From left to right: Arthur, Melissa, Fielder, Darci, Dudley Do-Right (now Alfie), and Tango (in kennel).

From left to right: Arthur, Melissa, Fielder, Darci, Dudley Do-Right (now Alfie), and Tango (in kennel).

peacelovedogs rescue was founded by Darci Davenport + Melissa White Raynor who officially met in 2014 when a matted lhasa-apso/poodle mix came into the shelter where Melissa was volunteering. He was so matted he couldn’t even go to the bathroom.

Because of the state he was in, he was also aggressive. Melissa begged the shelter not to euthanize him because she saw through the matted fur and aggression and saw a dog who was simply suffering from pain and neglect. Her aunt put her in touch with Darci — a professional groomer — who helped walk her through how to groom him under mild sedation. That matted mess turned into an incredibly sweet bundle of love that they named Scrappy. Turns out he was so sweet Darci couldn’t let him go, and he quickly turned into the official mascot for peacelovedogs.  

Saving Scrappy from certain death turned into something much bigger, and peacelovedogs rescue was born. Today, our mission is to rescue as many dogs as possible from the Houston area, get them healthy and find their forever homes. All our dogs are fully vetted and receive a clean bill of health before ever leaving our rescue. Standard vetting includes spay/neuter, vaccinations, microchip, heartworm test (and treatment if necessary), fecal test (and treatment if necessary) and grooming. Many of our dogs also require additional veterinary care and we spare no expense: x-rays, orthopedic surgeries, amputations, tumor removals, upper respiratory treatments, skin infections, and dental cleanings to name a few. On average we spend $8k-$10k a month, and in some instances have spent up to $15k in one month. 

The majority of our dogs come from local high kill shelters, areas of Houston known as the “The East End” and the “Corridor of Cruelty.” Many come to us matted and neglected and we give them the makeover of their lives. Some of our dogs were feral when rescued and had to learn to trust humans again. We get all kinds of dogs from litters of puppies, to seniors that people discard due to age, to some that have behavioral issues that need professional help, as well as dogs with health problems. We won’t give up on a dog.

We prefer to adopt our dogs in the New England area since smaller dogs don’t typically seem to be in shelters there and on the streets like in Houston. Over-population here means shelters that are always full and have an 84%+ kill rate and a never-ending amount of homeless pets roaming our streets.

Greg Mahle, of Rescue Road Trips, takes a photo of Penny (a peacelovedogs alumni) with her new forever family on her Gotcha Day in 2016!

Greg Mahle, of Rescue Road Trips, takes a photo of Penny (a peacelovedogs alumni) with her new forever family on her Gotcha Day in 2016!

We use Rescue Road Trips to transport our dogs from Houston to the New England area. Over the past 10 years they have transported over 55,000 dogs from the South to loving forever homes in the New England states. The families wait for the truck to pull up with signs waving, waiting to meet their new dog. It’s called Gotcha Day, and it’s what makes all of our hard work worth it. (We admit, Gotcha Days make us ugly cry.) 

peacelovedogs is also a big believer in giving back

Girl holding her beloved chihuahua, who peacelovedogs offered to pay to spay.

Community Outreach

peacelovedogs participates in community outreach whenever we can, and feel very strongly about educating the Houston community on the importance of spaying and neutering their pets. Most people feel that if their dog is an inside dog it isn’t a big deal if they don’t spay/neuter their dog, and aren’t aware that not spaying/neutering can lead to health problems in the long run. When speaking to members of the community about this we often offer to pay to spay/neuter their dog. 


peacelovedogs volunteers our time at local shelters, even when we don’t have the space available in our rescue. Since Darci is a professional groomer, we like to volunteer bathing and grooming services to not only help shelter dogs feel better, but also so that they have a higher chance of attracting a potential adopter. 

Darci and Melissa grooming and bathing a dog at Harris County Veterinary Public Health.

A stray german shepherd puppy living in the “Corridor of Cruelty” eats food put out by peacelovedogs.

peacelovedogs also visits areas well known for stray dog populations and animal cruelty, to look for those most in need of help so we can provide them with food, which we are only able to do through generous donations from people like you.


Meet the peacelovedogs team


Darci Davenport
Co-Founder + Professional Groomer



Melissa White Raynor
Co-Founder + Dog Wrangler



Cash (and Pringles)
“Kid-Tester” + Foster Brother



Official peacelovedogs Mascot


“Because failure isn’t an option if success is just a matter of more effort.”
— W. Bruce Cameron, A Dog’s Purpose