Where old and disabled animals find love

Jesse Mendes, one of my new Twitter friends introduced me to BrightHaven Healing Arts Center for Animals, a non-profit, holistic animal retreat. Usually I click right past opening videos and Flash presentations. Not this time. I watched the whole thing, with a lump in my throat and a smile on my face.

Harley the hog at BrightHaven
Harley the hog, photo courtesy of BrightHaven
Jesse called BrightHaven a “hospice retreat centre for animals”. That’s an apt description. The animals who find refuge there are diseased, injured or just old. What Gail Pope and her staff do is accept and respect them, giving them a quality of life that acknowledges limitations but focuses on strength.

The Web site introduces visitors to the residents. There’s Edie, who came to BrightHaven to die but now figures she’s boss cat. Harley the Hog is a 900-pound pig with a sunny disposition. Bruce the goose is loved in spite of his having become overly protective of his mate, Georgette.

Death is a regular visitor at BrightHaven. Every animal is honoured, and the Web site carries obituaries for each of them.

BrightHaven offers wise advice on a natural diet for pets. And when it is time to let go of a beloved animal companion, they have a booklet that explains what to expect and how to be a wise and loving support.

BrightHaven is in Sebastopol, California. You can follow them on Facebook and support their good work on their donations page.


One thought on “Where old and disabled animals find love

  1. I was delighted today when BrightHaven’s heart, Gail Pope, wrote to update me. Here’s what she wrote:

    “You are up to date on all but Bruce and Georgette. Georgette died some time ago and Bruce now has luckily a new lady in his life – the much younger Odette, who was left in a drop box at the Martinez shelter – just when Bruce needed her!!! Odette has quickly gone from being a sweet and cuddly house pet goose to taking supreme leadership of not only Bruce, but the entire bird population!! Both Ronnie and Reggie, the duck boys chase her adoringly all day long, and as both have deformed legs- It is quite a sight to see!!”

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