Did you know that Houston PetSet provides grants to 70+ Greater Houston animal welfare organizations each year? Our new “Rescue Feature Friday” series highlights one of our amazing partners so that you can learn more about the nonprofits that work so hard every day to end animal homelessness and suffering. 

Today, we’re excited to feature PugHearts! PugHearts has been a recipient of our grant program since 2016. With funding from our grant, PugHearts is able to offset the costs of proper veterinary care associated with the rescue, rehabilitation, and fostering of the pugs and pug mixes in their rescue.

Keep reading on to learn about the work PugHearts does #ForTheAnimals! 

  • What is the mission of PugHearts? PugHearts of Houston is a non-profit rescue dedicated to giving unwanted and neglected Pugs a second chance. It is staffed by a network of volunteers in and around the greater Houston, TX area. Any pug, at any age, in any condition, anytime!

  • When was your organization established? February 14, 2007
  • How did you become involved in your organization and what is your current role? Kristyna Lovell, Unpaid Volunteer: I first adopted from the organization in 2015 and then joined in as a foster in 2016. I was volunteer of the year in 2020 and help manage several of our social media platforms as well as our focus dog program, which helps us get better photos and bring attention to dogs that have been overlooked in foster care.
  • Do you work with your organization as a paid or volunteer, full-time or part-time member? I am an unpaid volunteer, all of our volunteers are in fact unpaid.
  • What keeps you motivated to continue your work? I see the lives we get to change every single day. We have turned situations around where even the vets thought there was no hope. PugHearts does not cherry-pick, they will truly take any pug regardless of how difficult or hopeless the situation is and they get treated like personal pets. No expense is spared when it comes to their vet care. I love making a difference in an ethical organization. I have now fostered over 100 dogs and watching them go from neglectful or abusive situations through healing all the way to a joyful forever is an incredible feeling.

  • What are you most proud of accomplishing? Aside from the incredible 3,550 pugs the rescue has saved to date, I am proud of how far the message of PugHearts reaches now. We are currently caring for a 3-year-old Frenchie who is terminal. We knew this when we took him in but we wanted him to have some dignity in the end. He is dying of heartworms, a cheaply preventable condition. His story has helped raise awareness far beyond Texas and it is our hope that spreading the word will spare others from this sad fate. PughHearts is a community and a family. Our page is like our living room. You can come in and ask for advice, support, or sympathy when you go through hard times. We will always be there.
  • What is something about your organization that the average person might not know? PugHearts is a foster-based rescue only. We do not have a facility and all of our dogs are placed in foster homes that are spread from Galveston all the way to Livingston. Another interesting fact is that PugHearts recently helped save over 30 pugs from China who would have ended up in the meat trade otherwise. We were able to do this over a short period of time, never compromising local intake. It speaks volumes about the volunteers’ dedication.

  • Describe your vision for the future of animal welfare in Greater Houston. We hope for better animal protection laws so that one day we can be a city free of kill shelters. We contribute by taking in pugs and pug mixes from shelters to create as much room for new intakes as possible. We also educate about the dangers of buying dogs on Craigslist and not going through a rescue or doing thorough research about the breeder.

Thank you, PugHearts, for all you do! 

*Photos courtesy of PugHearts*