People & Their Pets III

Mariana Cruz




Mariana Cruz Mariana Cruz with Sugarcane
(John Bouma Photography)
Mariana Cruz is a dedicated animal lover, committed to donating time and money to help animals and organizations that protect and feed them. Mariana is co-partner in CruzJac Productions a television production company. CruzJac Productions is currently producing a project based on the true story of a dog that was lost by the airlines. The dog’s heartbroken owner went to Washington DC and fought to pass the “Safe Air Travel for Animals Act- S1193”.

Mariana Cruz is the Chairperson for Catalyst Miami Prosperity Event 2011, which assists low income families and individuals. In addition, she contributes to the Natural Resources Defense Council in order to support the NRDC efforts to protect the gray wolves that are being killed, and the ASPCA.


How did you come up with your pet’s name? My husband was born in Cuba and his family owned a sugarcane plantation. Our dog is named Sugarcane in remembrance of that time.

Share with us where you rescued your dog and cat? What was he/she like, and what made you decide to bring him/her home? Currently I have two dogs and a cat. I rescued our cat, Montana, on my way to a birthday party in a rainstorm. I saw this little kitten in a drain pipe so I climbed through the rising water in my heels and dress and pulled her into my arms.

We’ve had Sugarcane since he was 6 weeks old; He’s just happy. Emmy, the other dog, is an interesting story. Recently her owner was in a serious accident and hospitalized. During a conversation, I asked, “Who’s taking care of the dog”? No one answered, so I rushed to their home to check on the dog. I found her hungry, weak, covered in ticks and barking (protecting the house). I got my dog leash, climbed over the fence and took her home. I fed her and took her to the vet that evening. We’ve been caring for Emmy the last three months while her owner is recovering. Emmy will only be part of our family until she can return home.

What activities does Sugarcane like? What commands does Sugarcane understand? My dog is trained in French, so he is bi-lingual… like most residents of Miami Beach. He’s spoiled and brings a very happy energy to our family. He is sweet and gentle, especially with the children. Once when he was a puppy, the twins pretended to drown and he jumped into the pool to save them and I had to jump in to save him. He couldn’t swim. So now we focus on walking. I found that the dog-harness is much more enjoyable and kinder to the dog than the neck collar that chokes.

My family has a ranch in California, one of the largest undeveloped properties near Carmel Valley, which has been in my family since 1864. We have always had horses, dogs and cats. There are also many beautiful wild animals on our ranch, such as mountain lions, coyotes and deer. I have great respect for animals, their beauty and their capacity for love. Some of my friends won’t drive with me because they know if I see an abandoned dog, everything stops until we help. I can’t stand to see hurt, hungry or neglected animals. I’ve rescued dogs, cats and birds. Animals are defenseless and are at the mercy of the people around them.

About Paws 4 You Rescue

Paws 4 You Rescue is a Miami-based non-profit 501(c)3, all volunteer, donor-subsidized animal rescue organization. Its top priority is to save animals from euthanasia at Miami-Dade Animal Services.

Rescued animals vary from being sick, injured, homeless and surrendered to simply lost. All animals are sterilized, vaccinated and ID micro-chipped to prevent future loss. Some require major surgery from a specialist to repair broken limbs while others may need additional rehabilitation time and specific medical care - ranging from respiratory illnesses and skin infections to cherry eyes and heartworm treatments.

Paws 4 You offers programs for adoption, fostering and senior citizens. Paws 4 You supports its mission by hosting numerous fundraising events throughout the year and through community donations.

Please visit www.paws4you.org for current information and additional details.