No-kill rescue is often difficult, sometimes heartbreaking and always rewarding but one aspect of it is rarely discussed, publicized or even understood: lifers. The forgotten ones. Forgotten by nature, society and most times, the very humans that made them the way they are: distrustful, scared and sometimes aggressive. But NEVER are they forgotten by their rescuers. Lifers (or life term angels) are the animals that have been abused and neglected to such a degree that they are unadoptable. Heartbreakingly, if these animals end up in a kill shelter, this usually means a death sentence for these beautiful, broken souls, in a room smelling sour, sweet of harsh chemicals and no comfort in the bright glare of the fluorescent lights.
With the same determination and zeal that made HALO a reality, Jacque made a pledge that these animals would find sanctuary with her and her dedicated staff and she has kept that promise. Each life term angel is handled on a case to case basis depending on their specific needs but they all receive the same loving treatment as the rest of the rescues. Some of them even have jobs! Trixie, a stray brought in to the shelter in June 2014, has severe male aggression but she LOVES playing with other dogs and so has been assigned the position of “temperament tester” where she gets to meet new surrendered dogs every day and determine their personality and disposition.
Unfortunately, some of the lifers are so severely shattered, they are unable to handle the presence of other dogs or human beings. Timmy was brought to HALO in July 2014 from Miami after being tied to a truck and relentlessly and horrifically pulled down a road. His injuries and road rash were so severe that he had to have multiple skin grafts and spent several weeks at the veterinarian healing. Only his physical wounds healed. Timmy is unable to deal with any other animals and only trusts one very special handler.
With her promise in mind, Jacque thought of a better way for these life term angels. An Enrichment Center completely dedicated to the lifers as well as new surrenders who need extensive behavioral treatment before being adopted out to their fur-ever home. This innovative center will have kennel systems with home furniture and a separate studio room where volunteers and employees can spend the night with a rescue to acclimate them to home life. It will also include fields where trainers can work with the dogs one on one or in packs. For some, it will be their home where they will thrive and enjoy a long life. For others, it will act as a transitioning phase where they can learn and grow in a calm environment.
But HALO needs your help in making this amazing dream become a reality. If you are interested in donating to the Enrichment Center or willing to volunteer your time, please visit www.halorescuefl.org.