Video created by Michael Eggert and commissioned by the Ohio Lottery for its Inspired Stories program.
Angel’s Rest Animal Sanctuary (ARAS) was founded by Perla and Michael Kinne in 2009. Longtime animal lovers, Perla and Michael discovered an affinity for homeless pets, most notably older, less adoptable animals. Over several years, they adopted three retired greyhounds, as well as five cats. Additionally, they cared for a special boxer who suffered from dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). They soon identified this as their life’s work and set out to create a one-of-a-kind retirement home and hospice for unwanted animals.
The genesis for the launch of ARAS originated with the couple’s adoption of two bullmastiffs – Maverick and Scout – that had spent their entire lives together in a cage at an Iowa puppy mill. Their bodies were covered with scars, tumors and open sores. Scout suffered from a thyroid condition and malnutrition that rendered him ineffective to sire puppies. Maverick had congestive heart failure so advanced that, upon adoption, the Kinnes were told that he would not survive more than two weeks. Bullmastiff Rescue publicly stated that this was the worst case of animal abuse and neglect they had ever witnessed.
Because the dogs were so bonded, they would need to be adopted together. Perla and Michael took on the challenge and sought the best medical care for Maverick. With proper care, nutrition, medications and supplements, Maverick lived for 21 months until he passed from a ruptured Hemangiosarcoma tumor. Soon thereafter, Perla became a certified euthanasia technician so that she could properly assist animals in her care to make their final transition in the comfort of their own environment.
The story of Maverick became the blueprint for what would become Angel’s Rest Animal Sanctuary.
The Legacy of Maverick & Scout
At the time of Maverick’s passing, there were no other sanctuaries or rescues that would take on end-of -life cases or animals with health issues that would place them first on the euthanasia list. Today, Angel’s Rest receives calls from across the country and internationally, asking for help with ailing or geriatric animals.
Following Maverick’s passing, Scout became severely depressed so Perla and Michael began socializing him with other animals and adults. They soon discovered Scout’s knack for entertaining people of all ages. His gentle, passive nature allowed the Kinnes to showcase him as Angel’s Rest first Ambassadog. Whether attending adoption events, entertaining seniors at a care facility, or creating his own paw-paintings (dubbed Scoutcasso), Scout was a hit. He continued his Ambassadog duties for a couple years until passing in 2013 from an inoperable brain tumor.
At Angel’s Rest, animals receive around-the-clock medical attention if needed. Its residents are housed in small packs when appropriate. They are treated to the very best, specialized homemade foods mixed with commercial, high-quality, grain-free foods. Other amenities include prescription diets, medical care and medications, supplements, aromatherapy and essential oils, massages and specialized attention by our amazing volunteers. When an animal’s death is imminent, they are brought to the Kinnes’ home for 24-hour care and a sense of family and belonging in their final hours.
Our Commitment is Guaranteed
We believe there is a perfect home for all Angel’s Rest animals, even if that home ends up being our own sanctuary. Due to varying health or behavioral issues, some of our sanctuary animals are overlooked for adoption and end up spending their lives with us.
Angel’s Rest Animal Sanctuary will never euthanize an animal due to space, inconvenience or behavioral issues. All animals that enter our doors are guaranteed the best life possible until their health declines to such an extent that it’s considered insufferable.
Angel’s Rest does not take owner-surrendered animals unless they come through the Lifetime Care program, details of which can be found on the Animal Surrenders page of this website. Angel’s Rest works with kill shelters across the country to save those animals in danger of being destroyed due to advanced age, disabilities, wounds, ill health or behavioral issues.
Angel’s Rest specializes in the rehabilitation of giant breeds of dogs, especially Mastiffs. We also take in cats that tested positive for the feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV).
Perla Medina-Kinne – Founder, Chairperson, President, and Executive Director
Why am I so passionate about helping animals? The answer is simple: they offer no judgment or bias; just pure, unadulterated joy, gratitude and unconditional love. How can you not love them?
Michael Kinne – Cofounder, Vice-Chair, Vice-President
Unlike with people, the act of bonding with an animal tends to be quick and comes with no strings attached. They are loyal to a fault and are there for you at all times. This is our way of saying thank-you to them.
Suzanne Lipps, Director in Charge of Animal Care
I love ARAS because they take in and never give up on those animals that others have already written off.
Christopher Armogida, Director in Charge of IT
Angel’s Rest’s mission immediately got my attention when I walked past their weekend table at a local pet store. How could there be “unwanted animals”? And they want to save and nurture them? I’m in! After adopting two cats and a dog, I continued to support their efforts with donations, money, and labor. Eventually, they asked me to be on the Board and help drive the mission forward.
James Powers, Thrift Store Manager
I love animals because of our very first Angel’s Rest foster dog, Emmitt. He changed the way I viewed pets. He was the first animal I ever had a profound connection with and felt like he knew the whole family. It was like he was a person. There are so many unwanted pets that are abused, starved, beaten and neglected. I think we have to do something to help the ones who can’t help themselves. They need a voice and we can be that voice for them. They love unconditionally.
Laura Medina, Assistant Thrift Store Manager
I love ARAS for its message: that a senior or special needs pet has a place to call home and we can be THEIR voice. If a forever home is not feasible, they get to spend their last days with plenty of love from an amazing group of caring staff. I love being part of the team.
Kate Powers, Treasurer, Secretary, Executive Assistant for Sanctuary and Store Operations
Angel’s Rest is unique. We don’t reject the ones that no one wants. We embrace and give them the love and respect that every creature deserves. That kind of attention is something that you won’t find at the local shelters. We do great things for those that are voiceless.
Matthew Allen, Head Kennel Technician
I love animals because of their ability to love someone unconditionally. They want for nothing (except for some food) and love you ever so faithfully. Working at ARAS has given me the ability to love and care for animals that aren’t fortunate enough to have families of their own.
Hayley Carder, Head Kennel Technician
You can’t ask for a better confidant or friend than an animal. I love having the opportunity to give back by caring for them. I also strongly believe in our mission, which is saving the lives of companion animals and providing hospice care to those in need. Ensuring these animals know love during their lifetime is all the job satisfaction I need.
Tammy Pasley, Cat Village Manager
It’s rewarding to be able to help animals because they love you and appreciate everything you do for them.
Melanie Wood, DVM , Main Street Animal Hospital, Amelia, Ohio
Due to the fact that we are operating at or beyond capacity, we are currently NOT accepting any animals (owner surrenders or strays) at this time unless they come in through our Lifetime Care Program. We have an extensive waiting list of animals needing to enter our sanctuary doors. Priority will be given to those animals being surrendered through our Lifetime Care Program as they fund our hospice operations.