It is probably something we have all thought about. “What if something happens to me? What if I get sick and am no longer here? Who will care for my furkid?”.
When we picked Safe Place For Pets as our Colorado rescue for the Adventure Of A Lifetime, it was an organization that spoke to my heart. Having lost my best friend and Granny just a short time ago, I know how worried she was when she became sick that her dog Cuddles would be taken care of.
She often told me how no one would know the “little things” she did for her. But we were fortunate that she was able to tell us those “little things” and that my aunt adopted Cuddles after Granny passed away. But how many other families or persons are not so fortunate? Thus the need for Safe Place For Pets in Manitou Springs, Colorado.
Safe Place For Pets was started in 1996 by a hospice nurse who recognized a need. With hospice patients, they saw that pets were an integral part of the their patient’s emotional support team. Sometimes, their pets were all they had. They provided unconditional love at its finest. But as their patients came closer to dying, the worry and angst was overwhelming. What would happen to their pet? Often, their pets were elderly and their families had pets and families of their own. Their greatest fear was that their pet would end up at a shelter and feel completely abandoned.
According to their brochure, Safe Place For Pets cares “for the beloved animal companions of terminally ill persons of El Paso and Teller Counties until a new, permanent home is found.” Their mission statement states they are “dedicated to working in partnership with terminally ill persons as they seek new homes for their animal companions.”
What they do is much more than a mission statement however. On a very foggy and cold day in Colorado, we met three volunteers, Sandy, Kat and Kim from Safe Place For Pets at their Welcome Center who came in especially to speak with us and film the latest episode of Stop Hounding Me.
Each one of the volunteers here this day touched our hearts. So compassionate and devoted to helping not only the animals in their care, but the persons who loved these animals was inspiring. In fact, this organization has no paid employees and is a total volunteer organization with a Board of Directors from the community that oversees its operations. You will enjoy meeting these passionate people and animal loving volunteers as much as we did!
I often think of my Granny and how much I am like her. I can remember when we would venture out to lunch or on an errand, she had Cuddles’ treats ready on a paper towel for her when she left, just as she sat out her shoes. As we were leaving to visit Safe Place For Pets, I realized I had just laid out Brickle and Digby’s treats too. I knew I had picked the right rescue to visit. This visit is in memory of my Granny who I miss overwhelmingly. I would like to think she would have enjoyed this visit too.
Safe Place For Pets prefers not to be called a rescue. They prefer to call what they do “rehoming” and we totally agree. But to do what they do, they desperately need foster homes who can provide this temporary, comfy transition into a new home for these grieving animals. Fostering in this way, for this organization can only be described as fulfilling. Fostering for them allows you to care for the pet of a person who cared for them deeply. Generally, these pets have been with their owners for their whole lives. With fostering, you can provide them the love and care they need, and it is a short-term commitment. You are helping Safe Place For Pets rehome more animals. And that is a great thing. Kat, one of their valued volunteers mentioned that many of their fosters and even adopters adopt and foster over and over again. They are surely appreciated by this organization as we saw photos of their many animals on the wall.
Safe Place For Pets also has a Wellness Program as they explained on the video above. If you are terminally ill in the counties they service and you qualify, the Wellness Program for Pets offers pet care assistance to those who are focused on their own end of life circumstance. This program so graciously provides a level of comfort to the ill and also to their family. They will help with transport to a vet or groomer, walks, pet sitting, playtime and exercise, and more. As someone who saw their grandmother on this same end of life journey, I cannot imagine how Cuddles would have fared without family there to help. But what if we would not have been there? Not everyone has family or a family nearby. By filling out an application, those in need can start to receive peace of mind. And isn’t that so important?
Our pets are everything to us. Safe Place For Pets so selflessly gives of themselves by being active in their community and by holding and attending events to get the furkids in their care adopted. Since their beginning in 1996, they have found homes for more than 500 bereaved pets of terminally ill pet parents. They are a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. If you would like to support their mission in memory of someone dear to your heart, consider donating to keep their work continuing. Just last year, they adopted out 77 cats and dogs, which was their biggest year yet! And not only do they help dogs and cats, but they have had birds and rabbits in their programs as well.
Safe Place For Pets
1141 Manitou Avenue
Manitou Springs, CO 80829