Pawsitively Humane

A nonprofit organization dedicated to reversing homeless pets through education, preventative management, rescue, adoption, caring and compassion

About Us

How did this nonprofit come about?

A group of like-minded individuals and neighbors recognized the growing number of homeless dogs and cats dumped in streets, parks, highways, the Everglades...

Yet in talking about it with friends, family and strangers, we soon realized there is little to zero awareness by the general public that homeless pets is a record high in South Florida and across the United States. At the same time, there are many misconceptions about how to save these animals. Many people erroneously think that the Humane Society or Animal Control will come out to rescue these pets. Not at all. In Miami, for example, the Humane Society is a private non-profit organization and only accepts a very limited number of pets, never strays.

Miami Dade Animal Services, a county run operation, must accept all unwanted pets, most of which are euthanized due to lack of space, but mostly due to lack of community awareness. With an average of 100 dogs and cats dropped off EVERY DAY, there are not enough people readily adopting these pets.

While there are several, small non-profit rescue organizations, they are mostly in the trenches rescuing these innocent creatures, many with injuries which leads to high veterinary costs. The process of rescuing, medical care, nurturing, and finding homes is time-consuming and costly. Some may never get adopted.

 We came to the greater realization of a critical void. There is absolutely no regular or comprehensive education or PSA campaign to educate the public of the problem on how they can help to reverse this trend.

Therefore one of our primary goals is education and preventative management through a combination of PSA campaigns on television, leaflets in the mail, articles in the newspaper, highway billboards and so much more. This will require funding but we will persist in getting much of the medium donated.

If you have strong connections to newspaper and TV station program directors or reporters, someone who owns  billboards, a printing company, or anyone willing to donate media airtime or space or a graphic artist, please contact us at pawsitivelyhumane@yahoo.com.

Please visit our DONATE  tab for other needs to help this effort.  Pawsitively Humane, Inc is a 501(c)3 nonprofit.  Your donation is tax deductible.

Thank you for taking the time learn about Pawsitively Humane, Inc.

Christine Michaels, President
Sabrina Vega, Vice President
Deborah Barnes, Secretary
Elizabeth Andrade, Treasurer


Christine Michaels is the founder and President of Pawsitively Humane, Inc. Her vision and efforts began when moving to the riverfront in downtown Miami in 2008. In discovering countless stray and feral cats and kittens,  Christine immersed herself in learning about the plight of homeless cats. Christine learned about TNR and how to trap feral cats, rescue their kittens, clean and care for them and manage a colony of community cats.  Soon she realized more had to be done to reverse the rate of stray cats.  Leveraging her extensive marketing skills, Christine embarked on a neighborhood education campaign and created a blog  Riverfront Cats. Through the blog, Christine documents the progress of the Riverfront Cats, finds homes for kittens, recruits volunteers, collect donations, and educates readers and visitors on a number of issues related to stray cats and kittens. She also coined the term TNRM--Trap-Neuter-Return-Manage.

Recognizing that the gravity of the problem exists throughout South Florida and now discovering dumped dogs in downtown Miami, Christine launched a new mission. Hence Pawsitively Humane, Inc., was born to replicate her efforts throughout South Florida and beyond, beginning with the most powerful and least expensive tool--EDUCATION.

Christine is a successful small business owner and holds an MBA degree specializing in Marketing. She is also the guardian of one dog and six cats.  Whether she's dressed in a professional suit debating the solutions for humane treatment of community cats or wearing her famous black cat costume in four-inch heels, feeding outdoor cats or trapping feral cats, Christine is the modern cat woman.

Christine Michaels with Ma Cherie

Sabrina Vega is a resident of the downtown Miami riverfront and Vice President of Pawsitively Humane, Inc.

She is an advocate for voiceless, homeless cats and is a regular feeder and caretaker of the Riverfront Cats.
Like many cat lovers, Sabrina started with one then two cats.  She graduated to three cats and her eldest is over 10 years old. In the spring of 2013, one of the beloved, friendly Riverfront Cats, Leroy suffered a horrible injury and almost lost both left legs. Thankfully one leg healed but the hind leg was amputated.  Leroy was now confronting both the double shock of losing a leg and the trauma of living indoors from the freedom of the outdoors.  Sabrina while nursing Leroy back to health, decided to keep him rather than add to the fear of living with strangers. He has acclimated to indoor life, hopping on three legs and loves sleeping on a bed, with air condition and no ants, no mosquitoes and no constant humidity. A happy ending for a community, black cat.

Sabrina, like her fellow board members, defies the stereotypical "cat woman".  For the past four years, she has worked as a promotional model for Diageo and as a realtor part-time. Despite her demanding work and social schedule, she always finds time daily to walk the neighborhood and feed the Riverfront Cats.

Sabrina holds a psychology degree from Florida International University.

Sabrina Vega



Deborah Barnes is the author of the 5 star rated book, The Chronicles of Zee & Zoey – A Journey of the Extraordinarily Ordinary, that was written about the life she shared with her family of seven cats after the lessons she learned from them as a result of being unexpectedly laid off at 48 years of age.  

She is also the creator of the award winning blog, Zee & Zoey’s Chronicle Connection, that not only continues to follow the everyday journey she shares with her cats (including her newest adoption, a rescue kitten she named Kizmet), but covers topics from the humorous behaviors of cats to very serious subjects on pet responsibility. Her current circle of works has brought her to where she is today – a serious animal advocate and Secretary for Pawsitively Humane, Inc.

Deborah has received numerous awards and nominations for her writing efforts, including a Nose to Nose Nomination from BlogPaws for Best Blog Writing in 2013 and a win for Best Blog Design by the DogTime Petties in 2012. She has also raised thousands of dollars for shelters across the country through the innovative campaign she created, “Zee & Zoey’s Cat Ruler of the World Contest and Campaign for a Cause,” and is a contributing writer for both Cat Fancy Magazine and Catster. 

Deb Barnes

Elizabeth Andrade is a CPA from Maryland and resides in South Florida since 2005 with clients across the country and from South America.  Her expertise in tax law has aided individuals to CEO's of major companies in maneuvering the treacherous waters of the IRS with ease and positive results.  Her "grand dog" is her adored companion. These two passions lead Elizabeth to offer her talent and guidance in helping Pawsitively Humane, Inc in ensuring healthy financial status so that the organization can focus on strategic goal of reversing homeless pets.

Elizabeth also regularly fills in and drives to the Miami River and helps feed the Riverfront cats when regular volunteers have to work late or travel for work.


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