Many have asked how did Whispering Willows Senior Dog Sanctuary begin? Let us tell you! Valerie Reid is the President of WWSDS, Around 12 years ago her Dad was on hospice care at home. He had been dealing with cancer for sometime. Valerie and her family took care of him until the very end. His senior Doberman Stayley was by his side and comforted him until he passed. She was love and helped him through his pain. Dogs are a wonderful source of comfort and peace.
There was not a plan in place for what would happen to Stayley. After he passed Valerie's mother was very ill and was not able to care for her physically. At that time Valerie and her husband lived in a large city and weren't allowed to have any more dogs due to city codes. There wasn't anyone to help Stayley and it became a desperate situation. Rescue after rescue were not willing to help Stayley because she was a senior. She was a love bug and had truly been his best friend. Even breed specific rescues turned her away. The situation felt hopeless, until a lady who was a foster had overheard the phone call to a rescue denying help for Stayley. She asked for the families phone number and called right away.
She lived on a farm and had two seniors herself. She offered to help Stayley and keep her until she passed into peace. Stayley lived with her for a year and a half after the transition. Knowing love and kindness. She helped Valerie's family in time of need when they needed it most. They were forever grateful for her help! Valerie began thinking about what happens when others were faced with this issue. Where do all the seniors go? Who takes care of them? Life sometimes hands us situations that we hadn't planned on. Most seniors face euthanasia after being taken to a shelter. Sometimes they are just abandoned. So many face an uncertain future. After they have loved their person they deserve more.
Valerie's heart felt overwhelmed with gratitude and the dream of starting a sanctuary was born. Her daughter was still in school so they waited until she graduated to move. Valerie and her husband Josh started looking for land and a house that could accommodate her dream. They found the perfect setting in Hermitage, Missouri. Once they moved, Valerie filed and received a Department of Agriculture Animal License and became a federally recognized 501C3 Non Profit. Her dream became a reality. Very quickly it became evident how this service was missing in the rescue world. Whispering Willows has grown by leaps and bounds and has surpassed anything she had dreamed of. The seniors are part of a true family. The sanctuary has grown so much that there are 24 hour staff workers present at all times. There is a veterinary technician on staff, the rescues vets also travel out to the sanctuary to do all care that is needed.
The sanctuary has become a much needed service in the rescue world. Allowing seniors the option of a happily ever after. Once the seniors come to the sanctuary, they are home. They never have to leave and they stay until they pass into peace. Every single senior receives full veterinary care, medications, and love! They are never alone and never kenneled. It is a true retirement community. Whispering Willows is 100% donation based and has been entirely supported by wonderful, caring supporters. The seniors never go without and receive the love and care they should have always have had.
Valerie's dream became a reality but also a great source of healing. It also created a way for her to give back for the care and love Stayley had received at the end of her life. One act of kindness can change the world. It certainly forever changed the life and direction of Valerie's family.