Rescue seeks foster parents for holistic Pugs

A local Pug rescue operation uses a holistic approach in dealing with its clients, and is on the constant lookout for foster or permanent homes for its Pugs.

Music City Pug Rescue (MCPR) was started five years ago by Rita Hogan and some of her Pug-loving friends. Hogan, who lives near Cookeville, Tenn., also owns Almost Home Pet Farm with her partner, Maureen.

“MCPR is a unique rescue in that we deal with all of the rescues holistically,” Hogan explained. “Each Pug that comes into rescue is given a comprehensive checkup that involves not only physical health but mental and environmental health.”

Hogan, who serves as president of MCPR, explained that many of the physical problems that their group sees in rescue Pugs are dealt with by feeding the Pugs a holistic food, clean water, and supplements to boost their immune system and increase their digestive health.  

“Our goal is to decrease their physical and mental stress levels and get them healthy again,” she said.

MCPR also works closely with a local veterinarian to ensure that each Pug is taken care of appropriately. 

“We just use the least invasive treatments first and then look to pharmaceuticals only when they are needed,” Hogan said.

MCPR is an all volunteer organization, including volunteer Stachia Graham, who serves as foster coordinator and works to place Pugs with appropriate foster families.

“Without qualified fosters, MCPR would be unable to take in any Pug that needed our help,” Graham said. “The typical foster family has their Pug one to two months and MCPR provides everything a foster might need  - like dog boarding when people go out of town, food, treats, medicine and vet care.”

Foster parents also work with a certified positive Pug trainer, Peg Harrington of The Happy Hound Nashville, to ensure their foster families have someone to call when behavior questions come up.  

“We want them to know we are in this together and we are always here to help them,” Graham said.  

In the past five years, MCPR has rescued more than 200 Pugs. This year has proved to be one of the busiest in part due to people giving up their animals because of job loss and other economic strains.

As a result, the group seeks donations from individuals to help provide the care the Pugs need.

“MCPR is solely supported by public donations,” Hogan said. “We encourage people to give what they can even if it is $5 a month.”

Hogan said the group is a 501(c) 3 non-profit, making each donation tax deductible.

“Locally, HCA and Dell have MCPR listed as one of their charities that employees can choose to give to,” Hogan said. “We are also listed on Ebay charities so that anyone selling merchandise can give a portion of their sales to MCPR.”

Don’t have any money to give? Donations of new and used harnesses, leashes, small to medium sized crates, blankets, and towels are always appreciated. Hogan said the group also welcomes anyone who wanted to help by volunteering.

“If someone wants to help, we can find something they like to do,” she said. “Most volunteers give one to two hours per week and most things can be done at home."

If you are interested in becoming a foster parent, adopting a Pug, or volunteering, you can visit or email

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