By Janet McAfee

The adorable Shih Tzu dog was brought into Loving All Animals by the Good Samaritan who found her as a stray running the street.  Her coat was matted, though she seemed to be well adjusted, liked other dogs and adored the staff and volunteers at the shelter.  Their veterinarian estimated her age as one year.  They named her Girlfriend since the neutered male pup she shared a yard with came in with the name of Boyfriend.  Girlfriend became very sad when Boyfriend was adopted.  She cheered up when another happy pup came into her yard for play and companionship.

Shih dogs are an extremely popular breed.  They are small, adorable, playful, and loving.  They are hypoallergenic and a favorite of people with allergies.  Being female and young put Girlfriend in even greater demand.  She could be the poster pup for homeless rescue dogs. Surprisingly, approximately 30% of the dogs in shelters appear to be pure breeds.

People pay thousands of dollars for Shih Tzu puppies when they can adopt one from a shelter or rescue for a nominal fee.  Prospective adopters may not realize that cute puppy they see online may never arrive after they pay a hefty deposit.  Out of sight, dogs can come from a puppy mill where the parent dogs are kept in cruel conditions without human touch or veterinary care.  I have received phone calls from heartbroken families who adopted sick puppies from breeders who required extensive medical care and even passed away.  Their phone calls were unanswered.  Motivated by high profits, some breeders neglect medical care and adopt puppies when they are too young to leave their mothers.


Bruce Beaston came to Loving All Animals looking for a dog to adopt. His wife Maribel Andrade was at work that day.  Understanding selecting a new dog needs to include everyone, Butch took videos of several pups and sent them to Maribel.  Who wouldn’t fall in love with Girlfriend’s sweet smile?  Girlfriend went to the top of the couple’s list, and Butch put in reservation to adopt her.

Butch and Maribel are “rescue warriors” with a history of helping homeless animals.  In2019 they transported 40 cats for Forever Meow to a shelter in Oregon where there was then a shortage of adoptable cats.  Their close friends, David and veterinarian Dr. Leigh Kirk, operated this respected local cat rescue.  Maverick, the couple’s other dog, came to them when Butch discovered him tangled in chicken wire in a broken section of the fence on the property they managed.  A medium sized Husky/German Shepherd blend, Maverick became their best friend.

Maribel was hoping to adopt a Shih Tzu and didn’t realize they could be found in shelters.  The couple came in together to LAA a couple days later. It was love at first hug when Girlfriend and Mirabel met.  Mirabel tells us, “When I arrived she ran towards me with such joy!  This pup is a kind soul who just wants to be loved.  We named her Sugar. She is blessing who just wants to be with you, so smart and well behaved.”  The wise pup sealed the deal with a kiss on her adoption day, January 30, 2023.

Butch reports, “Sugar is an unbelievable dog!  She and Maverick run like the wind together.  When I throw one toy, both Alpha dogs grab it and bring it back to me running and holding it together.”  The pair of pups chasing each other throughout their property are quite entertaining. Sweet Sugar has won everyone’s heart.

If you are looking for a specific breed or type of dog or cat to adopt, is an excellent place to start.   It allows you to enter your zip code, breed, and age range you seek, and rescue animals closest to your home will show up.  The list on the next page provides a list of shelters and private rescue organizations in the Inland Empire.  Contact Loving All Animals for advice on finding a pet at (760) 834-7000 and

Congratulations to Butch, Maribel, Maverick, and Sugar!  The addition of Sugar to their family has doubled the joy and doubled the love.