2013 Pet Hero Award Winner -  Jerome and Riki Shaw

Outstanding Philanthropist


For anyone who has ever looked deeply into the eyes of an animal in need of rescue you will understand the profound force that compelled Riki Shaw to become consumed by a mission. That mission is to better the life of all animals.


Riki and her husband, Jerome, currently live in Coconut Grove, Florida.  Riki’s journey first began in her home state of Michigan 15 years ago when she adopted Emma, a King Charles Cavalier. It was shortly after that adoption that she came to realize that there are many “Emma’s” out there who are raised in small wire pens, in filthy conditions and sold by unscrupulous pet stores or even on the internet.  She became involved as a board member and volunteer with Lucky Star Cavalier rescue in MI and is presently a board member for Hearts United for Animals in Nebraska and Big Dog Ranch Rescue in Wellington, Florida where Jerome and Riki have committed to building a Quarantine facility and cage free housing.


Working together, and with numerous rescue organizations across the country, they have saved literally hundreds of dogs from puppymills and backyard breeders along with promoting legal change with a goal of cage free shelters and pet owner responsibility.


There is an undercurrent of dog brokers in this country that the general public is uninformed. Riki’s advocacy has brought this horrific practice to light and she is determined that no further dogs will suffer under her watch! To that end, Riki and Jerome continue to offer not just their financial support but her home and hearts, as well. Their family of adopted dogs has grown from Emma to Casey, Peyton, Olive, Peanut and Cassidy. All were facing lives of unbearable sorrow and pain until this caring couple provided a safe haven.


Though Riki and Jerome are extremely philanthropic in their support of rescue organizations, it is the elation of a small dog no longer petrified and shaking in her arms that motivates Riki to continue. There is no greater joy for her than looking back into the eyes of a dog she has rescued and seeing a new light there, even if it is just a flicker.  She knows that light will grow and shine brightly.


It is with immense gratitude that the Pet Philanthropy Circle honors Riki and Jerome Shaw with our
Outstanding Philanthropist Award.




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