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No Pet Left Behind

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Article Published: Dec. 6, 2012 | Modified: Dec. 9, 2012
No Pet Left Behind

Dr. Maggie Federhart poses with her residents of The Twilight Inn, from left, Sash, 11 years, Carmelita, 12 years, and Lucy (on deck) 10 years.

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When pet owners die, what happens to their animal companions?

Sometimes, the answer is positive. More often than not, the answer is heartbreaking.

One High Country veterinarian is determined to make a difference in the lives of animals left behind.
From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8, an event at the American Legion Hall in Blowing Rock marks a new beginning for some of these orphaned and aging animal companions with the inaugural benefit sale for The Twilight Inn,” a project of local veterinarian and animal advocate Dr. Maggie Federhart.

In the wake of the passing of beloved, longtime Blowing Rock resident and businesswoman Ruth Townsend – also “mom” to an equally exceptional dog, Sash – Federhart decided to act.

“I have known Sash since he was a 10-week-old puppy, and, over the years, he has had a few medical issues,” Federhart said. “Ruth always said I could do anything to him, and he wouldn’t care. She couldn’t believe that he would fall asleep while I was doing acupuncture on him for his arthritis. So, when his family asked me to take him, I knew it was one of those ‘meant to be’ situations.”

Her long-held dream of establishing a “retirement village” is gaining momentum and taking shape this winter. Sash is the first permanent resident of The Twilight Inn, located on Federhart’s property outside Boone.

The fundraising “Tail Wagging Tag Sale” at the American Legion Hall will pave the way for other dogs to find a peaceful retirement, following an owner’s death or admittance to long-term care.

Federhart, who has been an integral part of the lives of animals and humans in the High Country for 17 years, said, “It is hard enough to place younger healthy pets that need homes, much less the older, less adoptable ones. After they have given so much to their guardians over the years, it seems only fair that they should be able to live out the rest of their lives in comfort and dignity. I know Ruth is up there smiling over this turn of events. Actually, I bet she has orchestrated the whole thing!”

Unique collections of antiques, vintage clothing, house wares, furniture, fresh baked goods and contributions from local artists will anchor the festivities.

Renowned canine trainer John Quy of Little Horse Creek Farm will be on hand to answer questions and offer consultation, regarding his training sessions.

Across the street from the American Legion Hall, at the Townsend home, artist Taylor Sauder will offer Furry Friends Drawings on site and take orders, and Jacklynn Hawk will be doing pet photos with Santa.

Federhart will be selling and consulting on items from her store at the Shoppes at Farmers Hardware in Boone, “Animals… naturally!” These are Earth-friendly pet items and healthy dog treats that are made in the U.S.

To donate items, email ( with information on your donations and to learn about drop-off points or pick-up.

For Animals Sake ( Facebook) is a group Federhart formed in 2000, when, after two of her elderly clients died, she had to find homes for their 22 cats.

For Animals Sake is a registered nonprofit corporation, and all donations are tax-deductible.

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