It’s heartwarming, heartbreaking and hectic all at the same time at the home of Lindsay Campbell, who opens her home to dying and discarded dogs in need of a loving place to live out their time on earth. She can be found on social media under the official name Pleasant Hill Pet Rescue & Senior Sanctuary (PHPRSS), but this is basically a family effort, with some help from some wonderful individuals, at Lindsay’s home in northeast Tennessee.
Right now, along with her husband and three children (she also has one in college), there are close to 50 dogs and cats in Lindsay’s home and on her property.
The kids give the animals lots of attention.
They share their beds…
…and help with trips to the vet.
Some of the animals the Campbells take in are younger and adoptable, others have serious health problems and need round-the-clock care, and even hospice. Then there are those who are simply old and no longer wanted by their families.
“It absolutely breaks my heart,” said Lindsay. “How would they feel if someone did that to them? These animals deserve to live out their lives with dignity, it’s just not okay to abandon them at the end of their lives.”
Many of the animals Lindsay takes in don’t have much time left.
Since July, Lindsay has had to say goodbye to 15 of her precious pets, her broken heart finding some comfort knowing that these dogs and cats died feeling they were wanted and loved. These are animals that would have otherwise spent their last moments on earth in a shelter – alone.
In many cases, it’s just more convenient for the former owners.
“They just want the dog gone,” Lindsay told me. “Most of the people that contact me are the people who have surrendered their dogs to kill shelters and have had the dogs since they were six weeks old. As soon as there are health issues, the dog is blind, they have incontinence, cognitive dysfunction that causes barking or other health issues, they refuse to deal with it.”
Lindsay works hard to make sure each dog is treasured and gets some time outside the sanctuary. The picture below shows Lindsay with a Pit Bull named Catfish. She took him on a bucket list of adventures before he succumbed to Lymphoma.
Lindsay has a huge heart for animals – it’s in her DNA. She ran a horse farm for years and has offered barn sitting and pet sitting services.
“I’ve always had dogs,” said Lindsay. “They were always at the barn with me. My dog Wanda has been my trusted sidekick. She was a stray, hence the name Wanda – she just “wanda-ed” on in. And she’s been the best dog.”
Wanda is on the right in the picture below.
Lindsay and Wanda have been inseparable for more than 15 years. Recently, Wanda stopped eating and Lindsay dreaded the trip to the vet – she just knew what he would say.
“It was in her liver, her pancreas, she only had a couple days left,” said Lindsay.
This week, Lindsay lost her beloved Wanda.
“It’s tough,” Lindsay held back her tears. “I’ve said a million times, I don’t’ know what I’ll do when Wanda’s gone. She was my sanity. She was my girlfriend, the best friend ever.”
The main picture on this post is of Lindsay and Wanda staying up late snuggling and preparing to say goodbye.
Lindsay has given the gift of this same kind of love to other families.
“Lindsay rescued my Fred from a high-kill shelter in North Carolina,” said pet owner Lisa Sykes, pictured below with little Fred.
“He was one of nine dogs discarded, left to die, because the owners of the puppy mill where he was imprisoned, didn’t want to invest time or money into his veterinary care,” she added. “Lindsay saved all nine dogs and nursed them back to health. Fred was younger and didn’t have special needs, so he became eligible for adoption. Due to Lindsay’s compassion, Fred got a second chance, and our family got a good-natured little dog.”
Lisa will always be grateful for Lindsay’s innate sense of kindness. Lindsay Campbell is a rare breed indeed.
“Running a pet sanctuary is hard work, and while it’s rewarding, it’s also emotionally demanding and costs money,” said Lisa. “And though many of us have gentle hearts, not all of us possess the strength it takes to care for neglected senior dogs. Lindsay has both, but she needs our financial help to continue her important work—touching lives with light and love.”
Lindsay spends $5,000 a month to take care of the medical needs and provide food for the creatures in her care. She has been digging into her own pockets to handle much of the costs but that is no longer possible. Now she needs you.
One of the ways you can help Lindsay and the Pleasant Hill Pet Rescue & Senior Sanctuary is by joining our fundraiser this month. Fetching Apparel is a small, family-owned business that donates 40% of profits to animal rescues. Our September charities are PHPRSS and Appalachian Feline Friends. Use coupon code: PleasantHill and/or Feline to get FREE SHIPPING and to show your support for these wonderful groups.
Please check out our cool apparel featuring our own rescue dog Jeffrey. We know all about the joy a shelter pet can bring to a family and we are honored to be able to get behind people like Lindsay who are on a truly meaningful mission that so few of us could ever handle. Thank you for what you do, Lindsay. God speed, sweet Wanda.