Pawlicious Poochie Pet Rescue (PPPR) is a Florida-based 501(c)3 nonprofit rescue animal organization catering to senior, special needs, end-of-life and critical care pets. Their mission statement is, “Giving the unwanted a second chance at happily furever after.”
Founder Jaime Bunny McKnight not only rescues stray and abandoned animals, but also saves elderly shelter pets from the euthanasia list and rehabilitates them in her very own home. PPPR has been featured on BayNews9 and Fox13News.
Recently the Daily Biscuit got to chat with PPPR founder, Jaime Bunny McKnight.
The Daily Biscuit: It’s so great what you do for elderly rescue pets often overlooked at shelters. Tell us more about PPPR and the organization’s mission.
Pawlicious Poochie Pet Rescue: I save the ones other rescues may not and invest $1,000-$6,000 per dog just to save them and that includes critical care, major surgeries, dental surgeries, ultrasounds, x-rays and whatever it takes to save them. I rescue the old, dying, critically ill and handicapped.
DB: What inspired you to create Pawlicious Poochie Pet Rescue?
PPPR: I started this rescue three years ago with Lucy, a senior Italian Greyhound. She was an owner surrender. Her old owner wanted to euthanize Lucy because she could not afford the $150 in vet care that Lucy needed. I took Lucy in and got her everything she needed and we started PPPR on a front porch, collecting food donations for a local shelter and handing out pink cookies to those that donated. Lucy was by my side as PPPR grew and tragically she was diagnosed with lung cancer and lost her battle last year. Everyone loved Lucy and people came from all over the state to say “goodbye” to her as I celebrated her last “BEST” day on my PPPR Facebook page.
DB: How has PPPR changed or evolved since it began in 2013?
PPPR: PPPR has grown from local supporters to national supporters. PPPR has over 54,000 followers on Facebook and has been featured all over TV and in many publications. But one thing remains the same, it is just me doing it all. I work two full-time jobs and a part-time job at my vet clinic (to pay down rescue debt) and I run my rescue. No volunteers and no fosters. This is why PPPR is so successful.
DB: What are some of the challenges you’ve faced while running the organization?
PPPR: Raising donations to save these critically ill dogs is always a challenge. As PPPR has grown and become so reputable, the overall response from the public at times is hard to manage with all the requests to save dogs, emails/calls/texts for advice, etc. It’s overwhelming at times because I make myself so accessible and sometimes the public can take advantage.
DB: Do you have an anecdote about a particular animal rescue experience that has really moved you? Please share!
PPPR: Luna a 7-year-old chihuahua I recently rescued from Miami shelter’s kill list. All four of her legs are deformed from over breeding. She was a puppy mill dog that was kept in a cage and bred. She had C-section scars all over her stomach. She was dumped on the street due to not producing more pups and animal control picked her up. I saved her moments before being euthanized. She cannot walk and will never walk. She is missing bones, joints and tendons. When she arrived, her mouth was filled with rotten/infected teeth, she had hair loss, she had ticks all over her body and in her ears and she was a mess. I got her dental surgery, spayed her and fixed her hernia and I have cared for her ever since. I am her legs and her everything. She does not know she can’t walk, and she’s the most amazing soul I have ever met. I take her everywhere with me and spoil her rotten. America has truly fallen in love with Luna, and PPPR’s supporters come from all over to meet her when I am at events. She has truly touched many, near and far. She is beyond special.
DB: What is your favorite thing about rescuing animals?
PPPR: Seeing the hope and “sparkle” come back into their once broken eyes … that keeps me inspired to fight for these precious souls.
DB: What do you hope PPPR will achieve in the near future? In the long term?
PPPR: I hope to one day open a true “no kill” shelter and one that caters to the old dogs. A retirement home for senior dogs. This shelter would be like no other. It would be bright, cheerful, lots of sunshine, green grass and everything would be pink and sparkly. It would be Pawlicious!
DB: What do you wish other people knew about Pawlicious Poochie Pet Rescue? Is there something that surprises most when they first learn about the organization?
PPPR: Many are surprised to learn I work two full-time jobs and a part-time job at my vet clinic and run my rescue. I truly pour my heart and soul and every penny into PPPR … and it shows.
DB: Is there anything else you would like to share about PPPR?
PPPR: I truly believe we all have a purpose in life and my purpose was simply to rescue dogs and all animals that need me. I feel I have been so blessed, both big and small, and it’s important to give back and I really want to make a difference while I am alive. I feel like I am making a difference and I see it in the eyes of those I rescue.
Visit the Pawlicious Poochie Pet Rescue website at pawliciouspoochie.com.
Download Rescue Dogs Movie on iTunes today!