The Pet Rescue Center was founded to address a growing need in the community that was not being adequately met by the existing services in place. Blythe and Dr. Matthew Wheaton believed that the animal services in place, available to the community and animals, were broken. The Pet Rescue Center was a pioneering idea to merge a rescue group with immediate veterinary care and supervision from the moment of rescue while the rescue was being networked for a new adopting family in a commercial and publicly accessible location. The key to The Pet Rescue Center’s success is a cooperative approach to our efforts, combining the existing animal resources and working together with rescues, shelters, veterinarians, pet supply stores and services.

Over the years the needs of “at risk” dogs and cats have been changing due to the incredible efforts of innovative rescue groups (like us), an increase in the communities desire for No Kill shelters and an increased awareness of the need to adopt a pet rather than buy from a breeder. The Pet Rescue Center is continuing to evolve to ensure we stay current with the best way to positively impact “at risk” dogs and cats. We have expanded from a rescue only program (Rescue.Rehab.Rehome) to include pro-active programs to educate and support the community (Education, Pet Pantry and Community Resource Programs).

We firmly believe that with these innovative programs we can change the world. We envision a place where there is never a need for euthanasia due to over-population or lack of resources.


It all started with a road trip.  As my wife Blythe and I jumped in our car to drive from our home in Orange County to San Francisco,

We had no idea that we were about to conceive an idea that would have an effect on thousands of lives.

So, with the community in mind, we created the concept of The Pet Rescue Center. Using our old location as a jumping off point, we could revamp the location into an innovative animal rescue center and resource for the community. unnamed-3We would take all of the problems that we recognized in the pet world and literally try to address all of them with our non-profit. Spay/neuter, rescue, rehabilitation, adoption, education, pet food and supplies for needy pet owners, financial support for indigent pet owners, doing all of it while working cooperatively with shelters, other rescue groups, veterinarians, everybody! By the time we crossed over the Golden Gate Bridge, we had it all pinned down including our mission statement and motto. Yes, we were unnamed-2idealistic.  Isn’t that how every charity is born?

Well, something happened along the road to opening the doors of The Pet Rescue Center. Right before we were to open the doors of our innovative center, the City of Laguna Hills informed us of a zoning issue that they were absolutely not going to overlook which literally killed the idea of our physical location being reborn as The PRC.  We are still looking for a permanent facility for The Pet Rescue Center. Until then we board our rescues, we operate remotely by appointment only.

It’s been a wild ride. The Pet Rescue Center now has saved over 1000 pets and created that many new families, enhancing countless lives. We have provided pet food for hundreds of needy pet owners. We have educated the public, worked with dozens of shelters, rescue groups and veterinarians to make pets well and to intervene in ways that other groups could not. We have innovated in the realm of animal based philanthropy and have set a new standard for animal rescue, community support and collaborative efforts to enhance the lives of pets and the people that love them. We have poured our hearts and souls, our time, and lots and lots of our own money into this dream of giving back. We are proud of what we have created.

written by Matthew Wheaton DVM, Co-Founder The Pet Rescue Center and owner of Alicia Pet Care Center