“Safe in Austin” is like many rescues in some ways. They have a full roster of feathered and furred residents from a variety of troubled backgrounds.
Once animals get to the rescue, they’re loved, fed and cared for — sometimes for the first time in their lives. But instead of simply living out their lives in comfort, they have a very important job to do.
Their stories help others heal.
It all started — as these things often do — with a single animal and a simple, but incredibly meaningful, lesson.
Jamie Wallace Griner and her family run the rescue. One of her own children has autism, and when they saw the magic between him and his dog, they knew they had to find more of that and share it.
“Our story starts with a dog appropriately named Angel,” the “About” page on their Facebook page reads. “She was our son’s Autism Service dog, and she changed his entire world.”
“We have always loved animals, but when Angel joined our family it became insanely clear how the love of an animal can be literally miraculous! Angel gave my son confidence and strength beyond anything I was capable of doing as his mother.
“She provided protection from his fears, a gentle understanding of his moods and emotions, and gave him a feeling of control over his disabilities. Angel opened our eyes to the healing power of animals and animal-assisted therapy. We will never be able to repay her for helping shape my baby into the high functioning boy he is today, but we can help others experience the same healing power of the innate bond between people and animals.”
So they got a property in Leander, located in the Austin metro area, and the animals started to find them.
“We have dogs that have been abused beyond your wildest imagination, but are an example of total forgiveness and trust,” she said, according to SunnySkyz.
“We have giant pigs that were saved from the slaughter truck, and love nothing more than to roll over for belly rubs or snout kisses! And we always have precious baby goats running around waiting for a hug.”
They have such a variety of animals from such different backgrounds that they can offer an animal counterpart for many of the ailments or past abuse visiting children have experienced, helping child and animal forge a deep bond that needs no words.
“The child whose legs have never worked quite right experiences instant joy when he meets a dog who has a wheelchair just like him.
“A child with a history of horrific abuse who picks up a rescued puppy and tells him he knows it will be okay because he also has cigarette burn scars on his body but he is better now and learning to be happy.”
“A child that spent the first decade of her life surviving horrible abuse and neglect only to end up in foster care and starting all over again with a new family finds an understanding friend in a Macaw that is afraid of people because of his ten years in a drug house.”
It’s safe to say there’s never a dull moment at “Safe in Austin,” and they’re hard at work to bring their motto to life: “Saving lives, and healing hearts – Rescue animals, rescuing children.”
Though their outreach has changed a bit in the last few months, you can always follow them online through their Facebook page and see the heartwarming work they’re doing.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.