About Us

Pet Place International, Inc. (PPI), is a 501c(3) non-profit animal rescue, sanctuary, and therapeutic riding program (Great Strides) located near Joshua Tree, California.

Our mission is to rescue abandoned/shelter, abused and at-risk dogs, cats, and horses. We spay/neuter, vaccinate, train, and socialize our rescue animals, making them ready for adoption into qualified, loving homes.

We live at the rescue ranch along with all of our animals. In addition to scheduled adoption events, we utilize all genres of media, including appearances on K-Cal 9 and KTAL News, local radio programs, newspaper, magazine write-ups, and social media to find homes for our rescued animals.

Sister horse loves a scratch

Twelve of our rescued horses have found a permanent home at PPI Rescue Ranch, where they are trained to be an integral part of our therapeutic riding program (Please see details regarding Great Strides Therapeutic Riding Center).

Our hearts especially go out to senior animals. PPI provides a loving sanctuary to senior dogs, cats, horses, goats, alpacas, pigs, emus, and fowl. These sweet animals will stay with us at PPI Rescue Ranch to live out their days with ever-present TLC.

Currently the level of dog and cat euthanasia in the U.S. is at an all-time high, primarily due to a poor economy. Approximately 70% of shelter dogs and 88% of cats are euthanized due to lack of space. Most of the animals are kept in “kill” shelters for only a few days; dogs and cats with special needs, illness, or injury have even less time. Our goal is to save as many at-risk shelter dogs and cats as possible, and continue to expand our rescue efforts exponentially every month and year.

Pet Place International offers animal rescue relief to disaster areas (See Hurricane Harvey page for more information) and is a designated evacuation center for displaced animals during emergencies. Our Rescue Ranch is situated on six acres and has multiple state-of-the-art dog kennels; plenty of space for dogs to run freely; a twelve-horse barn; an enclosed riding area; outdoor arenas; and a cozy kitty room.

Our History

Our founder and president of PPI, Joan Grandizio started actively contributing to animal welfare needs while operating a dog grooming business. She created a wall calendar featuring her groomed dogs, the sales of which garnered funds to donate to various animal rescue organizations.

How did we get our name? Joan Grandizio created an Animal Product Directory designed to help raise funds for rescue. It was called Pet Place International Pet Directory. In 2008, PPI became a non-profit, boots on the ground, hands-on animal rescue! Since its inception, PPI has rescued and placed thousands of animals. We currently provide a healthy, loving environment to dogs, cats, pigs, horses, and a donkey — and the new kids on the block (See below). Until they get their forever home, they are safe, healthy, loved, and happy with us at the PPI Rescue Ranch.

As animal stewards, it is our goal to educate, help prevent cruelty and neglect to animals, and bring awareness to children and all members of the community regarding animal welfare issues; and to provide for the health and well-being of animals with an emphasis on saving lives, and spay/neutering to help eradicate pet overpopulation and euthanasia.

In a struggling economy, many horse owners cannot afford to properly care for their horses; and horses that are not winning on the track are eventually auction and slaughter-house bound. These regal animals deserve to live out their lives with dignity and respect. PPI rescues these at-risk horses, restoring their health, training them, and making them ready for placement into qualified forever-homes.

Love 1 Love All - photos of puppy, baby pig, baby lamb, and calf.

As vegans, our concern reaches beyond companion animals. We lobby and advocate with fervent activism to educate the public and bring about change regarding the cruelty of factory farming. Consuming factory-farmed animals is not only unnecessary to sustain one’s health (to the contrary), it is harmful to our planet. We encourage everyone to sign every petition that advocates for ethical, compassionate, and dignified treatment of all animals world-wide; and to adopt a plant-based vegan diet. It’s our job to make the world a better place; moreover, it’s our job to be an attentive, caring, voice for the voiceless.

PPI’s Great Strides Therapeutic Riding Program

This program marries our rescued and trained horses with persons who have special needs, to create a therapeutic riding experience that helps horses and people to thrive. Great Strides offers classes that focus on a broad range and combination of disabilities. These classes fall under the general term “therapeutic riding,” but each class is a detailed program to address the individual’s needs. For example, physical rehabilitation classes are designed for riders with impairments affecting muscles, bones, and nerves. These classes use the imput of the horse, activities on the horse, and positioning on the horse, to improve strength, balance, and coordination.

Cognitive classes see to improve the many processes of the mind, including planning, judgement, memory, orientation, concepts, attention, and language.

Sensory processing classes provide activities on the horse to improve the brain’s ability to take in, analyze, and respond to information from the body’s five senses. The primary goals of these classes are increased body awareness, sequencing and judgement skills, attention span, cause and effect, motor coordination, spatial awareness, and early learning and social skills.

Pet Place International, Inc. holds annual fundraisers and does all grant writing in-house.