The Maggie Fleming Animal Hospice and Karass Sanctuary
The Maggie Fleming Animal Hospice and The Karass Sanctuary for Farmed Animals is a wee bit of the world where animals who have more often than not had a pretty hard time of it and not known a lot of love or kindness in their lives can lay their hats and leave the bad stuff behind them. The worst bit is over and now it's time to enjoy life, find love, and enjoy the things that make them come alive.
I started The Maggie Fleming Animal Hospice in March 2016 in memory of my friend Maggie who died alone and in a lot of pain at the vet hospital. You can read more about Maggie here. Maggie had died alone and I thought I'd never be able to smile or laugh or love again, but even though I could hardly think for the grief, the words 'The Maggie Fleming Animal Hospice' came into my mind, and once the thought was there it wasn't going to loosen its grip any. Six months and a few signs along the way later the hospice was born.
When new folk arrive, I promise them that for so long as they want to be here life will be good, and when the day comes and they are tired and they have had enough, I'll listen even if it's the last thing in the world I want to hear, and we'll face it together.
The hospice and sanctuary gives life-long and end-of-life care to terminally-ill companion and farmed animals who have been abandoned in the final stages of their lives or who would otherwise have lived and died in the food system. The hospice and sanctuary Waltons-esque family - 154 at last count - is made up of hens, cockerels, sheep, pigs, cats, dogs, quail, turkeys, and as of spring 2021, nine lambs.
Comfort, kindness, respect, compassion, dignity, joy and freedom - altogether, love - make life worth living, no matter how long we get to enjoy the ride. Whatever shape carries us through this world, in my experience of facing death with so many of my friends, ultimately in life and in death we all want the same things. We run towards security and comfort, contentment and trust - love - and we cower away from worry, loneliness, pain and fear - the absence of love.