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Being Thankful, Even in Sorrow

Tuesday, October 25, 2016


It is always hard when you lose someone close to you. For all of us at Woodstock Sanctuary, this has been especially true during the past few months. We’ve recently lost some of our dearest and oldest animal residents—Andy, Emmett, Felix, Alana, and Joey. They’ve shared so many memories with us over the years and touched so many lives.

Photo: Rich Cundari

Felix (Photo by Rich Cundari)



We rescue most of our animal residents as babies, since they would only be allowed to live out a small fraction of their lives in the agriculture industry. Now that Woodstock is a mature sanctuary in its 12th year – with 350 animals to care for – it’s to be expected that we say goodbye to some of our older residents. Many have lived here nearly all their lives, and for most of the life of the Sanctuary too.

Although we continue to rescue and take in many young ones, a third of our animals are now elderly. That also means providing hospice and end-of-life care to our dear friends, which is always hard, and always right. We are part of the animals’ whole life, including the gift of growing old while surrounded by friends and supported by extraordinary care.

Joey (Photo by Kristin Heffernan)

We are deeply saddened when we lose an elderly animal that is so close to us and has been with us through the ups and downs. That is the heartbreak of our work. But we are so thankful to be able to provide so many special animals with joyous, peaceful lives that most farmed animals never get to experience. We know it won’t ever be easy, yet we are deeply thankful for you and everyone who helps us care for these animals through their entire lives. It is truly an honor and we never take its wonders for granted, even in sorrow.


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