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ZIONSVILLE– Denise Katz has an extensive history as a veterinarian, including working for Indianapolis Animal Care Services and as the former Chief Medical Officer for Noah’s Animal Clinic.  

Then in February of 2020, she decided to go full force in pursuing her passion for helping shelter animals by starting her own rescue, called The LOVE (Learning Outreach and Veterinary Efforts) Pet Project.

She bought a farm and turned it into an animal-friendly place dedicated to rescue dogs and cats that they care for. But in June of that year, she also opened The Rescue Boutique in a quaint space on the side of Black Dog Books in downtown Zionsville.  

This boutique is much more than a place to shop. It’s also a place to give back and pay it forward for pets in need.

We’re headed to Zionsville for some puppy love on this trip In Your Neighborhood.            

Photo credit: The Rescue Boutique Facebook page

“The Rescue Boutique is a store that sells dog and cat items for the animal lover,” said Denise Katz, director of The Rescue Boutique and The LOVE Pet Project.  

Inside the quaint shop you’ll find bowls, collars, treats, toys and food — all made in the USA or fair-trade items. 

It all benefits The LOVE Pet Project: A rescue that specializes in dogs with medical needs.  

Photo credit: The Rescue Boutique Facebook page

“We do a lot of severe medical case puppies… as Ozzie needs open chest surgery,” Katz explained. “We’re looking about, when all is said and done, about $4,000 just in that one puppy.” 

Because of those needs, Katz says their adoption fees are higher than most rescues in the area.  

“Our adopters really finance our rescue,” she said. “When you adopt one of our puppies, all of that fee either goes back into helping either that puppy or the next puppy in need.”  

However, she says they also get pups without serious medical needs.

Photo credit: The Rescue Boutique Facebook page

“We do also take a lot of moms and litters, which most rescues don’t have the room or capacity for that and we do,” Katz noted. “Usually when we have really healthy puppies, it’s because we’ve taken in a mom with a litter.” 

Speaking of puppies, we got to meet a few during our visit that will melt your heart. 

Like 10-week-old Jagger, an English toy spaniel poodle mix. 

“He came to us because his eyes were crusted shut and they didn’t know what was going on with him,” she recalled. “On first exam, we noticed he has a condition called dry eye, which requires twice daily medication… But as you can see, his eyes look great.”  

Photo credit: The Rescue Boutique Facebook page

Then, there’s little Jerry, the French bulldog puppy, who was diagnosed with spina bifida.  

“His [condition] affects him such that he actually is incontinent… So, he’s going to take a very special home because this little man is going to have to wear diapers,” Katz shared. “But right now, he gets around fine. He loves life.”  

We also met 2-month-old Rose, who was saved from a hoarder house. 

“There were 97 dogs in one house and we went and removed 25 of the adults,” said Katz. “When we were there we also took Rose because Rose actually has some deformities in her back legs… But now through physical therapy and lots of work, she can walk and will be ready for adoption in probably about a week.” 

If you are unable to adopt a pet, Katz says there is still plenty of ways to support the rescue, like financial contributions and supply donations.  

“We’re always needing items for the puppies. We go through puppy pads like crazy,” she said. “But also volunteers… People who want to come and socialize the puppies and adult dogs.”

Four Things You Need to Know About The Rescue Boutique:

  • After starting her own rescue called The LOVE Pet Project (LOVE stands for Learning Outreach and Veterinary Efforts) in February of 2020, Denise Katz then opened The Rescue Boutique (located on the side of Black Dog Books at 115 S. Main Street in Zionsville) in June of that year. All profits from the boutique benefit the rescue.
  • Right now, The Rescue Boutique is only open on Saturdays, but they also do special adoption events. “We try and pair [the events] with other things going on in the Zionsville community because we’ve really been embraced by the Zionsville community, but we also do random adoption events as well,” said Katz.
  • They don’t keep the rescues on-site but you can see photos and info about some of the adoptable pets on The Rescue Boutique’s Facebook page. If you’re interested in adopting an animal, they say to contact them directly at and they’ll set up a meet-and-greet by appointment.  
  • If you are unable to adopt a pet, Katz says there’s other ways to help support the cause, like donating puppy supplies, financial contributions or by becoming a volunteer. 

For more information about The Rescue Boutique and The LOVE Pet Project, check out their website by clicking here.  You can also connect on social media via Facebook and Instagram.

While in Zionsville, check out these other local favorites: 

·         Black Dog Books

·         Michele’s on Main

·         Rosie’s Place

·         My Sugar Pie