By Janet McAfee
When you love dogs, you never know what amazing roads they may lead you down. Patricia “Patt” Savastano owns and operates Spoiled Dog Designs, a creative Coachella Valley business that caters to dog lovers and their beloved canines.
Patt’s business was inspired by her first tiny Chihuahua, Angelo. Angelo was often cold, and it was difficult to find harnesses and coats to properly fit his tiny 6-pound frame. When she could find a nice warm outfit to fit Angelo, it didn’t fit well underneath a harness when they ventured outdoors for a walk. Patt decided to sew an outfit and harness that together would comfortably fit Angelo. She’d grown up sewing her own clothes as a child. A business was launched in 2008 when Patt’s friends and family admired Angelo’s stylish wardrobe and requested outfits for their own pets.
Spoiled Dog Designs’ lovely creations are a colorful fixture at a weekend booth at the College of the Desert Street Fair. However, with the COVID-19 epidemic, the college Street Fair temporarily closed becoming another casualty. Patt recalls, “It was early March when the Street Fair closed. I panicked and wondered what I would do for the next 8 months. At that time all the available face masks were kept for the medical professionals. Then I realized I’ve got lots of fabric and sewing machines. Not only did I put a lot of unemployed people to work, but our supply of masks kept more people healthy. The demand was so great we began shipping masks all over the United States and Canada.”
Patt started designing and sewing matching human masks and dog harnesses in an extensive array of colors and patterns. Donned in one of these matching sets, you can stylishly venture outdoors, keep yourself safe, and have Fido be part of a quarantine break. As dog parks and hiking trails reopen, these colorful masks & harnesses remind folks about the need for social distancing. This is also a great way to get noticed, meet other dog lovers, and make new friends. The vast majority of dogs would like nothing more than to be part of those excursions. You and Fido wearing a matching mask and harness will surely bring a smile to the faces of folks you encounter.
The pandemic will one day end, and the events that make our Coachella Valley famous will return. Some events include dogs dressing in style, such as Le Chien during Fashion Week. Raising money for animal welfare charities, the Le Chien models strut down the runway accompanied with fabulously dressed canines outfitted by Spoiled Dog Designs. Patt also created the costumes for the Loving All Animals’ fundraiser, Fabulous Fur Follies, where the dogs were outfitted as Las Vegas show girls in tribute to the Palm Springs Follies.
Are you planning a wedding? What could make your special day even more special than including a pup or two in the wedding party? Patt has designed many outfits for canine ring bearers and flower girls that match the outfits of the human attendants. She can design a special unique outfit that enables your precious pup to be a super star at any event.
What about cats? Not all felines are thrilled about dressing up. However, there is a demand for specially sized cat harnesses as the shape of cats’ bodies can dramatically differ. Spoiled Dog Designs has one regular customer in Australia who has an “adventure cat” who enjoys nature hikes that require a secure harness.
Patt tells about her unique sizing feature, “To fit all dogs no matter what breed, size, or figure, we created a size chart for the basic sizes. If your dog does not fit into these ranges, or has a special figure, no problem, we’ll make the item just for him/her. Our custom sizing feature on our product pages allows you to add your dog’s measurements. We take the fit worry out of ordering.”
This is one local business we want to support! I could spend hours perusing the wonderful items on the website www.spoileddogdesigns.com. I ordered a supply of their baseball fabric masks for my sports fanatic brother. My dog selected one of their pretty summer print dresses. Patt’s creativity knows no bounds or size limits. She once created a black cocktail dress for a Great Dane participating in an AKC show. Another interesting product was a George Washington outfit for a dog participating in a historical July 4th event. The business has an active Facebook page “Spoiled Dog Designs”. You can contact them by phone at (760) 482-1877.
Here is a partial list of public shelters and private rescue organizations in the Inland Empire. Due to the high volume of recent adoptions, some of them may not have a lot of animals on a given day. You can also go on www.petfinder.com and enter your zip code and the type of rescue dog or cat you seek.
COACHELLA VALLEY ANIMAL CAMPUS – This large county shelter is closed but you can call for an appointment to adopt. You can view the animals at all 4 Riverside county shelters at www.rcdas.org, and get the ID number of the animal you want to meet. Email them with the animal’s ID number at email@example.com and call (760) 343-3644. Located at 72050 Pet Land Place, Thousand Palms. (Public)
PALM SPRINGS ANIMAL SHELTER – The shelter is closed but you can call for an appointment to adopt. They schedule appointments Wednesday through Monday, closed on Tuesday. View their animals online at www.psanimalsshelter.org, 4575 E. Mesquite Ave, Palm Springs, (760) 416-5718. (Public)
ANIMAL SAMARITANS – The shelter is closed but you can call for an appointment to adopt. View their animals at www.animalsamaritans.org. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to foster. Located at 72307 Ramon Rd, Thousand Palms, (760) 601-3918. (Private)
CALIFORNIA PAWS RESCUE – The shelter is closed but you can call for an appointment to adopt. Located at 73650 Dinah Shore, Palm Desert. View their animals at www.californiapawsrescue.com, (760) 656-8833. (Private)
HUMANE SOCIETY OF THE COACHELLA VALLEY – The shelter is closed but you can call for an appointment to adopt a dog or cat. View their animals at www.orphanpet.com. Located at 17825 N. Indian Canyon, Palm Springs, (760) 329-0203. (Private)
KITTYLAND – The shelter is closed so call for an appointment to adopt a cat. Located at 67600 18th Avenue, Desert Hot Springs, www.kittylandrescue.org, (760) 251-2700. (Private)
FOREVER MEOW – Foster based rescue for cats located in Rancho Mirage. Contact them through website www.ForeverMeow.org, or call (760) 335-6767. (Private)
LOVING ALL ANIMALS – The shelter is closed but you can call for an appointment to adopt. Located at 83496 Avenue 51, Coachella, www.lovingallanimals.org, (760) 834-7000. (Private)
MORONGO BASIN HUMANE SOCIETY – Located at 4646 Sun View Rd, Joshua Tree, www.mbhumanesociety.com, call between 11am-4pm for updates (760) 366-3786 (Private)
CITY OF SAN BERNARDINO ANIMAL SHELTER – Shelter is closed but you can call for an appointment to adopt. Hours for adoption 10am – 4pm Tuesday thru Sat. Google “City of San Bernardino Animal Shelter” for website to view animals and get the ID number of the animal you want to meet. Located at 333 Chandler Place, San Bernardino, (909) 384-1304 or (909) 384-7272. (Public)
SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY ANIMAL SHELTER AT DEVORE – Shelter closed but you can call for an appointment to adopt. Call (909) 386-9280 daily between 9am & 5pm. View animals at www.sbcounty.gov/acc and get the ID number of animal you want to meet. Located at 19777 Shelter Way, San Bernardino (Public).
DREAM TEAM ANGELS RESCUE – Foster based rescue located in Grand Terrace/San Bernardino area. Contact them through website www.DreamTeamangelsrescue.com, (360) 688-8884. (Private)