As you consider helping animals get out of shelters and tough spots, take a look at this illustration. It is a portion of the “nameplate” on the Animal Angels of Texas website animalangelstexas.org
And, as we clicked onto the website Sunday morning, we realized right away that the angel with the halo has long represented the spirit of Carole Sanders.
It sounds almost improbable but the hard-driving, mission-focused Carole has left us -- after suffering a stroke on the 29th, she died on Friday just as midnight was approaching.
Can you imagine how many animals greeted this Animal Angel! She made lives safe for so many, many animals at the sanctuary near Jacksboro. Opened lots of human hearts, too. The official statement on the website reads, “Carole passed peacefully into the arms of our Lord, just before midnight, surrounded by loved ones.
"She will be cremated and and her ashes will remain at our Memorial Garden at the Sanctuary. Celebration of Life will be planned for some time in February, details pending. Thanks to everyone for your many prayers for her, and for our Animal Angels family. She knew she was much loved by so many.”
Back in 2005, the Jonnie England-led no-kill shelter Operation Kindness presented Carole with the Sarah M. and Charles E. Seay Award for Kindness to Animals. She was more than deserving -- she’d created a place to help animals -- a place of love.
That photograph was taken on December 3 at Animal Angels. The Facebook caption read, “Carole and little Chewy looking through catalogs to pick out some things for their Christmas stockings....” I'm betting Carole was whispering something sweet to Chewy!
Here’s a bit from the “about” passage from the sanctuary’s website that tells you how much decency the planet has lost with the passing of Carole Sanders: “With the help of a small and very dedicated group of volunteers, Carole Sanders created ANIMAL ANGELS Rescue, Rehabilitation, Adoption and Sanctuary, which is now permanent home for 300+ dogs, mostly larger breeds, who have become homeless with no one to care for them. They come from all walks of life, in all sizes and colors, and all needing that special care and love that is so generously offered here.
“ANIMAL ANGELS is the brainchild, heart and soul of a spunky septuagenarian named Carole Sanders. In 1992, after years of getting stray dogs, cats, turtles, etc, off the roads from Texas to California, and anywhere else she happened to be, it was becoming increasingly apparent that Carole needed to become a non-profit organization, if the work she had started was to continue. 501(c)3 status was granted in June of 1993.
Carole retired from American Airlines in the fall of 2001, after nearly 40 years as a Flight Attendant.”
She didn’t retire from her mission, just from the job she loved. Read more about her and the sanctuary she founded at animalangelstexas.org. Go to the Facebook page to see the animals, the evolution of the sanctuary and the hearts -- animal and human -- who have been touched by the great Carole Sanders and will continue to be touched by her legacy.
[LARRY ASIDE: As I look back over my years of writing about animal people and animals, I think the spirit of Carole Sanders represents animal advocates with this great, simple philosophy: Help the animals. Thanks to Carole for being a beacon of hope for animals. Thanks to all of you rescuers and advocates who work to open the eyes and hearts of people who encounter animals. May we all carry some of Carole's heart with us. May we all find joy in helping animals.]
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