PugHearts of Houston Blog

A Somber Summer

Monday, 25 July 2011 09:57 by richardc

PugHearts needs your help.  We are over-run with pugs that need us, and we do not have the funds or the foster homes to help them all.

For those of you who have followed us throughout the last 4 years, you know that we always need help but we don’t make a public appeal unless it is very serious.  Folks, it is very serious right now.

We are full to the brim and several thousand dollars in debt on our veterinarian bill.  We are not able to accept all pugs that are being asked of us.  We have had to close intake unless it is an extreme emergency.  We hate this, as we know there are people out there who will take their dogs to a kill shelter now rather than surrender it to us.  We hate it because it means we cannot help every pug.  But our resources are stretched too thin to be able to take every dog we are asked to take.

Of course this just happens to coincide with the busiest time of year for any rescue.  Summertime means people go on vacation and if they were considering getting rid of their dog, now seems the perfect time.  Also summer is when a lot of people move.  Lots of times their dogs don’t make the move with them.  And of course there are so many people suffering from financial difficulties who cannot afford to take care of their pets anymore.   It all adds up to far too many dogs being taken to shelters or given away.

We have also had quite a few pugs in lately that have needed a lot of medical care.  We have an alarming number of heartworm positive dogs coming in right now.  It’s gut-wrenching to see dogs that are so ill and will require costly and difficult treatment for something that is preventable by one pill a month.  If only someone had given these dogs preventative heartworm treatment.  But they didn’t, so now we have to put them through heartworm treatment to get them healthy so they have a chance at a new life. 

There has also been emergent care needed for several dogs.  Maksym came to us having suffered terrible heat stroke by being left out in the punishing Texas sun.  We tried so very hard to save him, but ultimately lost him to distemper.  (Again, all of his issues were avoidable – if only someone had cared enough about him.)  Bob was a wonderful little guy who came to us with a few issues, including a hernia which we had repaired.  But sadly he lost his fight when his heart simply stopped.  Vee came to us over-bred and dumped, needing emergency surgery to repair a severe vaginal prolapse.  Thankfully she is recovering and doing well.  Danny came to us as a cruelty case.  He has a severe spinal issue that makes it impossible for him to use his back legs.  As he is a senior, we know his chances of adoption are not great.  It’s so sad as he’s a lovely boy.  Then there’s Peanut.  This adorable young guy came to us from a local kill shelter with obvious mange.  Once he got to our vet, they realized he also had a fractured hip.  That was surgically repaired and he is expected to make a full recovery.  If not for PugHearts he would be dead right now because somebody didn’t want to pay for his treatment and didn’t care enough about him to find him a new home rather than take him to a kill shelter.

This is why PugHearts exists.  But this is also why we desperately need your help.  PugHearts has rescued nearly 800 dogs in the past 4 years.  We have no way of knowing how many of those would not be alive today if it weren’t for us, but you can be sure it is more than a couple of hundred.

People like you have made it possible for us to save lives.  We need you to dig deep and help us continue our fight.   Please donate today to help us be able to accept any dog that needs us.

Please make a DONATION - Please!

Categories:   Fundraising
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PugHearts and Facebook

Friday, 1 July 2011 13:52 by richardc

We are changing the way we bring you updates. From this point on Facebook will be the location to find information on Events and day to day happenings at PugHearts. We ask that you take the time to join us on Facebook and ensure you are kept up to date.

The PugHearts website will continue to be the place to check on available dogs, successful adoptions and the very sad Rainbow bridge. We will also post more details information on events within the Blog, and donations and event ticket sales will also be handled here.

The move to Facebook Groups opens up PugHearts as community to one and all, a hub that will enable instant updates via the web, email and your phone. Its a move to the 21st century. Please join us.

Remember, if you do not want to join Facebook, then you will still see major updates within this Blog.

Cruelty is 24/7/365 - Please HELP!


Richard C
Webmaster – PugHearts of Houston Pug Rescue

Categories:   PugHearts
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Rescue Me Parade

Monday, 4 April 2011 21:03 by richardc

Last Saturday, PugHearts participated in the Rescue Me Parade at the Doggy Party on the Plaza at City Centre.

Our volunteers worked tirelessly to make an amazing float and we are very proud to announce that we won 2nd place! The prize? $2,600 in products such as $1,000 in pet food from Natural Pet Products and various gift certificates for veterinary specialists, boarding, and obedience training. 

Our float was made to raise puppy mill awareness and we had fun using our fosters as policemen and prisoners, with our puppy mill survivors following close behind. Here are some pictures!

Categories:   Events
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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.

Categories:   PugHearts
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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.