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Two white shelties touching noses

Lacey and Polly are two sisters whose relationship exemplifies the bonds we celebrate on Valentines Day.

The sisters came to Home for Life® with their older sister Scarlet, who has since passed away. Both surviving sisters are deaf, and Polly is also blind. There relationship has seen them through tough times, and they still take care of each other at the sanctuary.

Read their story.

Donors give Ashley a home for life

Thanks to the kindness of many supporters across the country, precious and beloved Ashley has a home for life.

Ashley is a young black mixed-breed female who came to Home for Life® as a puppy after being stomped on by a grown man when she was just three months old. Her back, both femurs, and pelvis were crushed in this brutal and unwarranted assault, and she was rendered paraplegic and incontinent.

Home for Life® reached out to Ashley due to the desperation of her situation—we could not bear to see her life ended prematurely due to the injuries and disabilities that resulted from such cruelty.

Ashley, even as a puppy, had a special spark and resilience that stole our hearts and those of the many compassionate and generous people who have helped us build a townhouse adapted for her needs.

Ashley shares her unique home with Moppet, a paraplegic basset hound, Forrest, a boston terrier/chihuahua cross, Crystal, our hearing-impaired Boston terrier, Sherlock, a blind Jack Russell terrier, and Jerry, an elderly water spaniel. This unlikely grouping gets along famously.

Home for Life is having a glass plaque designed, engraved with the names of the donors who contributed towards Ashley's townhouse.

Funds are still needed to complete the rubber surfacing for her run so that she and Moppet don't injure themselves when out of their carts. The estimate for this project is $15,000.

Because Home for Life® is one of the only facilities in the country that cares for paraplegic animals, the townhouse and run will be available to help many needy dogs in the future.

Dog resting on cushion
Above, Ashley rests on an orthopedic cushion in her townhouse.

Ashley and Moppet drying off
Moppet and Ashley receive a daily "spa" treatment from our dedicated staff of animal care specialists. The girls get a thorough bath and are checked for pressure sores and other possible abrasions. They then dry off and nap in the cage dryer—they need to be absolutely dry before their feet are wrapped and their boots put on to protect their legs and feet.

Previous Animal Updates: February 5, 2007

Something is always happening in the lives of Home for Life® residents: achievements, visits from sponsors and supporters, and milestones. This page highlights just a few of the many events that residents experience throughout the year.

February 5, 2007
Bliss off the leash, tortoise style

A close-up of Goliath with a berry-stained mouth
Goliath wearing "strawberry" lipstick.

Goliath is a sulcata tortoise estimated to be at least 20 years old. He is a desert tortoise and his species evolved in the dry regions of Africa.

Goliath in the fields wearing a tall flag on his back
Goliath wears a flag during his "run" so that the staff can find him at the end of his outing.

He was abandoned and now resides at the sanctuary. For a reptile, he has a lot of personality and seems to recognize the staff.

Goliath loves to graze, and in the nice weather wears a flag on his shell so he can traverse the property exploring and eating the fresh grass.

He takes a soak in a baby pool twice a week where he absorbs water through his skin and shell and drinks a little too.

In the winter, Goliath is a connoisseur of romaine lettuce, carrots and especially strawberries. After a meal of berries, the berry stains on his mouth look like tortoise lipstick!

Meet the bunnies of Home for Life®


Meet Larry, a rex rabbit.

Home for Life is also home to a charming collection of rabbits. The rabbits have their own cages, but use them more as "headquarters" than homes. Rabbits are very athletic and active and ours love to run and play together with their toys, chase each other, get on the futon for a nap, and even climb the cat trees to lie on a hammock or look outside the windows.

The bunnies are very social, gentle, intelligent and fun-loving animals. In fact, many of our rabbits are friends with several of the cats and even some of our smaller dogs. Remarkably, our rabbits and cats coexist peacefully.

It is sad to think of the many pet rabbits who spend their entire lives alone in a small cage, when they are such active and busy creatures if given the chance. They are quiet animals who are unable to express their boredom and sadness at being in a cage. If allowed to integrate with their friends and family, they demonstrate unique and even strong personalities and a great sense of affection and fun.

For hygiene, the rabbits use the cat boxes. Our rabbits have the run of the catteries and each day enjoy a great meal fixed by our staff consisting of Oxbow Timothy pellets, wonderful fragrant hay, and a gourmet salad made from a variety of lettuces and other fresh vegetables. The especially love parsley, basil and apples!

lop-eared bunny
Flopsy is a giant lop-eared rabbit.
More bunnies: Lolly, Larry, and Ursula | brothers Robin and Mucho

Home for Life's bunnies also visit the battered women's shelters and nursing homes and enjoy being held by gentle children and adults.

In the winter, the rabbits mostly hang out indoors, but come summer time, they hope through the cat doors to enjoy the attached protected cat run.

More about Ashley's house

Dog townhouse with porch and fenced run

The townhouse is heated and air conditioned and has smooth linoleum floors and easily cleaned walls. A service door allows the dogs to roll outside in their carts. There is also a dog door to allow access to their attached dog run.

The townhouse features windows and skylights that let in abundant natural light, and piped-in music (classical or jazz) for a little ambience.

A covered porch allows the dogs to be outside for fresh air, yet remain sheltered from hot sun or rain. Currently, we use cattle mats to protect Ashley's and Moppet's feet and legs when they are out of their carts. The girls are in and out of their carts throughout the day on a rotating two-hour schedule.