Peaceful Passings Senior Animal Rescue

Describe your nonprofit’s mission.
Our mission is to save senior animals. Our vision is a world where no animal is euthanized because of age pr medical challenge when a quality of life remains.

What need in our community brought about the creation of your nonprofit?
Senior animals are the first to be euthanized in rural shelters because they are harder to place, and often come to us with little or no medical needs met. Peaceful Passings Senior Animal Rescue accepts animals from rural shelters in Virginia and has accepted animals from nine states outside of Virginia. We are only one of two senior rescues in the State of Virginia. We fully vet all of our animals and strive to find them forever homes. In addition to adoptable seniors, we accept a “super senior” population of dogs 15 years old and older. We also accept hospice animals, maintain their health with the help of our vets, and keep them with us in our home until their passing.

How has your nonprofit made a difference in our community?
We open our rescue to senior animals that would otherwise have no place to go. We fully vet all of our animals, often bringing them from illness to health. We locate wonderful homes for our adoptable seniors and provide a safe haven for the very elderly and hospice dogs. Animals will live a better life when humans respect that all stages of an animal’s life are of value to society.

How can community members help you achieve your mission?
Donations are always appreciated, but so are volunteer hours, advocacy, and building awareness of this often overlooked population.

Tell us a story that has come out of your work.
MUFFIN’S STORY: As told by the shelter director where we found her–she came to the shelter nearly a week after the injury–this is a pretty sad story, so get a box of tissues ….

“People brought her in and said they “found her” and she was hit by a car… When they went to hand her over it was obvious they didn’t “find her,” she was theirs. She was inconsolable.

They were pretty long in the face too, from what I understand. Somehow it came out they were her owners, and they were walking her and she fell or darted off the curb or something and got hit by a car. Every time she saw them she would start screaming and crying. She loves them so very much.

The chief called and spoke with some vets to find out what surgery was going to cost after we had the x-rays; that’s when we got the 4-5k estimate. They were told in order to redeem the dog they would have to pay the fines and put 1/2 down with the vet for the surgery (to make sure it would happen).

Ohhh, we have that money just give her to us we will get it done… Etc… The vets held to their guns and said, half at the vet with a scheduled surgery appointment. They gave them a few days to gather up the funds but they were unable to. So on Friday at 12:00 they came in to say their goodbyes to her. The vet tech said after they left Muffin wouldn’t stop screaming and crying.

Then all the bosses came to me and said “get her out today”… And Peaceful Passings saved her life. I never saw the owners, but it makes me sad. Muffin loved them so much and couldn’t stay with them. God I could only imagine if I were in their shoes with one of my dogs. I would want to die.
Peaceful Passings learned about Muffin’s plight on that Friday, September 4th, and we agreed to take her. On Saturday Muffin was transported to our Rescue. Our orthopedic specialist was immediately contacted and she was set up for an appointment on Tuesday, September 8th. (Monday was the Labor Day holiday.) X-rays had been done by the local vet while she was still in Maryland, along with bandaging to hold her together in as little pain as possible, for the transport. We asked that the x-rays be transmitted to Virginia Veterinary Specialists in Charlottesville to start the process of helping this poor little dog.

Over the weekend (which seemed endless) we did what we could to keep her comfortable, hydrated and medicated. She was not easy to care for–terrified, in pain and in a new place with people she didn’t know. We dreaded that we would be told that nothing could be done to give her a quality of life, and she would have to be euthanized.

On Tuesday morning first thing, Muffin was assessed by Dr. Kevin Stiffler. He determined that while she had multiple fractures, there was no nerve damage and no damage to her internal organs. He told us that she could be fixed–working on a dog as small as this little Chihuahua presents special problems, and Dr. Stiffler told us that he was probably the only veterinary orthopedic surgeon in the region with plates small enough for this purpose.

They operated on her at once–by 3:00 p.m. they were calling to tell us that she had come through with flying colors, but would require a lengthy period of recovery and rehabilitation. They wanted to keep her under observation and work with her for three days, allowing her to come home on Friday afternoon.

Our medical bill was just under $4600 (after a generous contribution by the vets and a shelter discount). Our work is difficult and challenging, but we feel that no senior animal should sit in a public shelter without medical care. Help us, help them.

Learn more about Peaceful Passings Senior Animal Rescue

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