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For a year I was fostering 3 kittens hoping to find them a good home. When that didn't happen and the cats had outgrown the little room they lived in, I had to find them a better place. I contacted Home For Life animal sanctuary in WI. They said they had 24/7 professional staff and all the cats and dogs they take in are there for the rest of their lives. The day I dropped off the cats and all their gear, the cat facilities were filthy, stinky, overrun with dogs, and my cats were terrified when the staff just threw them in with all the others and assured me the cats always adjust well to this.

3 days later the head of Home For Life called to tell me to come get my cats; her staff was preparing for a big tour and my cats weren't fitting in, wouldn't eat or come out from hiding, and one was dying. I raced out to get the cats and take them to my vet and within an hour the one did die as my vet was examining her. The others were sick (not eating or drinking or able to use their back legs) for about 8 days. (I believe they were weakened from being too frightened to eat or drink or sleep for those 3 days.)

When I requested the return of all the items I'd dropped off with my cats, I was told the case of food had already been consumed (altho my cats had eaten nothing), and they were too busy to find the rest of my things, and the Home For Life head left me long, rambling voice mails that I wouldn't get as much as "a thin dime" out of them, and that I should be grateful to them.

By contacting their Board and attorney directly, I finally got some of my things back and a check to reimburse me for the rest, but not for the loss of one cat and the suffering of the other 2.

BEWARE of this "sanctuary." I've heard they are no longer allowing people to enter their facilities to drop off pets and that's the first sign that the place has something to hide.

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Anonymous
#564616

There is no website to pictures or live webcams.

At our rescue-sanctuary We use live webcams all the time. It averts false coments and helps with donations too.

WE RECOMMEND IT TO THIS RESCUE :roll

~~~~~~~~~~~

Anonymous
#381111

This comment was posted not by a consumer but by someone who claims to be a former employee who worked at Home for Life(HFL) for an undisclosed length of time- five years ago. The former employee ( ?)- and how much creditability can we give someone who won’t sign their real name or who, by their own admission, has not been at the sanctuary for 5 years) does not appreciate or understand the most basic premise of Home for Life - our mission. We are a care for life sanctuary for unadoptable animals.

Animals who could have found a home via adoption would not have been offered for placement to Home for Life. Animals come to HFL from rescues, shelters, vets and private parties. In addition, among our animal residents are animals given to us by owners who have stipulated that they did not want them re-homed.

Among our cats and dogs are many animals who have been adopted and returned from homes several times before finally arriving at Home for Life. The dog or cat who has had 3-7 placements ( adopted and returned) is not a unique or unusual animal at HFL. There are so many charities and rescues that do adoptions( nearly 200 in the Twin Cities metropolitan area alone); we do not replicate a service already being offered by several other organizations.

The author of this email apparently never even read our website, our blog or even our newsletters to comprehend the mission of the organization where he/ she claims to have worked. We are clear...

Despite so many organizations offering the service of adoption, there are still many animals who are not able to find homes. These are the animals Home for Life was created to care for- elderly animals, disabled animals those with medical and behavior issues. . Even then, we can only care for a relatively small number at a given time but the over 100 calls and emails we get per day requesting placement for animals who cannot be adopted attests to the need for care for life facilities like Home for Life.

There are several inaccuracies in this post which, giving the author the benefit of the doubt might be attributed to his/her faulty memory after five years.

First, the author accuses me and HFL of hoarding animals when they have not been at HFL for over 5 years. Hoarding is a loaded term that is easily thrown around by ignorant individuals who maybe enjoy reality television but who have no professional education in psychopathology, and who have no other agenda than to cause trouble through slander and defamation( legally actionable) for their own negative reasons.

Home for Life has less than 100 cats in total at the sanctuary, divided among three spacious catteries, each with an attached outdoor run . One cattery is devoted to our leukemia positive cats, one cattery to our FIV positive cats and one to cats who are not contagious with any communicable feline virus but who have conditions such as paraplegia, diabetes, epilepsy, incontinence, cerebral palsy, who are feral or elderly or who have disabilities such as blindness. None of these cats were able to be adopted out through rescues or shelters and indeed, most of our cats came to the sanctuary from rescue groups who could not find homes for them.

Our townhouses that the author describes ( inaccurately) are constructed like small houses and insulated on the floors, ceilings and all walls and then finished with washable wallboards and linoleum flooring. Each townhouse has piped in music, security cameras, windows and an attached outdoor run accessible via a dog door to our dogs at any time. Townhouses are air conditioned in the summer. The townhouses are furnished with donated couches, futons and chairs With the thick and abundant insulation that these houses are constructed with, the electric heat provides an abundant and safe source of warmth throughout the winter. All short hair dogs wear dog coats ( we recommend Weatherbeata and FidoFleece).

The two weimeraners the writer references are Skippy and Hattie, profiled on our website, who came to us as refugees from Texas after Hurricane Rita. They have been at Home for Life for over six years now and are age 13 and 15. Neither has frozen to death yet. They live in our main dog building which not only is heated but has heated floors and in addition has central air conditioning, piped in music, an air purification system and security cameras . Skippy and Hattie like nothing better than reclining on sofas that are available for them in their doggie apartment.

Our several dog groups are divided by size and temperament. Not all people get along and neither do all dogs. Dogs are organized among 15 dog townhouses and 8 dog apartments into compatible groups of 2-6 in number . This tactic promotes harmony among the members of the dog groups who enjoy the company of other dogs they are compatible with and creates a safe environment for our staff. Dogs are pack animals who enjoy running and playing with each other. One great benefit to a sanctuary which has long term residents is the opportunity to get to know each dog well-they have personalities as individual as people. Knowing each dog as well as we do allows us to create harmonious dog groups where dogs form close bonds of friendships. and dogs who have come to the sanctuary from the same home can stay together.

Second, there can be no doubt that the animals at Home for Life are well loved. One way to demonstrate love for animals is to provide attentive care: making sure they are clean and well groomed( HFL employs two professional groomers who are at HFL three days a week to groom both our cats and dogs) ensuring that their surroundings are clean and comfortable, making sure they are well nourished with the best diet available( HFL spends over $12,000 a month on food for our animals),that they receive time to be outside and exercise under supervision and even swim, and that they receive medical care appropriate to their needs ( Home for Life spends over $100,000 per year on veterinary care. Our younger dogs receive training through our community outreach programs (more on these below) with the goal of becoming certified for therapy work. Some misguided (lazy?) employees forget that all the petting in the world won’t matter if animals don’t get fed or are not kept clean. Love is shown through action. To paraphrase Mother Teresa, if you want to show someone you care, pick up a broom and get to work. Caring for animals is hard work, and that concept is not necessarily understood by some individuals who think they want to earn a living working with animals but do not have the aptitude, physical stamina or athletic ability or conditioning , dedication or work ethic to do so.

Among our animals at Home for Life are several who have been surrendered to us with behavior issues, or who have been deemed shy, unsocial or even feral. Adoption into a typical home was not an option for them. Yet because of the care they have enjoyed at Home for Life, and the loving care of our staff (the competent individuals we have been fortunate to have on staff), many of these cats and dogs who could not make it anywhere else have thrived at Home for Life, and have become tractable, tame capable of being handled, accepting of attention and even affectionate. Their example illustrates that Home for Life offers more than the rudiments of care to our dogs and cats. I attribute the dramatic transformations we see regularly to the loving care provided by our employees and to the stability and security our animals have knowing they are home for life, with consistent reliable care and employees they are familiar with and not in transition or about to be recycled into yet another placement that may or may not work out. We value the contributions of our volunteers and describe their efforts below. However, we have found our animals, especially those with behavior concerns, do best with the consistent and reliable care provided by employees as opposed to a revolving door of volunteers. Our facility is located in rural Wisconsin 50 miles from the Twin Cities metropolitan area and fifty miles from Eau Claire, WI; on days where the weather is challenging, we must count on paid staff to carry out the hard work of caring for the animals which starts at 7 am and continues until after 10 pm every single day. No matter what the weather, Home for Life operates 365 days a year, and is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including weekends and all holidays.

Third, most if not substantially all of our animals HAD an adoptive home at some point in their lives and most have had two or more- before they have come to the sanctuary. An adoptive home is not necessarily the panacea that this writer imagines it to be. I can tell you the stories of many of our animals who spent 10-12 hours a day in a crate- in a home. Or who were locked in a bathroom all day- in a home . Or were tied in a basement- in a home or left outside all day with no shelter or tied up outside - while in a home. Or who were brought by their adoptive owner to the vet to be put down - and then the vet called us to save the animal’s life. Or who were starved to death in a home. Or shot by their owner because they bit a child or went to the bathroom in the home and so they were killed, or brought to a shelter or vet and put down before we could return the owner’s phone call to intercept the animal ( all calls to our toll free line and all emails are answered by volunteers who work at their day jobs full time so while we try to return all calls the same day some people get impatient, you know). Some of our animals have obviously had a prior home because they are declawed or neutered or spayed or even a microchip or license

( expired or with a disconnected phone number) but they become lost or are dumped. No one- their home- looks for them.. They are injured, and then a volunteer or employee at animal control or a shelter will call us on the eve of the cat or dog’s euthanasia by gas chamber or lethal injection and ask for our help. But the animal is paralyzed now from the injury and in need of hundreds if not thousands in medical care. There are no homes now for that animal. Some of our animals were in their adoptive home for 10 or more years, then the owner had a baby or moved or got married or … fill in the blank. And now the pet is unwanted. They had a loving home – or did they? Where did the love go? All I can tell you is about the MANY calls and emails we get daily from people who don’t want their dog or cat anymore that they have had for years. While we all talk about adoption- a laudable goal- let’s not forget about these animals who were adopted and had a home but now are unwanted.

Sometimes and especially in this economy, animals lose their home through no fault of the prior owner. There are bankruptcies, foreclosures, job losses and catastrophic injuries or illnesses so that though the loving owner may wish they could keep their pet, they just cannot. If a friend or relative can’t take the pet, and the pet cannot be adopted out to rescue, then what? In these situations, it is a comfort for that owner to know the animal( maybe a senior or with special needs) is at Home for Life. They know where their beloved dog or cat is, and they can visit the animal at the sanctuary and also keep in touch via email and even receive photos. As you might suspect many of these individuals cannot afford to sponsor their former pet, but one thing we can do for them is give them peace of mind about their pet by keeping in touch with photos and emails, and welcoming them for visits.

Fourth, as we have written in the past, people need to think more expansively about what a home is and to imagine the concept from an animal’s point of view. A home is not necessarily mom.dad,2.2 kids in the suburbs with a picket fence. For an animal, a home is where they are lovingly cared for, where they know they are safe and secure, and where they have or can form friendships and bonds with both their human friends and those animals of their own kind. Home for Life offers all the important features of a loving home that make the difference to an animal.

Finally, the writer of the derogatory comments about me and Home for Life claims to have knowledge about Home for Life( from five years ago) yet omits or has forgotten(?) or maybe never noticed such an important part of our mission- our community outreach programs. Many of our animals who are social and enjoy getting out are involved in our community outreach programs, known as the Pet Peace Corps. Annually, our animals, along with our volunteers, give back to our community which supports HFL by providing solace and joy through healing pet therapy to at risk people of all ages. As we like to say it’s at risk animals helping at risk people. Each year Home for Life animals and volunteers provide pet therapy to over 1000 at risk kids and over 1200 at risk adults in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Home for Life staff travel from the sanctuary almost every day to our meet our volunteers at our community partners’ locations for pet therapy visits. Populations we serve through our pet therapy programs include: the elderly, hospice patients, children impacted by domestic abuse, adjudicated youth, hospitalized patients, pediatric adolescent and adult, including those in the oncology, critical care, cardiac, transplant and mental health units at the University of Minnesota Hospitals and soldiers returning from the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts who receive rehabilitation and treatment at the Minneapolis VA Hospital’s Poly Trauma Unit, one of just four such facilities in the entire country. That’s a lot of love the animals at Home for Life give and that they, along with our volunteers, share with the most vulnerable members of our community. How can anyone say our animals are not only loved but also provide love through our programs?

In summary, as the artist Andy Warhol wrote, “ don’t worry about what they say about you-just measure it in inches”. It is too bad that the authors of these personal attacks on me and Home for Life have so little that is positive in their lives, that on the eve of Thanksgiving, they can find nothing better to do than to spend their energy trying to cyber-bully me and hurt the animals at Home for Life by composing these vicious entries. They are cowardly and pathetic bullies, who cannot even sign their real names to their comments, and I cannot help but feel sorry for them. However, I also have to thank them: they have only given me the opportunity to highlight the accomplishments of Home for Life and the good work of our dedicated staff and volunteers- and our animals.

For those who would like to meet our animals and learn more about Home for Life, our mission and programs, please visit us this Christmas season at our annual holiday event at the Mall of America. We will be outside of Macy’s Courtyard each day from December 24, 2011 through January 8, 2012.

Wishing you a very happy holiday season from Home for Life

Peace,

Lisa

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Anonymous
#359882

I believe HML is doing a great amount of good.First off, of course the facility isn't going to smell great 24/7.

Does a farm ever smell good? No-but you don't see people bashing farms for their smell or all the urine and *** on the floor. HML does a great job at cleaning & maintaining a great environment for people who abuse or don't care about their animals.

I really don't believe that HML killed your cat.People need to find out the true facts of things before they go making false accusations towards HML.

Anonymous
#315361

I checked back to this ongoing

session and really can't believe the negative

sludge aimed at a rescue/sanctuary trying to do for unadoptable animals what no other

or few other groups are doing. The fact of the matter is - if you can't help: be quiet- or if you

can do better- then go do it. I suspect that

all of the complainers work for animals - if they get money for doing so. While there is room for debate on the best time line for euthanazia and for who should get blankets to lay on and who shouldn't-

get real. If you have cleaned your house top to bottom and are surprised that

a cat threw up a hairball on your newly

cleaned rug- or pee'd outside the box you shouldn't be in the rescue

or animal world.Animal care involves

cleaning - all of the time. End of story.

But that doesn't mean when you are done-

that everything is still spotless.

Animals have bigger problems than if you like everything about a certain rescue. They have issues about there being enough compassionate caring people who actually go thru the trouble to

start and keep running- rescues and sanctuaries so they don't have to die needless, early deaths at the hands of humans who have tired of them and their needs. So please folks- get a grip and use this energy to better something. It's really old.

Anonymous
#301367

our invalid animals who may be incontinent have hammocks which are washable( made by FelineSnoozers.com) and blankets and pads which are also washed daily.some of the incontinent animals use diapers or pee pads.

couches, futons and mattresses are discarded when soiled or ruined but are used by animals who are not incontinent.

we won't even accept donations of furniture which is soiled.Air purification systems made by VENMAR installed in all buildings take care of any other odor not addressed by our thorough daily cleaning and conscientious daily care of our animals.

Anonymous
to Lisa LaVerdiere Executive Dire #707836

You don't have air purification systems Lisa. You have two Heat Recovery Ventilators (HRV) and one Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV). If you like, I can give you the model and serial numbers. They are designed to draw fresh outdoor air, cross it through a heat exchanging core with the stale air which is simulaneously being exhausted outdoors. There is no purification taking place. In your case, there is no air exchange taking place either because the intake hoods are covered with nearly two inches of debris and animal hair. Once those are cleaned, it still doesn't work because the removable filters are so filthy they've been sucked out of their designed slots. Once the removable filters are cleaned, still no success because the fan blades on each of two blower assemblies are ridiculously covered with the same type of debris. Once these assemblies are removed, disassembled, and cleaned by hand with a brush, it's barely ventilating because the exchanger core is also packed solid. Once those are removed, soaked, and flushed with water, now you're ventillating but not purifying.

I would advise you to hire an honest local man to come and service this equipment, but you already did that. After he spent a long day disecting and reassembling this mess, you called him a disorganised clock milker and created false allegations of causing a scene, throwing things, and "harrassing your young employees" so you could finaggle your way out of paying a measly $250.00. ...

I have no qualifications or crudentials to speak on the care of distressed animals. I will say that the only reason to extend an animals tortured life is for human greed. For every one animal that is happy and healthy at HFL, there is another that Mother Nature should have claimed by now. I guess 50/50 isn't bad if it makes your quota, or brings in a monthly donation. You can write all the diplomatic, hot air filled, bleeding heart posts you want. You can have fancy open houses with an American Indian Chief singing ancient songs that nobody else understands, but there is no doubt that you are hiding things from the public. Only fifteen minutes of research reveals that you have been up to this for a while. Hurry up and hire someone to say something nice. You can keep your $250 and spend it on parasite treatment. Shortly after I finished the work mentioned above, my ankles and stomache were covered with bites. Once the pest control guys finish their honest work, tell them you heard they slapped your grandma and don't pay them. That's where you are a true expert. You have absolutely no business managing people. You're far better on a keyboard lying.

Joe Letourneau

St. Croix Falls, WI

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Anonymous
#301300

I've viewed the HFL website and see cats / dogs laying on sofas and futons with many blankets.I can imagine the odor in that place.

Do they throw the futons/ couches out when they get soiled by invalid animals?

I doubt it that's why the blankets are there.:(

Anonymous
Alta Vista, Iowa, United States #277326

Home for Life's animal areas are thoroughly cleaned every day,whether we have tours scheduled or not.It is impossible to take care of animals properly without thorough cleaning of animal living quarters every day.

We have a number of staff on duty daily whose only job is to ensure all catteries, dog townhouses and dog apartments are cleaned and waste in all runs and outdoor areas removed. Proper care for animals requires that cleaning be done on a daily basis. Again. Home for Life is proud of our work on behalf of the special needs animals for whom we care and we have nothing to hide.

We invite anyone who is curious about our facility and work to attend our next open house on Saturday July 30.Donors and sponsors are invited to tour the sanctuary: please call to schedule a time to visit.

Anonymous
Alta Vista, Iowa, United States #277320

if "Doc4Pets" cannot identify themselves,instead hiding behind an alias to mask their identity, it is hard to give their "opinion" any creditabiliy.In fact "doc" is wrong .

Home for Life works with several veterinarians locally and has their own veterinarian who is at the sanctuary weekly to manage and oversee care,to prescribe medication for our animals, and advise and perform necessary euthanasias. if euthanasias are needed at other times, we have veterinarians available to help on an ER basis.

In addition we work regularly with veterinary specialists at the University of Minnesota Veterinary Medical Center.Any one of these veterinarians is obviously better informed and much more qualified than the obviously uninformed, incompetent "doc" to advise regarding our care of the animals at Home for Life

Doc4Pets
#277227

HFL is a horrible place that's open to the public only after major cleaning overhauls and temporary relocation of many animals. Currently veterinarians aren't even permitted on the property.

Lisa does NOT follow veterinary advice about humane euthanization. Vet staff can advise, urge, and plead but Lisa refuses euthanization and HFL animals suffer long and horribly before they die. Regularly she diagnoses, prescribes, and medicates without consulting any veterinarian which, of course, is against the law. Being a lawyer, Lisa knows this and knows how to skirt the law.

It was fair to expect a sanctuary for FeLV+ cats to have a safe place to admit them and transition them to shelter life. But that's not what HFL has to offer. It's a miserable, reeking madhouse and one of these days Lisa will be arrested and either her Board will have to take the reins and make the necessary improvements or HFL will be shut down for good and most animals in their care euthanized. That's the bottom line.

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