Animal rescue looks for homes for dogs stranded during natural disasters

Joan Grandizio played with a cat that was recently rescued on their cross-county trip. PPI rescued five black cats in Texas on their way back from Florida. The trip was right around Halloween so PPI wanted to protect the black cats, who are often targeted around the holiday.

LANDERS — Animal rescuers from Pet Place International went on a cross-country road trip last month to Texas and Florida to take in animals found in the wake of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Dorian. Now they’re back with about 25 new animals that are ready for adoption. 

PPI is a nonprofit animal rescue based in Landers. The rescue takes up two properties — one for dogs, cats and a few other miscellaneous pets and one for farm animals and horses.

Joan Grandizio, the head of PPI, headed out with her team on Oct. 15 to Big Dog Ranch in Loxahatchee, Florida. Big Dog Ranch Rescue is the largest cage-free, no-kill dog rescue in the United States. It is bringing in hundreds of dogs from the Bahamas in the wake of Hurricane Dorian and is also still bringing in dogs from Puerto Rico.

Grandizio said she and her team were able to take 20 dogs from the shelter.

“We tried to bring back dogs that Big Dog Ranch was having a hard time placing, like senior dogs or dogs with special needs,” Grandizio said. “Here they have a better chance to be adopted and if they’re not, then they have a sanctuary.’

Among the dogs were a few special cases. Grandizio’s team rescued Cherry and Max, a bonded pair that made their way to the Big Dog Ranch all the way from China.

“They even have their own dog passports,” Grandizio said.

Cherry is a 5-year-old blind Akita mix and Max, a 1-year-old Pomeranian mix, is her seeing eye dog. Both dogs are fixed, up-to-date on their shots and available for adoption.

Also rescued on the trip was Laverne, a senior terrier mix who rode in the back seat of the car all the way back from Florida. Laverne is an 11-year-old girl who can be a little shy at first but loves people and snuggles, Grandizio said.

Luna, an 8-year-old Lab mix, had been at the Big Dog Ranch for about five years and Grandizio said her goal is to get her placed with a family. Luna loves toys and snuggling with people but would prefer a home without rough play.

After Florida, the rescue team made their way over to a Texas shelter, where they took five cats to bring home to Pet Place International. Grandizio said they adopted out all of the shelter’s black cats because black cats are notoriously the hardest ones to place and because they arrived at the shelter right before Halloween.

After Texas, the team made its way back to Landers with all of the animals, who have since received medical care and are in good shape.

Cherry, Max, Luna, Laverne and over a dozen other dogs will be available at an adoption event from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at Tractor Supply in Yucca Valley.

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