Sunny Oasis Rescue

Michele Shoemaker is not just an animal lover. She is that, and so much more. She is an extraordinary woman who took her passion for the well-being of dogs and elevated it to a kind of commitment in action that inspires all who come in contact with her and her wonderful organization.

Jessica Peck and Michele Shoemaker with rescued dogs.

Sunny Oasis Rescue is a non-profit dog rescue organization based in Riverside. In the nearly four years since Michele began this endeavor, they have rescued, rehabilitated and placed hundreds of dogs who would have otherwise been euthanized. The organization is staffed entirely by dedicated volunteers whose love of animals inspires their service. Although they specialize in dachshunds, they are an all-breed rescue.

Sunny Oasis rescues, rehabilitates and finds permanent home placements for 75-100 dogs per year. They provide necessary medical treatment, vaccinations, spaying and neutering, and correction of behavioral problems.

One of the things that makes this organization unique is that none of their dogs are ever housed in crates or kennels. They are fostered in-home by volunteers and extensively evaluated before they are placed with a permanent home, thus minimizing the chances of the dogs being returned. Sunny Oasis also works hand in hand with Riverside Animal Control in an attempt to rescue and rehabilitate strays. The dogs they rescue are placed all over the country, but mostly in Southern California.

In interviewing Michele for this story, she both spoke eloquently and passionately about her commitment to this work.

Michele Shoemaker

Michele Shoemaker

Michele, in the midst of undergoing treatment for breast cancer, has not let up on her advocacy for the dog world. She said, “Dogs (and animals in general) are a source of passion and unconditional love. They deserve more in life than most people give. Sentient beings, they are often there for me when it seems like no one else is; they love freely and never judge. Who can say that about all the humans in their lives?”

Many people have ready excuses for why they can’t do more. Jessica and Michele have better excuses than most, yet their lives are filled to the brim with their love of dogs and their commitment to this cause. Their volunteering efforts have never faltered, even as their personal lives have become more demanding. The world of humans and dogs is better off for having these two in it.