Disabled animals find their forever home at Amboy sanctuary

Rescue is collecting donations for its annual fundraiser beginning April 20


A small sanctuary in Amboy is making a big impact on disabled animals in the region. Angels with Misplaced Wings sanctuary provides a forever home, with love and top-notch medical care, for special needs animals who were never adopted.

Jeff Evans and Allen Michael began caring for disabled dogs in 2010. Since moving to Amboy, they have expanded to caring for livestock as well.

“Part of our mission is to be a demonstration of the kind of rescues we want to see in the world, which are small, family [and] community-based. These guys live with us in our home,” Evans said.

When Angels with Misplaced Wings accepts an animal, they become a permanent member of the family. The sanctuary’s animals are not available for adoption and Michael, Evans and his family care for them the rest of their lives.

“At some point, they need stability. At some point, life just has to become normal,” Evans said.

Sanctuaries like Angels with Misplaced Wings are important for animal rescues, Evans said. When a medically expensive animal with special needs stays for months at a rescue or foster, they impede the rescue’s ability to save more lives with their limited resources.

“Their job is to save and rehome, so they can save another dog. If they take a [paralyzed] dog like Dora in, and she’s staying at the rescue, they have to use life-saving resources to maintain her instead of saving lives,” Evans said. “We’re supporting the rescue world and allowing those rescues to get back to using their resources for what they’re there to do: save lives and get them adopted.”

Many of the dogs at the sanctuary struggle with medical issues, including incontinence and paralysis. Mondays and Tuesdays are dedicated to medical care. The dogs receive physical therapy in Portland. Holistic medicine, such as herbal supplements and acupuncture, are also part of their regimen.

“We are always focused on their quality of life. We said we would always do everything we could and would always be open to new things. That’s how we ended up doing acupuncture and Chinese herbs that make an incredible difference in their lives,” Evans said.

Caring for disabled animals is expensive and time-consuming, Evans said. Food, diapers and medications cost the sanctuary $750 each day. About three hours each day are spent changing diapers, expressing bladders and cleaning the animals.

Two of Evans’ and Michael’s dogs, Vivian the Dalmatian and great Dane Caesar, inspired them to pursue sanctuary work.

Evans and Michael’s first disabled dog, Vivian, who is blind, came from a California rescue. Adopting her taught them that any pet owner can learn to accommodate disabilities if they are willing, Evans said.

“At the time, we took her for an hour-long walk and had a conversation about whether we could provide the right home and care for a blind dog,” Evans said. “What we realized … is that we were committed to whatever happened to them throughout their lives. At any point, they could be blind or injured and we would take care of them. We wouldn’t know how, but we would figure it out. So, we took Vivian home.”

Caesar became paralyzed during his senior years but kept his zeal for life, Evans said.

“For Caesar … people made a lot of assumptions that because he couldn’t move he should be euthanized. But, he was bright, he was alert and he was actively engaged in his environment,” Evans said. “Caesar always loved to watch TV. When he was paralyzed, one of the ways I knew he was actively engaged was I would sit in front of him and block his view of the TV and he would bark until I moved.”

The sanctuary’s current ambassador, Dora, was discovered by a rescue in Mexico outside of Mexico City after she was hit by a car, which left her back legs paralyzed. Unable to rehome Dora, the rescue sent her to Evans and Michael.

To help defray costs, Angels with Misplaced Wings sanctuary has an annual garage sale, its biggest fundraiser of the year.  The year’s event will run from Aug. 8 through Aug. 10. The sanctuary is currently accepting item drop-offs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., April 20, May 18, June 15 and July 27 at Lumos Hearth and Home, 711 E. Main St., No. 102, Battle Ground.

To learn more about the sanctuary, visit its Facebook page at facebook.com/angelswithmis placedwings or email ohana@an gelswithmisplacedwings.org.