Dr. Eva DeCozio-Bush is the the 2012 “Spirit of Giving” award recipient!
The “Spirit of Giving” recognizes volunteers in the community who give their time and resources to help animals.
Dr. Eva is the epitome of the “Spirit of Giving” when it comes to our four-legged friends. Her passion for animals has become her life’s work and the two are inseparably intertwined.
She is a full-time veterinarian as well as the co-founder of Panacea Animal Wellness Sanctuary. Under her direction PAWS has been responsible for rescuing and fostering hundreds of destitute dogs and many cats.
In February 2012, Dr. Eva and the PAWS organization spearheaded the very successful “Valen’Tails: Adopt a Pound Dog Weekend” event held in Tempe with the goal of having a no-kill weekend. Dr. Eva orchestrated free of charge spay and neuters for almost all of the dogs rescued from the various pounds throughout the valley. Over two days, over 150 dogs were adopted.
Not only does Dr. Eva fight for animal’s lives on the operating table, she also fights for their lives in court, testifying as an expert witness and providing forensic evidence in animal abuse cases.
Over the years, she has personally provided a forever home for over 50 cats and dogs and currently has 14 dogs, 8 cats and 4 horses – all rescues. She donates thousands of dollars for food for the animals and has donated tens of thousands of dollars in medical care.
This award was given at the Third annual 12k’s of Christmas® www.12krun.com. “Spirit of Giving” Award sponsored by Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport and presented to her by the Town of Gilbert Mayor Lewis.
Honoree of Friends of Animal Care & Control (“Friends”) 9th annual Hero Awards.
PAWS rescued and adopted out Guido, a pitbull, who was bred to be a fighting dog. Imagine starting your day being purposely cut and made to bleed. Then after you start bleeding, you’re thrown into a ring and attacked by dogs – dogs being trained to fight in a dog fighting ring. Imagine this happening to you over and over again until you’re either killed by one of the dogs or killed inhumanely by your owner.
Imagine a life full of no love. A life of no caring touch, your sole existence is pain and fear. This is how Lazarus (now Guido) lived his life. He escaped his torturous confines and was found as a stray, roaming the streets in horrific condition. He was taken to safety at Maricopa County Animal Care & Control (MCACC) East Side Shelter. By just looking at him, one could see the pain he endured. He ended up on the “e-list” and was desperately being championed by MCACC employees and volunteers.
He was rescued by PAWS and as Guido began his recovery, the rescue volunteers could see a change in him. The fear turned to trust – he felt love for the first time. He did not know what a bed was, what stairs were or a couch. Today, even though people had betrayed him in the past, he is good natured, happy, sweet and full of life. He was adopted out and today he prances around and swims in a pool at his home in Apache Junction, AZ. He is a beacon of survival and brings out the good in humanity to anyone who hears his story.
Michele Receives 2012 Arizona Cardinals Community Quarterback Award!
Michele Elek, Co-founder and Executive Director of Panacea Animal Wellness Sanctuary (“PAWS”) was one of five winners chosen for the prestigious Arizona Cardinals Community Quarterback Awards. There were over 60 entries! The award was presented by Arizona Cardinal’s President Michael Bidwill at the 1/1/12 Cardinals pre-game show and PAWS was the only pet charity chosen.
PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: The Arizona Cardinals Community Quarterback Award recognizes outstanding volunteers in the state of Arizona ages 13 and up. A panel of community leaders determined the award recipients and award a total of $20,000 to the charitable organizations they serve. This program honors individuals who exemplify leadership, dedication, and commitment to improving the communities in which they live through volunteerism.