Diego was just two years old when he arrived at Home for Life, but he already had a reputation as unmanageable. TC, saddled with several infected teeth that made it nearly impossible for him to eat, was painfully thin. Dodi had been removed from three rescues and two homes in just 18 months. Euthanasia was the next stop for all three, until Home for Life stepped in.
“In the world of animal welfare, shelters offer two doors: adoption and euthanasia,” explains Lisa LaVerdiere, founder of the Wisconsin-based non-profit. “We’re the third door – a care-for-life sanctuary.”
As one of the country’s only such sanctuaries, Home for Life helps desperate animals whose needs exceed the capacity of traditional shelters and rescues. Some 200 cats and dogs live out their days at this unique facility, receiving the medical attention and the safe, loving environment they need.
In return, many of the animals give back to the community through the group’s innovative Peace Creatures pet therapy program. “The adults and children we help can identify with our animals – they’ve both been through so much,” Lisa contends. Through the program, Home for Life provide solace and joy to the lives of 8,000 at-risk kids and adults every year.
“Dogs and cats who fall outside the parameters of ‘adoptable’ are overlooked or disregarded,” Lisa continues. “But we’re reminded every day that these special cats and dogs are not pariahs or outcasts. They still have much to give.”