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Get to Know: Pug Nation Rescue

By Colleen Williams
June 5, 2018 • 2 min. read

In April 2018, the Healthy Paws Foundation announced the second run of our grant program, The Healthy Paws Rescue Race, funded through our “every quote gives hope” program. After six selected animal welfare organizations “raced” to the finish line, the foundation gave $50,000 total in grants: the top receiver of votes won $20,000, second place won $10,000 and four finalists each took home $5,000. Provided below is the tale of our runner-up winner – Pug Nation Rescue of Los Angeles, California.

Pug Nation Rescue of Los Angeles is a non-profit organization dedicated to the rescue, care, and placement of abandoned, neglected, unwanted, displaced, and abused pugs. Every year, the rescue saves and finds homes for hundreds of loving pugs from the streets of Southern California. “Our goal is to find every homeless pug a forever home; if we cannot do that, we pledge to provide a comfortable and loving place for sick or unwanted pugs to live out their lives,” says Gwenn Vallone, Director and CEO.

Rescued pug Elsa today.

The rescue includes a board of seven and numerous volunteers who are passionate about Pug Rescue and live by the organization’s motto: One Pug at a Time. “We feel that through our efforts we can change many of these forgotten pugs’ lives,” continues Gwenn.

One such story with a remarkable turning point is Elsa, a pug who came to Pug Nation after being hit by a car and her pet parents couldn’t help her. “When we picked her up, the poor girl was in such pain she was crying. She could barely lift her head, had a badly damaged eye, broken pelvis, broken rib and later, after an MRI, we discovered the back of her skull was also broken and her brain was swollen,” explains Gwenn.

Elsa received full medical treatment for her injuries and convalesced at the rescue. Her eye has since healed and she had femoral head osteotomy (FHO) surgery to fix her pelvis, among her other conditions. Gwenn continues: “We started doing light hydrotherapy and physical therapy with her at the station in our dog bath and this brave little girl started not only standing but took a few steps!” Miraculously, she began to heal, and she can now walk, trot and is doing great. “Even better, she was adopted and her transformation from a little broken, sad body to a beautiful girl full of personality and life has been amazing to witness. She is absolutely loved and cherished in her forever home and will always be considered one of our miracle babies!”

Pugs like Elsa come through Pug Nation all the time and their service to the Los Angeles area. Their goal is to find every homeless pug a forever home; if they cannot do that, their pledge is to provide a comfortable and loving place to live out their lives. It’s a tall order, and they rely on the generosity of their supporters through donations and participation in our fundraising activities. With the Healthy Paws grant of $10,000, they’ll continue to support rescued pugs with vet treatments, medicine and loving care at the Pug Station with the goal of finding these dogs the best, loving homes they so deserve.

Visit the Healthy Paws Rescue Race page to learn more about the other participating organizations that qualified for grants and check back here on the blog to read about each organization!



colleen williams
By Colleen Williams

Over the past decade, Colleen has written about health, wellness, beauty, and even pets for The New York Times, The Cut, Refinery29, xoVain, Healthy Paws Pet Insurance, and Seattle Met Magazine, as well as many beauty brands. She has a BFA in Art History from the University of New Mexico and an AAS in Fashion Design from Parsons School of Design in New York.

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