Friday, November 14, 2008

In memory of Sophia

When I went to visit Karen about a month ago, I had the good fortune of meeting Benay who came to care for the shelter so that Karen could have her much needed foot surgery that she had been putting off (to be honest, I think Karen could still run laps around most of us prior to when she had surgery, and probably even after! --- nothing slows this incredible woman down!!). Benay, is another incredible spirit with just as much passion and compassion. You can read more about Benay on the Red Lake Rosie's blog:.

I share a story with you that was sent to me yesterday... one that touched my soul in a very deep way and reminds me of how important it is for us to continue the work we are doing on behalf of abandoned, abused and neglected animals; a story that reminds me of the painful reality and the shadow side of animal rescue - a side that often remains in the dark, but one i feel i need to cast light on, for only when the truth is told, can the truth be changed. This story reminds me also of the incredible souls and spirits, like Karen, like Benay, like yourselves, who in your own way give to these animals and advocate on their behalf...

"A very sad story which Benay has been heartbroken over, little
Sophia. Sophia- see pic came here from the Redby dumpster. She was
starving, mangey, and had this oozing heavy mucus from nose. We
contacted the vet and he said to put her on antibiotics, which we
did. She was here for 8 days and Benay fell in love with her. She
made great improvement, Benay moved her in the cathouse, bathed her
and pampered her. Sophia was so happy, she acted like she was in 7th
heaven. Following Benay all over the cathouse, and wagging her little

Benay took her to the vet a week later for an examination to see if
there was more wrong with her, and------we were horrified to learn
someone had put a gun in her little mouth and blew a hole in her
palate- then dumped her in the garbage and left to die!! She had been
asperating water into her nasal area when she drank water.

The vet said there was no hope for her, so she went across the
Rainbow Bridge, one of the saddest days here at Red Lake Rosie's

She loved her so, and Benay has been so sad since that happened last
Thursday, a week ago today. We shall not forget Sophia, and are
amazed that through her suffering, she was so happy that someone
LOVED her!!! I cannot comprehend this!! See this angel's picture- it
is heartreaking!! There are other Sophias out there, but none as

Peace- Karen

My heart feels raw as I hold Sophia and Benay in my heart. In memory of Sophia and in honor of Benay and Karen (who tirelessly works on behalf of the Red Lake dogs), I am even more committed to keep on working on the behalf of these innocent beings. I am returning to Red Lake on Monday to drop off donations and transport some dogs back to the cities. Pet Haven will most likely be taking 4 puppies and 3 adult dogs into our foster program. One of the 3 dogs will be Ahnung (which means "star" in Ojibway), a dog who touched my heart on my last trip up. We have since learned she has heartworm and will need to go through treatment for 2 months. I am proud to be a part of a rescue organization who will take in the not so easy dogs, and the ones who require the extra care.

We need your help and support... we need donations (both supplies and financial support). We also need more fosters. You can email me at if you would like to get involved or have any questions.


  1. I am appalled at the cruelty that some people are capable of, and amazed at the love of little Sophia. This story brought me to tears.
    Is there any way to work with a humane organization to bring a mobile spay/neuter unit to Red Lake? If we could reduce the number of unwanted litters, hopefully incidents of dumping and cruelty would be fewer. I would prefer that people had to get on a waiting list to get a pet, rather than view them as disposeable or a nuisance.

  2. Hi Kristen... thanks for your note. Red Lake currently has had 8 free spay/neuter clinics since 2005 working with local shelters. You can learn more about Red Lake at

    I couldn't agree with you more about the importance of spaying/neutering. Education is also very critical and Pet Haven is exploring ways to work with Red Lake along with HSUS on ways to help the Red Lake community.