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A Lesson In Resilience  

Animals are a lesson in resilience – they love unconditionally; they forgive and don’t hold grudges. They live in the moment and have so much to teach us.

This beautiful St. Bernard, has been through so much in his young life. Only two years old, “Bill” is his fourth name as he was moved from place to place and then eventually abandoned; tied up and left to fend for himself. He had been restrained so long that his collar rubbed a wound on his neck which had become infected. A kind soul found him and brought him to HOV. Once we cleaned his wounds and gave him a haircut to remove matted hair and debris, we quickly realized that his big heart was still completely open to love.

It didn’t take long for Sarah and her family to recognize this gentle giant’s warm heart and kind soul. “I had always wanted a large breed dog and was drawn to check out HOV’s website….and there he was! It was fate and love at first sight. We had the room and the time to care for a large dog, and after our first meeting, we knew he had to come home with us”.

Bill has quickly become part of the family. He is totally “chill,” happy to lounge around the house and yard and spend time with his new family. Sarah and David have two kids: Avery and Asher and Bill has connected with both of them in different ways. Asher is autistic and needs personal space — Bill intuitively knows when to give that space. He will lay on the floor next to Asher to keep him company (and sneak any treat that may fall on the floor). And Avery is quick to tell you that she’s Bill’s favorite family member.

Each year, thousands of animals come to HOV through owner surrenders, our partnerships with other shelters and rescues and as strays that are never reclaimed. Many come to us through a tumultuous series of events, like Bill. And we’re grateful they’ve made it to Heart of the Valley where we can care for them, give them the attention they need and deserve and find them new homes.

We are blessed every day to learn the important lessons that animals like Bill can teach us. But we could not do this work without your support. It is only through your love of and commitment to helping lost and homeless animals that we can continue to provide second chances for animals and the people who love them. Please join us in ensuring that stories like Bill’s have a happy ending.