We are thrilled to turn the spotlight on Guardian Angels Pug Rescue for our new Featured Rescue. Guardian Angels was one of the first Pug rescues on the east coast. Founded in 1987 and still going strong today, Guardian Angels Pug Rescue saves Pugs, Pug mixes and Pugwannabes (a term they affectionately call any dog that isn’t a Pug) when space allows. Also, Guardian Angels Pug Rescue aids in educating the public on proper animal/pet care and what is expected from an owner in regular daily care, veterinary care and emergency care.
Guardian Angels covers Pennsylvania, parts of Ohio, WV, MD, NY, surrounding areas as needed and as space allows. They have saved hundreds of pugs during the over 30 years since Patti Levay founded the organization. One of their greatest success stories is Wobbie the Pug. According to Patti, “Wobbie was born in a Mennonite Puppy Mill in Ohio, where she was destined to die a horrible death as she was born with hydrocephalus. After telling friends that I was full, and please don’t call me if they find any Pugs in this mill that needs rescued as my heart would break knowing I didn’t have the room, I received a photo text from my friend. In the text was a photo of the tiniest Pug, with the largest head I’ve ever seen.” Her friend mentioned the little pug was on her way to be euthanized. Patti immediately called her and had her friend being the pug to her.
“The little one would topple over as the weight of her head pulled her tiny body forward or sideways knocking the poor puppy to the ground. I had to help, I agreed to take her into my rescue and seek help for her. I named her Wobbie (pronounced Wuubie) because this is the sound she made when she tried to bark, it also reminded me of her being off balance.” The local neurologist reported that there wasn’t much hope. “She shouldn’t have survived as long as she did as Wobbie only has 1/4″ live brain tissue at the base of her skull and 1/8′ live brain tissue at the top and she had an open fontanel; meaning any bump to the head could kill her.
“The rest of her skull was full of spinal fluid. Surgery would be too risky as she wasn’t strong enough to survive, so they put her on meds and I drove the 4 1/2 hour drive back home with Wobbie. Then the meds they put her on lowered her immune system, causing pneumonia, again I drove to OSU with Wobbie almost dying in my lap, and again, they didn’t think she would survive. however, I knew little Wobbie is a fighter, so I told them do everything they could, she would pull through.. A few days later I made the drive again to go pick up Wobbie. Today she still has seizures from time to time from the hydrocephalus, but she is now 6 years old!! Wobbie has beaten the odds, she is a fighter, a survivor! I love this little puppy mill rescue!!”
Like many other organization s, the biggest challenge Guardian Angels faces is getting the money to continue to Rescue properly. “This involves not only the initial rescue, but the veterinary bills. Especially for the special needs Rescues or the injured or abused, neglected Rescues I take into Rescue. The initial veterinary visit costs from $45 – $58 just to walk through the door depending on which veterinary practice will take the Rescue on short notice. This is not to mention all the money spent on vaccines, heartworm tests, blood work ups, x-rays, spays and neutering and, when I am able, micro-chipping! Then there are the daily expenses of food, medicines, and keeping the shelter clean and repairs made as needed to make sure we can keep the rescues safe, comfortable and happy.”
Everyone has their reasons for starting, running or volunteering for a rescue. Patti has some very strong thoughts about what drives her. “If you want to do rescue, do it for the right reason – to save the animals and not for the so called glory, for praise or for bragging rights. It is hard, time consuming, heart wrenching and heart breaking at times, yet the rewards you feel in your heart when you know you saved that animal is the best feeling in the world. Knowing the unconditional love I receive from each Rescue I’ve helped… to feel the rescue sigh and relax, knowing the rescue knows it is finally safe… that feeling is unmatched by anything else.”
If you want to help Guardian Angels in their continued mission to save as many pugs as they can, please consider sending them a donation. Money is always needed, but if you’re local, and you wish to donate your time, Patti would welcome inquires about what physical help they need. Just a few hours a week could make the biggest difference in a pug’s life.
Guardian Angels Pug Rescue is based out of Latrobe, PA and you can contact Patti via e-mail.