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About Our Pack

A Furever Promise

We celebrate and protect the magical relationship between people and their pets by providing homestyle care for pets who lose their humans due to death, disability, or deployment.


Through our two unique programs - The Sanctuary Residency Program and The Lifelong Guardianship Program - we promise our pets will always have the home, care, and love they deserve - for life. 


Our promise means that pets come first and we do everything we can to provide the highest quality care for our pets - including veterinary care, medications, behavioral training, and of course, love and care in the comfort of a home with a dedicated guardian. 

Our history

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Wendy Derhak founded The Pet Cottage in 2012 because of her experience with her dear friend Joan.


As a retiree, Joan shared her home with three cats and Wendy was her personal trainer. When Joan became ill with a terminal illness, her greatest concern was what would happen to her beloved pets Smokey, Jeremy, and Shadow.


Joan and Wendy made an agreement for Wendy to take care of her cats after she passed away. This was the beginning of The Pet Cottage. 

Today, The Pet Cottage provides care for twelve pets (ten dogs and two cats) at The Pet Cottage Sanctuary in Jupiter Farms, Florida and forty pets in The Lifelong Guardianship Program. 

Our vision

Our goal is to expand The Pet Cottage to provide homestyle care for thirty pets on site at our headquarters in Jupiter Farms, Florida - including up to twenty dogs and ten cats - and grow our Guardianship Program to provide care for 80 pets.

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A message from our Executive Director

I believe pets make us better people.


They serve us willingly and participate in our journey without question.


Pets play a valuable role in the lives of seniors who often live far from family. Pets give seniors purpose, companionship, and unconditional love.


My passion and purpose here at The Pet Cottage is to honor the pets that serve us and to give peace of mind to the people who are leaving them behind.


We are also committed to matching pets with seniors who want a companion but would be frightened to accept the responsibility without the support of The Pet Cottage.


It is truly magical and makes an impact for the pet, their people, and the people who welcome them into their home and hearts.

I invite you to join our pack! Our mission is worth your time and energy and is a gift to those we serve. 

Your pack leader,


Wendy Derhak

Meet our board


Laura Haseley

I love The Pet Cottage because pet parents who fall on hard times can know that their pet will have a loving family to take care of them and know they are safe. 

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Michelle Perunko
Vice President

I love The Pet Cottage because it feels like family. From human to animal, everyone is family. 

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Lisa Gendal
Secretary &Treasurer 

The Pet Cottage is the perfect combination of helping both "senior animals" and "senior people." I have been told that I am animal crazy over the years and Wendy has given me the additional title of “Pet Hero.” I'm very happy to be able to provide administrative and financial expertise and “whatever else” needs to be done!

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Wendy Derhak
Executive Director

I invite you to become a  part of this heart-driven organization where pets and people belong and are valued. This is a worthy cause and we welcome you to join us. 

The Leadership Pack

This group of seriously talented volunteers contribute to the day-to-day operation of The Pet Cottage. They give their time, talent, and hearts to ensuring we keep our promise to pets and people.

"Getting involved in The Pet Cottage has been life changing. Finding Charlie and becoming his Forever Guardian helped me through the pandemic. It is a gift to be able to give back by volunteering and helping to further this wonderful cause."

Donna Wexler 

The Sanctuary residents

Come visit our Sanctuary headquarters and meet this lively and lovable cast of characters. Our Sanctuary Residency provides lifelong and homestyle care to pets who cannot easily be placed in the home of a Forever Guardian. It's a win-win because we keep our forever promise to the pets in our care and Wendy and our volunteers have great company while they work!

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