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A Home is Made with Love and Dreams: Raha's Story Comes Full Circle! Holiday Match Challenge: All Gifts Made by December 31st Matched Up To $25,000!

Raha enjoying a sunny day in October at Home for Life®

Every animal has a story, they say. When people meet a dog or cat at our sanctuary, or see them on social media, their first question is, “What is their story?” With Raha, a senior Anatolian Shepherd mix, no one needs to ask. His story is plain to see: the horror and cruelty he suffered…and his resilience and joy that could not be extinguished

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The Rescue of Raha

It’s hard to remember Raha’s desperate condition on the day we met him just one year ago. Some sadistic people had attempted to blow his head off. They put firecrackers in his mouth, taped his muzzle shut, and then lit the fuse. Miraculously the firecrackers did not explode, but they still did plenty of damage—their intense heat seared away Raha’s gums, cracked his teeth, and even burned into the bones of his face and jaw. His injuries left him unable to open his mouth more than a centimeter. By the time we met him, he was slowly starving to death.

"Mark"ing the seasons at Home for Life: Fall photos by Mark Luinenburg!

Tina, a boxer

It's become a tradition over the years to welcome photographer Mark Luinenburg out to Home for Life® for each of the four seasons we enjoy at the sanctuary facility located  on 40 picturesque acres on the Apple River in Star Prairie, WI, just 20 minutes northeast of Stillwater, MN on the St Croix River.

Mark was out last week for a fall photo session and to meet some of the new faces at the sanctuary. In this Facebook album are just some of our favorites: it's always so hard to select just a few!

Give to the Max is November 15!

Give to the max

Give to the Max is a state wide day of giving where generous people from across the state of Minnesota come together to support their favorite charities. This year, Home for Life® has a matching grant of $25,000 riding on this 24 hours of giving, and all gifts made that day will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $25,000! We hope the enthusiasm and generosity this day of giving inspires will encourage YOU to make a gift to help the animals of Home for Life®.

Save the Date! Home for Life's Fall Gala, 2019 is November 9, 2019 at The Metropolitan, Minneapolis with special guest Ashley Judd

Ashley Judd holding dog

The 2018 gala with our guest Dr. Jane Goodall will be hard to ever surpass, but we will try!

In 2019, Saturday November 9, Home for Life® will welcome the A-List actress, conservationist and U.N. representative and humanitarian Ashley Judd as our special guest. Ashley was very interested in being part of the Home for Life® gala as she is such an admirer of Dr. Goodall, and like her, loves dogs and works hard for conservation efforts, particularly on behalf of bonobos apes in their native Congo. Ashley also loves and cherishes all animals, and has relied on her beloved dogs for emotional support animals during turbulent times of her life.

You ought to be in pictures!


We welcomed Rod & Stephanie Oman of The Imagery back at Home for Life® in October for the fall sponsor photos. They were last at the sanctuary about two years ago, so it was great to see them again, especially since they are so supportive of the Minnesota animal rescue community - from October 15 thru November 4 - they are hosting a rescue donation promotion - $50 gets you and your pet a photo session AND a 5x7 portrait with the $50 donated to Home for Life® or the Minnesota animal rescue of your choice:

Home for Life's® Tribute to Herb Sam the Spiritual Advisor to the Mille Lac Band of Ojibwe

Herb Sam with Governor Mark Dayton at the Minnesota State Capitol

Home for Life has lost a great friend with the death of Herb Sam the Spiritual Advisor to the Mille Lac Band of Ojibwe. Many of you might remember Herb from our annual Memorial Garden Ceremonies and Open Houses, at which he officiated. It is a huge loss to the community, Home for Life and for his family, his beloved wife and my friend Patty Sam and daughter Arianna. People like Herb are so rare in this world, and their loss leaves a huge hole in the lives of so many. Patty we will be with you tomorrow at the ceremony for Herb.

Double Exposure: Summer sponsor photos from KME Photography and Sarah Beth Photography

 Twa, one of Home for Life's® paraplegic cats, by Sarah Beth Photography

How fortunate Home for Life was to have both Kirsten Eitrem of KME Photography and Sarah Ernhart of Sarah Beth Photography out to the sanctuary in mid August for our sponsor photo shoot. It was a warm but beautiful day and between both these talented generous, gracious ladies and the Home for Life® staff, we got all the sponsor photos done plus photos of our new cats and dogs.

Left: Twa, one of Home for Life's® paraplegic cats, by Sarah Beth Photography

Summer Photos Mark Luinenburg

Frankie's blue eyes

Left: Frankie, one of Home for Life's Australian Shepherds in an extraordinary photo by Mark. Frankies story

Longtime friend to Home for Life®, photographer Mark Luinenburg was out at Home for Life® last week for summer photos, to meet our some of our new cats and dogs and for a swim at the Apple River, part of summer we look forward to at the sanctuary each year. Mark's been part of telling Home for Life's® story and sharing the stories of our animals for nearly 20 years! See the link for all of Mark's Summer of 2018 photos here including the latest Apple River swimming photos.