Monica E. Smith

Monica E. Smith

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


We lost our Beagle-mix, Bernie, last year. We had dogs in the past, but Bernie was the one who had most endeared herself to me. While I love animals of all kinds, Bernie was the one with whom I had that special bond. She will forever be missed.
Since her death, there has been an emptiness that has been difficult to fill. There have been so many times when I just wanted to put my arms around a furry, innocent little creature, and let it know it was loved and would be well cared-for. We may, at some point, welcome another dog into our home, but I am not quite ready for that yet (but getting closer). In the meantime, I have been trying to find something to help comfort and fill the void.
Some months ago, I discovered a place in Marysville, Ohio, called Sunrise Sanctuary, a private not-for-profit charity. Sunrise Sanctuary relies completely on donations in order to care for their animals. They offer a safe haven for more than 170 neglected/abandoned, abused, disabled or simply unwanted animals. These animals--all rescues--are allowed to live out their natural lives in a loving and lovely country setting.
We were introduced to "Carol", who is the main care-giver here. She is a wonderfully open person, whose love for these creatures is undeniable. She showed us the grounds, from top to bottom, and allowed us to stay as long as we wanted to spend time with the animals and take photos. Visits here need to be scheduled, but that is a simple process. An email or call to the facility is all that is needed.
I loved this place! The animals are free to roam and interact with visitors and with each other, and you won't find a cage anywhere (except for, understandably, the smaller animals such as rats, gerbils, chinchillas, etc.). Our visit was totally hands-on. I hugged everything from cows to goats to donkeys to rats to chickens and even pigs! And, yes, pigs can be affectionate. While the attention and love given to the animals by visitors absolutely enhance their lives, I found that sense of well-being transferred to me. When love is given, there is a transformation within the giver as well.
Sunrise Sanctuary is, above everything else, a work of love. As God's children, we are to be stewards of the natural world given to us. And they take that to heart at this sanctuary. I would highly encourage you to visit Sunrise Sanctuary online, and in person, and support this most worthwhile cause. They are especially in need of volunteers, if you are so moved. And supplies and donations are always needed and, truthfully, imperative and fundamental in order to keep Sunrise Sanctuary up and running. A simple call or email query will give you an idea of the type of supplies that are needed. The many ways to be of service or donate are listed at the Sunrise Sanctuary web site, and also on their Facebook page. Do yourself a favor, and truly love an animal today. It will make a profound change in you as well.
Sunrise Sanctuary
16730 Martin Welch Road
Marysville, Ohio 43040
Phone           (937) 578-8771
Scott with Wesley (check out the website for
pictures of Wesley's birthday party 2012!)

Carol with Danny the Draft Horse

Monica and Roscoe

George the Llama

Gracie, George's Lady Love

Woody the (love-sick) Goat

Resident Camaraderie

Monica with Baby

Carol and Joe, the Silkie

Supper, the Ornery Duck

Esther, Keeping Cool

Monica with Benji, the Rat

Chance, the Pit Bull in Mid-yawn (let's just say
he is not a fighter)

Henry (the 8th), a Lover

Scott with a Smiling Henry