In 1998, Christine Madruga started a non-profit organization with only four cages in the back of Valley Animal Clinic, because she saw homeless, abandoned and abused animals in the Coachella Valley who needed a savior. Eventually, those four cages grew into what is now the Pet Rescue Center, located in Coachella, California, which rescues and cares for the Valley’s homeless animals. Over the last 21 years, Christine and her team of volunteers have saved and placed more than 10,000 animals into new forever homes. This fall, Christine is hanging up her leash and retiring, leaving The Pet Rescue Center in the very capable “paws” of Loving All Animals.
“The addition of a shelter facility will assist us in saving more lives.” —Mike Phipps-Russell, Executive Director
When asked why she is choosing now to retire, Christine shared: “My mom died last year, and before she left she made me pinky promise to slow down, so I’m keeping my promise. I decided Loving All Animals really needed a facility, and I know they have the financial capability and people power to keep the center going.”
In 2017, Loving All Animals placed 204 dogs and 92 cats into forever homes.
Christine said she has known Mike Russell, president of Loving All Animals, for many years, and he was her first and only choice to “take the leash” and continue her work. “It was a complete surprise to us,” said Mike Russell. “A complete surprise, but a huge honor. Loving All Animals is excited for this new chapter in saving the lives of homeless animals in the Coachella Valley.” Russell says Loving All Animals intends to utilize the Pet Rescue Center space to house both cats and dogs, and provide rehabilitation services for hard-to-place animals.
Loving All Animals reports, “In 2017, Loving All Animals placed 204 dogs and 92 cats into forever homes, and we are on track to surpass that achievement this year. The addition of a shelter facility will be a huge asset in helping us expand our services to the East Valley. Having a place to shelter animals in addition to family foster homes will allow us the flexibility to meet the individual needs of each animal and increase successful pet adoptions.”
Loving All Animals will retain a satellite office in the Palm Desert region to continue serving that area and to coordinate and expand the Mobile Mutts and Whiskers & Purrs foster/adoption programs.
Christine Madruga says, “It feels good to know that your dream will live on and to know this place will remain an animal sanctuary. I am looking forward to spending time with my family and my animals and having the ability to travel. But I will miss the day to day at the shelter.”
Before she leaves, Christine will over-see two more adoptions. Snoopy and Lula, two senior dogs who have called Pet Rescue Center home for many years, will go home with Christine to start their new chapter, as well.