By Sophie Bowater • Summer 2020
As a little girl, I always loved animals and found myself rehabilitating wildlife starting at 7 years old. I remember my Mum and I bringing orphaned baby rabbits and injured birds to my local wildlife rehabilitator. I also remember when, in the car with my Mum, we would pass a wandering dog, I would always make my Mum stop to check on the dog’s tags and bring it back to their home.
When I was 10, my parents gave me a puppy for my birthday who I named Champy. We would play chase outside, jump in the leaf piles together that my Father raked up, and cuddle at night to go to sleep. He was my best friend and we grew up together. When I was 18, I went backpacking around Europe for a month with one of my college mates. The first week I was gone my Champy suddenly disappeared. We lived on 4 acres in the woods, so we were not in a city. My parents did not tell me as they wanted to find him before I got home. My Father picked me up at the airport and, sadly, had to tell me Champ had been missing for a month! I was heartbroken but determined to find him. My Mum and I spent everyday that summer, making posters, talking to psychics, talking to humane societies, doing research on lost dogs and much more.
We spent the whole summer searching for him and during this search we both learnt about pet theft, animal testing, factory farming and a lot more animal cruelty in the world that we were not aware of. We hired people to look through the animal labs, we had our information in nation wide veterinary magazines, and we put posters all over New England. I nearly went on a dog show tour as one psychic said Champ was stolen with another dog and they were traveling down the east coast where this animal thief was going to sell them for dog shows. My neighbor told us that a van had stopped outside their house a week before Champ was stolen and tried to take their dog but our neighbors caught them and they took off. CBS even came to our house to put our story on the news and we were also on the local news station. We tried everything to find my Champy but he was never found. I was so sad but still had hope that he would one day walk back up our long driveway. He never did. My hope is that he was taken by someone that loved him and did not want to give him back.
The loss of my special friend, Champ, opened my mind and changed my direction in life. I always wanted to be an actress but now all I wanted to do was fight for animals. I became a wildlife biology student at Colorado State University and was the president and spokesperson for Students for the Ethical Treatment Of Animals. I spent a lot of time going to schools and educating younger kids, as well as going to many different protests involving the fur industry, animal labs, circuses and much more. My life became and still is dedicated to helping animals. I have done lots of volunteer work with Wolf Rescue, Farm Animal Rescue, Wildlife education and became a trained Wildlife Rehabilitator for Larimer County, Colorado as well as the head coordinator for 4 winds Nature program for my son’s school. I have taken care of lots of horses, worked with veterinarians, and now I am starting Peace Of Mind Animal Wellness.
My goal for my site is to provide people with a one stop animal care website where people can find the wholistic animal practitioner of their choice for their animals, find the wildlife rehabilitators for injured wildlife, know where the sanctuaries and rescues are for abused and orphaned animals, and learn about different wildlife and domestic animal education organizations and lectures. I am very excited to grow this website and I hope it is helpful for all who visit it. May Peace, Love, and Happiness grow and shine.