Author Archive

PRC to Benefit from Sales of New Book

PRC to Benefit from Sales of New Book

Miracle Dogs celebrates the rescuers and the dogs whose lives they’ve saved, a tribute to dog lovers everywhere as well as the canines that fill their lives with love. It’s filled with wonderful stories and photographs of dog rescuers, dog trainers, rescue organizations, and organizations that train assistance dogs for war veterans and the disabled.

Celebrity pet owners like Hoda Kotb, Chevy Chase, Lance Bass, Jamie Lynn Sigler, Amanda Hearst, Peter Marshall, and others share their stories of adopting dogs in need, while organizations like The Gentle Barn, Operation Heroes and Hounds, Friends of Finn, Gimme Shelter and Assistance Dogs of The West share uplifting stories of rescue animals who have gone on to help their humans live fuller and more independent lives.Each story features close-up and lifestyle portraits of the dog and their new family, followed by a concise, compelling narrative detailing the dog’s journey and new environment.

As a professional photographer, Liz Stavrinides spends much of her time on projects related to animal rescue. Miracle Dogs was born out of her desire to collect and share the stories of the dogs she’s met over the years, showcasing the incredible bravery and compassion of both canines and owners. Her portraits showcase beloved companions that were cast aside until they found owners who recognized their true worth, giving them a second chance to make a profound difference in the lives of others.

Miracle Dogs is an unforgettable collection of stories celebrating the meaningful and often miraculous lives of rescue dogs given a second chance. Readers cannot fail to be moved by stories like that of Wyatt, an assistance dog who helped a young boy with autism communicate with the outside world, and Fiona, who was found blind and starving in an alley and is now safe with her loving family. Stavrinides’ portraits are filled with emotion, love, and empathy, making this heartwarming collection a loving and poignant tribute to man’s best friend.

8 Reminders to Keep Your Dog Safe and Healthy in the Heat

8 Reminders to Keep Your Dog Safe and Healthy in the Heat

Summer is here, our pets are depending on us to take care of them.

  1. Never, ever leave your dog in the car
  2. Make sure your dog has unlimited access to fresh water
  3. Make sure your dog has access to shade when outside
  4. Take walks during the cooler hours of the day
  5. When walking, try to stay off of hot surfaces (like asphalt) because it can burn your dog’s paws
  6. If you think it’s hot outside, it’s even hotter for your pet – make sure your pet has a means of cooling off
  7. Keep your dog free of external parasites (fleas, ticks) and heartworms – consult your veterinarian about the best product for your pet
  8. Consider clipping or shaving dogs with long coats (talk to your veterinarian first to see if it’s appropriate for your pet), and apply sunscreen to your dog’s skin if she or he has a thin coat

Our 10,000th Dog Saved!

Our 10,000th Dog Saved!

Rex was the 10,000th dog we took in and recently adopted instead of facing a certain death.  Rex was at the Coachella Valley Animal Campus picked up as a stray.  For some reason he was not adopted and was listed for euthanasia.  We saw him on the CVAC website and knew he had to come to our slice of heaven.  I asked two volunteers to please go pull 7 dogs and he was one of the lucky pets.  He is a gem on the agility field and is working on not being the class clown.

The PRC Director Christine said “The sweet man in the picture has adopted 5 dogs from us over the 16 years I have been blessed doing my work. Richard and sexy Rexy will live happily ever after.”

Stories like this are why we do what we do.  If you would like to help save another life of a dog just like Rex, please make a donation of any amount on our website at the bottom of any page.

Spring Bling raises $75,000+ for Pet Rescue Center

Spring Bling raises $75,000+ for Pet Rescue Center

Self-proclaimed hippie Christine Madruga has morphed into a canine Florence Nightingale, healing and finding approved homes for over 9,000 homeless or abused dogs through her nonprofit, no-kill Pet Rescue Center in Coachella, which has dominated her life for over 16 years.

To continue funding her work, more than $75,000 was raised at the shelter’s “Spring Bling” luncheon held at the luxurious Hideaway Resort in La Quinta. DJ Dave provided smooth music on the club’s exclusive terrace where 30 white linen tables were set. Nearly 250 guests paid $125 for lunch tickets that included domed chopped salad topped with broiled chicken breast, plus champagne and fabulous shopping for chic fashions, jewelry, and handbags.

Madruga, the center’s founder and director, thanked her long-time fundraiser Melanie Scherer and her event committee Priscilla Avedon, Ginny Goodrich, Sheri Lane, Carmine Grifferty, Hilary Holt and Sue Murphy plus many dedicated volunteers.

“It does take a village to allow these broken dogs to… just be dogs,” Scherer said, adding her own thanks to the Hideaway clubhouse staff, friends, their husbands and Christine’s “silent angels” at the Center. “They are all phenomenal,” Scherer added.

Among the vendors donating 20 percent of sales was Palm Beach jewelry designer Stephanie Kantis who flew in to personally assist guests.

One of the afternoon’s happy-ending stories was the touching tale of a poodle mutt called “Jimmie Bob Crane,” rescued after being doused with acid. An old Indian remedy, slippery elm powder, helped heal him, as it has other animals. After rehabilitation, he was placed in a compatible Calgary, Canada, forever home.

The Pet Center’s vet, Dr. Eric Jackman of Desert Dunes Animal Hospital, was praised for providing hugely discounted spay, neuters and injury care for rescued dogs.

Summer is Coming!

Summer is Coming!

Summer is coming this month and we all know how and why we, as humans, should avoid excessive time in the sun. It’s just as important to protect our dogs from excessive time in the sun as it is for us. Many of us are not aware that even though a dog doesn’t have to be slathered with sunscreen as we may do to ourselves, certain key dog areas should be protected and a dog’s overall time in the sun should be taken into consideration.

Hairless breeds (such as a Chinese Crested) or dogs who’ve recently been shaved run a greater risk of being sunburned and possibly developing sun-induced tumors. Even hairy dogs dozing on their backs in the sun run the risk of getting burned on that vulnerable stretch of exposed skin between their hind legs which, in most breeds, is unprotected by hair. Also, a dog’s nose and snout are prone to sun-induced tumors–especially dogs with pink or pink-spotted snouts. So, be sure to provide ample shade for dogs–especially at midday–and don’t let any dog who loves being out in the sun stay out there too long.

Never apply zinc oxide to any part of your dog as it is toxic if licked off. Use any natural sunscreen labeled for animals with an SPF of 15 or higher.

Be aware that many popular brands of sunscreen we are familiar with may contain harmful chemicals and the ingestion of such may result in drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, and lethargy in pets.

If your dog does sustain a sunburn, give him or her a soothing, healing bath in cool water with some sort of therapeutic dog shampoo designed for that purpose. It’s a good idea to add a few drops of therapeutic oil to the bath water too. Consult your vet or a reputable pet store owner for further information regarding anything mentioned above.

What else can you do to protect your pet from some summer activities such as barbecuing and pool parties?

Keep citronella candles, insect coils, and oil products out of your pet’s reach. If ingested, these products can produce stomach irritation and possibly even central nervous system depression.

Always keep matches and lighter fluid out of your pet’s reach. Certain types of matches contain chlorates which if swallowed could result in difficulty breathing or, in severe cases, kidney disease.

Never leave alcoholic drinks unattended where pets can reach them. Alcoholic beverages can be poisonous to pets and your dog could become extremely weak, severely depressed, or possibly go into a coma if too much alcohol is ingested.

As with most things in life, being responsible, knowledgeable, and using common sense are some of the best defenses against any problems with pets or humans!

Dental Disease in Dogs

teethDental disease is the most commonly-diagnosed health problem in dogs and can lead to painful mouth infections. These infections can spread and cause other health problems; sometimes, in the most severe cases, these infections can become life-threatening. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), approximately 80% of dogs begin showing signs of dental disease by the time they turn three.

Food particles will naturally accumulate on and between tooth surfaces when your pet eats. Bacteria in the mouth digest these particles to form plaque which is the sticky yellow film seen on the teeth. As this infection spreads, dental disease starts.

When enough plaque builds up, these bacteria cause infection of the gums (gingivitis) which is often seen as a red line along the teeth. If enough time passes, plaque hardens to form tartar which binds the infection to the tooth surface and helps push bacteria and debris under the gum line. Periodontal disease is this deeper infection of the teeth and tooth roots which ultimately results in the loss of infected teeth.

Pets that exclusively eat hard food have fewer problems than pets that eat any amount of canned, semi-moist, or table foods. Food particles are constantly accumulating on the teeth, but soft food types seem to speed up the process as much as three times the normal rate.

Dirty teeth may smell and look bad, but the damage that you don’t see is much worse. The gum tissue has an extensive blood supply; and when periodontal infection starts, bacteria gets into your pet’s circulatory system and may eventually lead to heart, liver, kidney, bone/joint disease, and possible organ failure.

What can one do to identify and prevent dental problems in dogs?

•It is suggested by many veterinarians that you can get a good idea of what’s going on in your dog’s mouth by just looking at your dog’s gums. Healthy gums are pink, as opposed to red, and have no buildup of tartar along the gum line. In addition, a healthy mouth does not produce bad breath. Bad breath and possibly drooling or frequent licking may be the first signs of dental disease.

•Have your veterinarian perform an oral exam during each annual visit. Older dogs should be given special attention as they can get abscesses with no easily-visible signs. There is the possibility that your dog may have to be sedated in order for a thorough examination to be performed.

•Try to brush you dog’s teeth on a regular basis. Start slowly by simply handling your dog’s mouth several times a day. After your dog is comfortable with this, try brushing the outside surfaces of the teeth with your finger, a wet gauze sponge, or even a small toothbrush. If your dog is comfortable with this, start using some type of paste or solution when brushing. Use a flavored toothpaste made especially for dogs–not your own toothpaste. Using your own toothpaste is not a good idea as most human products are high in detergent content which is not good for dogs as they can’t rinse and spit after brushing as we can.

•It is recommend that you feed your dog only dry hard chow as this will greatly slow the buildup of plaque. Any amount of soft food fed may mean that more professional care will be needed. In addition to brushing, treats and rawhide chew toys can help maintain your dog’s dental health. Look for a treat with a seal of approval from the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) as it’s guaranteed to be a good dental treat or food.

You can protect your dog’s teeth just like you protect your own with daily brushing and regular checkups. The major difference between your dental health and your dog’s is that your dog can’t tell you about any dental problems going on so you have to be responsible and check your dog’s mouth regularly. Prevention is the key with dental disease and one should consider beginning a dental routine with your dog as soon as possible. If you put as much emphasis on taking care of your dog’s teeth as you do your own, then dental disease shouldn’t be a problem. Remember: “Prevention Pays. Neglect Costs.”