided a new and better life.

From the bottom of my heart, a huge THANK YOU to all the PugHearts volunteers who work so hard to achieve the PugHearts goal: To never turn down any pug, at any age, in any condition.

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Looking Back

Monday, 1 November 2010 12:18 by richardc

Back in early 2007, we were just getting PugHearts started. A group of us got together with Cindy and started planning our first big event - PugNic. We had flyers printed to hand out and post anywhere we could to get the word out about our new rescue.

I remember stopping in a local pet boutique to ask about posting our flyer. The gentleman behind the counter said we were more than welcome to post it, but he couldn’t believe we actually needed a rescue for Pugs. After all, he said ‘that’s an expensive breed - why would they end up in rescue?’ As he asked me that question I was holding my beautiful rescue pug Alfie. I explained to him how even pedigreed dogs can end up in rescue. And the very fact that they are a desirable breed makes them a tempting target for unscrupulous breeders. But also, they are a special breed with special needs. Not everyone understands those needs when they fall in love with these squishy-faced babies.

It’s now been 3 years since PugHearts of Houston was born. And our numbers show that the need for a pug rescue in Houston was far greater than we had ever imagined. We have taken in well over 500 dogs in that time. I’m astounded by that.

I’m sad, because that’s a lot of dogs that have been in a bad situation. But I’m also happy because we have been able to make a difference to those 500+ dogs. Most of those dogs have gone on to live pampered, happy lives with their new families. Some are sadly no longer with us, but we know their last days were made more comfortable and filled with love thanks to our hard work.

The driving force behind PugHearts is the legion of volunteers that run it. PugHearts is not a shelter. We are not a brick-and-mortar building. We are a network of people who do incredible things for no pay or reward. Some volunteers help by picking up dogs from shelters or people who have called us. Some help by taking our dogs to and from the vet. Some open their homes to these dogs as foster parents until they find their forever home. A few even open their homes to dogs they know will never be adopted. Some help with fundraising. And some help by processing the adoption applications filled out by prospective ‘parents.’ And some people help by paying our vet bills through their generous donations. All of these people ARE PugHearts. Without them we would not exist.

On the eve of our 3rd anniversary, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all you have done for these sweet puggies. Thank you for helping to make PugHearts such a success in our mission to save every Pug we can - one pug at a time.


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State of the Rescue - October 2010

Sunday, 31 October 2010 12:50 by richardc

Hello again to all of the PugHearts extended family. We are excited to provide another update on where we are as a group.

Where are we right now?

  • 95 foster pugs in our care with 7 waiting to come in (that we know of right now)
  • 2 pugs boarding at the vet, waiting for a foster family.
  • About 68 foster families actively caring for a pug (or pugs) in their homes.
  • A vet bill of just under $10,000 (as of today 10/17)
  • Blanco’s was a BLAST! More details on that in a moment.
  • Shelters and pounds calling almost every day to ask us to take in a pug. This NEVER changes.

    Blanco’s was a great success. The events committee did a fantastic job and the tent looked great. The band (The Norman Number) rocked the house, while Scott (our DJ, ) kept us all excited and things moving to the beat. The pugs had a great time playing in the pen with all their friends. For the first time ever, we named a volunteer of the year. Mary Ludwig was selected.  (see Blanco's Update below)

    Sometimes, I think Mary spends more time at the vet than I do and that is a challenge. Mary has had so many fosters through her home that we have all lost count. We appreciate all of our volunteers. It really does take an army for this to all be successful. So, the part everyone is waiting to hear…. YOU helped us to raise just over $22,000 at Blanco’s. THANK YOU! That makes a HUGE dent in the vet bills and allows us to keep accepting the needy ones (and the needy ones keep coming).

    The numbers are better. We are pleased to have had several adoptions recently. However, the holidays are coming fast and we always get a large influx during the holiday season. Most of those will be owner surrenders or owners taking the pugs to the shelters before leaving for vacations and holiday plans; sad, but true. We will always take in pugs that are sick, hurt, tired and ready to give up. We give all that we can to adopt out pugs that are (fairly) healthy, happy and ready to be loved and adored by a family. This is the real joy in rescue. It is not always easy to remember, but well worth the moments we get to look at the results.

    As always,

    You make this possible.
  • By fostering, you give a pug time and love to grow, heal and learn.
  • By transporting, you allow us to get them to safety and medical care.
  • By donating, you allow us the funds we must have to continue medical care and treatment.
  • By adopting, you provide a forever home to one that is ready and make room for the next one that needs us.

    Please know that there are highs and lows in rescue. There is life and death; happiness and sadness. This is normal and it is OK. I tell people that when I stop smiling for the wins and crying for the losses…then it is time to quit. This is personal. This is wonderful and this is PugHearts.

    You keep us going and believing in people.

    Without your help, donation and support we could not do what we do.

    Thank you.



Sunday, 31 October 2010 12:10 by richardc

We would like to thank everyone who came out to show their support for PugHearts at the Pugs at Blanco’s event Saturday night. We had a fantastic time and helped to raise funds and awareness about our rescue.

It was great to see so many people bringing their furry companions (both pug and non-pug!) and we hope everyone had as much fun as we did. Hopefully next year will be even bigger and better (and maybe a bit cooler)!

A big congratulations to the winner of our grand prize raffle for the 50" TV - Diane Rifai! We’d also like to thank everyone who dug deep and bid so generously on our live auction and silent auction items. There was truly something for everyone this year.

Blanco's 2010 - D'Angeles DonationOne of the many Silent Auction baskets

Blanco's 2010 - D'Angeles DonationBrent Piercy holding aloft a major auction item

We would also like to thank all of our volunteers. They worked tirelessly and endlessly to ensure that this event was a success. Their efforts are what help make PugHearts what it is today. Without them we would not exist and the pugs of Houston would not have a safe haven. We would like to give a special acknowledgement to PugHearts’ 1st ever Volunteer of the Year - Mary Ludwig!

Blanco's 2010 - D'Angeles DonationCindy (on stage) and Mary Ludwig and the very brave Phoebe

Mary is a very special lady with a heart as big as Texas. She takes on some of our most challenging cases, our most needy rescues. Remember Cody - our first rescue suffering from a liver shunt? Mary stepped up to the plate and opened her heart and home to this little guy that had no chance for survival before coming into PugHearts. Cody is now living a healthy, happy life with his new family in OK following surgery to correct his condition. Mary helped make that happen. Then there’s Whitney - one of our first Hospice pugs due to her cancer. She is still with Mary, having outlived everybody’s predictions. Though she remains a Hospice pug and we know will never be healthy again, her life has been full of love and security thanks to Mary. Remember KC? Another dog we took in and placed on Hospice care with Mary due to his lung and breathing issues. Except Mary worked her magic with him and nursed him back to health. He is now with his new forever family enjoying his second chance at life.

Blanco's 2010 - D'Angeles DonationKC, brought back to health by Mary Ludwig, the PugHearts Hospice miracle worker!

Mary has been with PugHearts since day 1 and has fostered dozens and dozens of dogs. She is an irreplaceable part of PugHearts and we are honored to have her as one of our volunteers. We thank you Mary, and we know if they could talk all the little puggies you have helped over the years would say thank you too!
We would also like to take this opportunity to say a huge, public "Thank You" to the staff of Sugar Land Pet Hospital. We often sing the praises of Dr. Doug Hendrix (our very own Dr. Pugger) but we want all of the staff at SPH to know how grateful we are for all the support and care they give us and our rescues. In addition to Dr. Hendrix, Dr. David Brust has been with us from the beginning. He has been instrumental in helping us give our rescues the best medical care possible. And the practice has now grown to include a new veterinarian, Dr. Valeri Devaney. Often the doctors get all the glory, but we know that we owe a huge debt of gratitude to the entire staff at SPH. From the receptionists who take our frantic calls when we need to bring a dog in when they are ready to close, to the vet techs who do everything from walking our boarding dogs to administering treatments to handling the avalanche of paperwork and prescriptions for our crew, we cannot say a big enough thank you!

Blanco's 2010 - D'Angeles DonationThe Sugarland Pet Hospital Team

And last, but certainly not least, we would like to thank you. Your generous donations, your participation, your willingness to open your heart and home to adopt a rescue pug make you the critical link in our chain of rescue. Thank you.

2nd Annual "Pugs at Blanco's"!!!

Thursday, 15 July 2010 10:00 by ChrissieP

Howdy Pawwdners and all pug lovers!!

PugHearts is pleased to announce the date for our 2nd annual "Pugs at Blanco's" event! Drum roll please.......

Saturday, September 25th, 6 pm - 11 pm
3406 West Alabama Street
Houston, Texas

This year we are shifting our festivities to the evening and plan on having a grand ol' time! Expect the same delicious BBQ meal as last year (included with entry price), as well as the same fantastic silent auction with so many good items up for grabs! We will also be once again auctioning off a 50 inch Plasma TV for $5 a ticket.

You won't want to miss the live music by The Norman Number!

Last year's event was such a hit and we are so excited to be doing this again. We expect lots of fun and pug kisses to be had! Tickets are $20 until September 1st, and $25 after that.

Also, don't forget to pre-order your brisket which will be available for pick up at the event, pre-cooked and ready to eat. Supplies will be limited and we expect them to go fast since last year they were such a big hit. $40 gets you a brisket large enough to feed roughly 13 people. MMMMM, I'm getting hungry just thinking about it!

We currently have more fosters in our care than ever before and the vet bills just keep climbing! Between paying to board some of these poor guys (have we mentioned we always need more FOSTER HOMES??), and the illnesses that often come along with these neglected babies, we are finding it tough to keep up. What better way to support the cause than to enjoy yourself at the same time?

We can not say it enough: thank you to all our supporters for everything you do. Whether the donations be money, time, or support, we could not do it with out you!

If you are interested in making a donation (whether it be to sponsor a portion of the event, donate items for the silent auction, or just make a monetary donation), use the contact form at this link:

To purchase your entry tickets, click here:

To purchase brisket vouchers, click here:

See y'all there!

-The PugHearts “Howdy Pawwdners!” event committee

Here are a few photos from last year to get a taste of the fun to be had!

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Success Stories

Sunday, 21 March 2010 07:20 by cindyr

PugHearts has successfully placed over 400 pugs into loving and caring forever homes. Some of these adoptive families keep in touch. We love to get updates and photos of our fosters after they have found the permanent love and life that they have been looking for. This is one of the things that makes fostering easier. The happiness, love and pure joy of both the foster pug and the members of the adoptive family.

We added another success story to our files yesterday. Noel and Eric were adopted into a forever home together. This is even better than normal, as they had been foster brothers together as well. They will now be brothers forever. Congratulations boys!  Congratulations also to the foster family. These were their very first fosters and they did a great job.



The boys were adopted near the home of 2 of my personal favorite fosters. Now, this does not mean that I do not love all of the fosters that have come through my home. There are just certain ones that really get in into your heart and take a piece of it with them forever. So, I called the adoptive family for Nicholas and Torrey last night to see if they might be home. THEY WERE! and they were gracious enough to tell me to come on over. Needless to say....I did. Special thanks to Nick and Torrey's family for allowing me this pleasure. I was like a kid at Christmas getting to see them.

For those who may be new with us. These fosters were really special.

Nicholas came to us the day after Christmas 2008. He had sarcoptic mange, severe heartworms, his eyes were crusted over from gunk and infection and his skin was infected from scratching and living on the streets. I thought he was beautiful from the first moment. He had the most serene and happy demeanor. Nicholas loved everyone. He spent over 8 months with me getting well, strong and ready to go to his forever home. I cried all the way to their house and all the way back home. It was a perfect place for him and I am so glad they love him like I do. He looks beautiful now, just as I pictured he would all that time ago. This is Nicholas as he looked in my home just before he was adopted.

Torrey has an equally sad story to her time with us. Torrey was living in a neighborhood getting by as best she could. The people knew she was there, but no one did anything to get her to safety. Torrey was scared of everyone and everything. Alica and Dack went to the neighborhood when we were notified about her being there. They had to chase her for a long time. She was finally cornered in a person's garage and caught. Torrey promptly bite Dack when he grabbed her and then totally relaxed in his arms as if to ask him: "What took you so long to come?" That is Torrey...a true character. She took some time to learn to trust, but found my husband an easy touch for treats and adopted him. Torrey had been chronically dehydrated from living as a stray and her kidney values were outside of normal. We worked with her for some time before we spayed her, as we were concerned about what would happen if she was sent to surgery. Torrey was placed on a special kidney diet and I am happy to report that her kidney values are now coming in to the normal ranges. Torrey is now busy running her home and making sure all the people (and Nicholas) are doing things the right way. This is Torrey as she was during foster care.

So, why do I tell you all this story? Well...first it is a request for updates and pictures of the successes. We love to hear from our babies after they are adopted and settled into their forever homes. Second...I love for everyone to see the results of all the hard work, tears, money and time that go into the daily operations of PugHearts. We have to make some tough decisions for these needy babies. Some of these decisions are good and some are terribly hard. We do not always win for them. PugHearts has lost the battle for several of our fosters recently. The losses were hard and they hurt. Briscoe, Captain, Ivey, Ashley and Allison are missed. I wanted some good news.

We are so grateful that there are so many people and families out there that love these babies as much as we do. Thank you to all of the families that have adopted and love our PugHearts fosters. You make this work worthwhile.

Remember we are always in need of donations, adoptions, and support to make the fairy tale possible for the next pug that needs us.


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What a Week It Has Been!!!!!

Sunday, 28 February 2010 14:29 by cindyr

I sat down tonight and thought about what I wanted everyone to know about this last week.

This week has been a roller coaster ride. I started the week feeling really down and frustrated. This is not an uncommon feeling in rescue, but one that we often do not like to talk about. I was thinking about the fact that we had 96 pugs in foster care. We had a $22,000+ vet bill and several pugs boarding at the vet waiting for a place to learn to be a pet again. I spent a fair amount of time sitting in the floor with the pugs in my house. I needed something to make me believe again, in rescue and in myself.

Wow...did I ever get that. On Tuesday, I received a call from a local vet's office. A puppy mill owner was closing out and I was told he had 12-15 pus that needed to come into rescue. This was NOT good news considering the number of pugs already in our care. I was not sure we could even make this happen. PugHearts prides itself on the ability and willingness to take any pug, at any age, in any condition. I did not think we could do that in this situation. I started with an email to the board and then to our list of supporters. I called San Antonio pug rescue and Pug Rescue Austin. The response was overwhelming.

You are all incredible. The response was immediate and beyond anything I could have dreamed. Offers to foster have been coming in, transportation help and support for what we do have poured in. The monetary donations have allowed us to pay down our vet bills.

The puppy mill did surrender thier pugs and tell us that they are no longer breeding pugs. Sadly, he stated he is moving on to Bulldogs. I will fight this as hard as I can. No breed should have to deal with the life of a breeder's commodity. They should be warm, loved, in a house and part of a family. I will do all I can to fight him on this point.

Update on the pugs surrendered:

There were 11 pugs totoal. 9 females and 2 males.

San Antonio pug rescue took in 9 of the puppy mill pugs. They had 17 pugs in their care prior and has the space to care for that many. They are getting the pugs in their care into their vet tomorrow. We are very greatful for their assistance and know that the pugs are in good hands. Pug Rescue Austin is working to find foster homes for a few of the ones that San Antonio took.

PugHearts took in 2 pugs; a male and a female. The male is a 4 year old that has spent his life in a kennel helping to produce puppies. We have named him Deisel. The female is 5 years old. Her feet are spread from standing on wire crates without towels, paper or solid foundation. She has multiple cysts between her toes. The sadest part is that she is showing signs of either a neurological or psychological issue. She makes odd movements with her head and circles, almost continuously, in her crate. We named her Diamond.

PugHearts will do all than we can for both of these babies. They will get all of the medical care they need and we will find fosters that will allow them to learn to be pets and give and accept love.

We thank you all for your support. We are successful because of each and every one of you that support PugHearts in the work that we do.

I am honored to be allowed to be a part of this group.



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