In Loving Memory


Friday, April 1st, 2016

Apples Orchard Memorial Garden


photoLoveHandlers has established a garden path walkway of engraved bricks in memory of the wonderful pets that our friends and supporters have known and loved.  In addition to the actual bricks in place at the LoveHandlers’ facility in the Great Smoky Mountains, please take a moment to view this “Virtual” Memorial Garden in memory of our special friends. 


Over five years in the planning,
LoveHandlers is pleased to announce
the official opening of the

Apples Orchard Memorial Garden

A memorial garden comprised of custom made personalized bricks engraved with the names of beloved pets.

In 2006 we cleared the land for this special area.  In 2007 we planted apples trees, and in 2008 we laid to rest our beloved founder and inspiration for LoveHandlers, a sweet blind basset hound named Apples in the garden.  In the subsequent years we added much in the way of landscaping, potted flowers, benches, memorial plaques, statues, fountain, gazebo and, of course, the memorial brick walkway.  All of the photos in this article are from the memorial garden project.

This memorial will always be a work-in-progress and now you are also invited to participate.  LoveHandlers has established this garden path walkway of engraved bricks in memory of the wonderful pets that our friends and supporters have known and loved.

Custom engraved bricks are available for a $100 contribution (tax deductible).  This donation will help LoveHandlers Animal Sanctuary provide care for our current animal residents while placing a lasting memorial for your pet friend.

It is a loving way to remember a special animal friend that has passed on, a donation of $100 or more can be made in the name of your own pet or give the gift of friendship on behalf of a loved one who has lost their special pet.

You are welcome to visit the Apples Orchard Memorial Garden as well as send us a photo of your special pet and a few words about their lives which will be added to our online memorial blog.

We are so honored and humbled to be able to become a permanent reminder of the great love and companionship that an animal brings to our lives.  Thank you for letting us be a part of your loving memories.-2



















































Goodbye Good Friend – Bubba

Sunday, October 4th, 2015


Hello, and I hope this email finds you having a wonderful day.

Our names are Joseph and Ashley Nickerson, and we adopted a dog from you back March of 2014.  His name when we received him was Kenicky, like from the movie Grease.  He was 57.8 lbs, and was a boxer and great dane mix, and was 100% our dream dog.  He was loving, gentle, and enjoyed tug of war, cuddling, and sleeping on our bed. He was everything the contact we spoke to said he was, and even better.
Kirk Rees was our contact, and he responded back to our application for adoption about 45 minutes after we submitted it…on a Saturday!  He told us all about Kenicky and how great a dog he was, and we finalized everything that day.  We never would have believed that he was every last word as awesome as Kirk hyped him up to be…
You’re probably wondering why we are writing you this email, and I promise I will get to the point here shortly…
Some time last November, we found a growth on his side, a rather large one at that.  After our vet advised us to get an ultrasound done, and having it done, it was found to be cancer.  It was inoperable, and there wasn’t much else for us to do.  Come April of this year, we had Kenicky put down.  It was too much for us to watch him degrade in the way he was, and it was by far the hardest thing we’ve ever had to do.  This dog…he was our best friend, and he was a bigger part of our lives than we ever thought a dog could be.  He was loved by everyone, and even as we write this, tears are forming.
This email is sent as a thank you for everything this facility is doing, and a thank you to Kirk.  If he hadn’t responded to our application so quickly, we may not have had this nearly perfect experience… We are very grateful to have had Kenicky (though we changed his name to Bubba…we just thought it fit him better  🙂   ) and even though our time together was cut short, we wouldn’t have traded it for anything.  So please, keep doing what you’re doing.  Keep being honest with people, and please continue providing people like us with their perfectly matched animals.  It makes soooo much more of an impact than we think you guys are used to hearing.  (And we hope we are wrong on this point.)  So again, thank you so much for being the people you are, and if Kirk still works there, give him a big hug for us.

Loving Memory – Rollie

Thursday, August 13th, 2015


Darling Rollie – we are so lucky to have had you in our lives, although our time together was too short.  We will love you always.  You will forever be Mummy’s Special.

Precious and Loving and Good – Kirby

Saturday, January 24th, 2015


Dear LoveHandlers,

We lost our beloved Kirby a few days before Christmas 2014.  Kirby was a wonderful, loving and funny dog.  He loved to cuddle, sit on laps, have his fur brushed, and eat.  He especially loved raw vegetables like baby carrots.  He gave us sos much love and happiness and we treasured him.  Every day we went on walks and saw many a sunrise together.  Every night we had a special time together when I held him on my lap and told him what a good, amazing, and precious dog he was.  Because of Kirby, I was able to love 60lbs.  My blood press is down and I no longer need medication.  I know that adopting Kirby save my life.  Kirby had a beautiful smile and he smiled all the time with us.  I hope you can use this donation in his memory so that other dogs and families can know the love we shared.

Goodbye to a Friend – Ziggy

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

Picture (Device Independent Bitmap) 1

Dear LoveHanblers,

It is with tremendous sadness that I report Ziggy’s passing.  After several months of declining (and often rebounding) health, the last week saw a rapid disintegration of Ziggy’s condition and comfort from renal failure.  As painful as it was for us, we had him put to sleep on Tuesday night.

Ziggy’s last 9 months were filled with love, activity and a victorious graduation to sleeping in the “big bed”, which was his favorite place on Earth.  He was such a special dog and made a real impression on both my daughter and me, but also the entire neighborhood who greeted him by name, and with a pat on the head and a rub of his neck.  While we miss him terribly, we are comforted by his happy, final leg of life, and in knowing that his last week especially was full of his favorite things…  belly rubs and constant attention!

I know how much you loved Zig, and am so sorry to have to give this update, but want to make sure you know we did not spare any expense or effort to save him.  Unfortunately, his condition was not reversible and the fluid IV that we were giving him proved to be torturous.  We ultimately stopped because the anxiety he experienced did not seem worth the upside, even though it may have prolonged his life a few more months.

I’m so glad we had the chance to have Ziggy in our lives, if only for a short while, and I know you felt the same, so my condolences to you as well.

Farewell – Molly

Monday, December 15th, 2014


Dear LoveHandlers,

This donation is in memory of Mollie. She was a Boston Terrier and probably the sweetest little companion, I have ever known.

Farewell to Munstock

Saturday, March 29th, 2014

1009043_10153134930325398_441451290_o (1)-1Dear LoveHandlers,

We have devastating news. Very suddenly Wednesday night we lost out beloved Munstock. The vet suspected a possible unknown congenital disorder or a freak occurrence that caused him to pass.

We feel like we won the adoption lottery by adopting him. He was a little dopey love bug. We were able to take him anywhere and everyone loved him, human and animal. He fit in our lives perfectly and we miss him so much. We are so thankful we found him through your rescue because he was an unbelievable joy. Thank you.

In Memory of Molly

Thursday, November 14th, 2013


I don’t know if you remember us or Molly (the blind Brittany that loved to get in a kids swimming pool).

We adopted her in July of 2010.

Sorry to say she passed away today.    It was very peaceful.  She had a drink of water, we put her on her run to go pee and when I check her 15 minutes later she was gone.  Just laid down and went to sleep.

She was such a great dog.  Molly was the one that the owner came back from vacation and when the vet informed her she was blind she said she didn’t want her any more and to just put her down.

All I can say  is “Her loss!”

Molly was such a sweet dog.

Thank you for letting us have her last 3 years with us.  I think she enjoyed her life here and our other two dogs (1 a Brittany) is going to miss her.  All 3 would sleep together (on top of each other) at night.