outside Russo's Pets at Fashion Island, hoping to find good homes for
them. About 70 felines and four dogs are waiting in line and sell for
between $75 and $150.
"It's destiny that I'm here," Pfaff-Martin said. "And I'm destined to
succeed with this but need the community's support, too."
She certainly got their attention. Shoppers swarmed around the cages
to take a peek at the sleepy kittens. Some stuck their fingers through
the cages to pet them. Others could not resist and and opened up their
caged doors to cuddle.
Shelly Schwarzenbach of Newport Beach stood with a stroller and her
three children in front of one cage, which held their newly adopted
kitten. They will call him Ollie, in reference to a skateboard maneuver,
a name drummed up by her son Ryan, 8.
Her daughter, 1-year-old Sophia, looked at the kitten and happily
babbled to it. Alexander, 3, clung to his mother's leg and between sobs
tried to talk her into buying more kittens. "No, no," Schwarzenbach said
softly. "We've been talking about this all week."
Alexander wasn't the only one moved by the sight of the kittens. One
serious-faced man stormed past the animals, only to turn right around and
melt when he looked at them.
Although Pfaff-Martin has her hands full when the network finds the
kittens, she also buys high-risk animals from shelters to save them from
She saved Maggie, a 50-pound Rhodesian ridgeback and Labrador mixture
just one hour before she was to be put to sleep. Maggie is aggressive
toward other dogs, which makes her a harder sell, and will be boarded
Pfaff-Martin foots the bill for boarding all the animals. She counts
on contributions to help.
"Rescuing is very costly," Pfaff-Martin admitted, "but it's hard when
you are involved to say no."
For more information, call (949) 759-3646 or visit