Dogtime’s Road to Rescue program salutes Ulla Pedersen, founder of Kindred Spirits Animal Sanctuary.
How did your organization get started?
I have done animal rescue for many years and came to realize that to make a lasting difference I would need to get into the community and get people involved. Kindred Spirits was incorporated in 2002 and received a 501(c) 3 non-profit status in 2003.
What is your mission?
To provide end of life care and hospice for dogs, horses, and poultry with focus on wellness in however short time left:
1) Direct care in family setting, no cages
2) Education: area schools, on-site workshops on wellness care of elderly animals, hospice care, wills & estate planning
3) Develop a new model of being with the dying, affects people who care also
4) Outreach: Keep senior residents visible in the community, encourage visitors to spend time with the residents
How do most of your animals find their way to you?
By referral from local rescue organizations, shelters, word of mouth, or off the streets where they have been dumped. All are old and often live into their late teens here. Many are traumatized from abuse and being treated as a throw away object.
What happens to the animals once they are in your care?
Provide a sense of safety in a calm and organized environment. Quality nutrition and supplements. The Sanctuary is a non-toxic environment and ecologically sound. No pesticides or chemical cleaners. Each resident has an in-house intake exam by our nearby veterinarian and a care plan is developed: nutrition/supplements, stress support, homeopathics, back remedies, strengthening immune system with supplements. The environment inside and out is calm and peaceful and encourages each individual resident to express their likes and dislikes. As they begin to feel safe they might form special relationships and, for many, the sense of community is of great support.
Tell us about a particularly compelling animal or inspiring rescue.
Salvador came to us frightened and depressed, unable to walk, his legs and body mangled from, it is thought, having been a bait dog in a dog fighting organization. Once he felt safe he began to try to assist with the various therapies of loving kindness and acupuncture, chiropractor, massage, to name a few. And by the grace of God, he can now walk short distances and flashes the biggest, brightest smile ever seen. He is a total joy. He has somehow turned a page and learned to trust humans again. He is a profound teacher for all who meet him.