8 May 2023

Saving One Soul At a Time


Posted by: Jennifer Green

For myself, and many other Elanco employees, our “Why” goes beyond our daily job duties. The passion we have for animal wellbeing is something we care deeply about on a personal level. In 2019, My sister and I co-founded Peaceful Souls. Peaceful Souls Animal Rescue and Recovery is a dog rescue and recovery service with a focus on education and providing resources to the community.

What led you to start Peaceful Souls? 

I co-founded it with my sister in 2019 (incorporated and became a non-profit in 2021) after years of volunteering for other local animal welfare organizations and realizing that there is a major issue in central Indiana with lost and stray dogs. We realized that there was a service gap that we could fill using our skill sets and passion. Through a series of events, we were able to purchase humane trapping equipment – traps and cameras – and fulfill a need that no other organization currently offers in our area. We are a boots-on-the ground organization that has three primary initiatives. From a proactive perspective to increase the chance of lost dogs getting home, we offer free microchip clinics and give away free collars and identification tags. Reactively, we provide education to owners of lost dogs and to citizens that find stray dogs to help them with resources and networking. If needed, we utilize our recovery equipment to safely contain the dog with the goal of either returning them to their owner or, if they are not owned, networking with shelters and other rescue organizations to make sure they receive the care and support they need to become adoptable.

What is the mission behind the organization? 

Our mission statement is: Peaceful Souls Animal Rescue and Recovery is dedicated to assisting the public with recovering lost animals, providing guidance for found animals and partnering with other resources and rescues to ensure that any non-owned animals are cared for in a rescue environment until they find their forever home.

Peaceful Souls has over 800 successful recoveries since 2019 where dogs have been recovered and returned to owners or stray dogs have either been adopted by new families or transferred to other rescue organizations for rehabilitation/training with the goal of being adoptable.

What is your favorite part of Peaceful Souls? 

Knowing that we are making a difference for one dog at a time. Our tagline is “Saving One Soul At A Time.” We know that we can’t help every dog in every situation but if we can improve the life of just one dog, that feeling of knowing that our contribution improved their life in some way is why we continue to do what we do. Seeing dogs like Boone and Kinsley (story below) thrive because of our intervention in their situation and our continued perseverance with their acclimation to people and training to ensure they are living their best lives is beyond rewarding. This aligns with Elanco’s tagline of "making lives better for animals, makes lives better."

What is one of the most impactful stories?

In January 2022, one of our most complicated recovery cases began. Two feral dogs, many sightings in freezing weather, and four months of strategic planning finally resulted in getting both of them safely trapped at separate times. Thankfully, SOAR: Street Outreach Animal Response Initiative was willing to take both into their rescue to help them transition successfully to a new life. Boone (the black dog) was the most fearful of the two. Kinsley was less fearful but still needed a lot of help feeling comfortable around people. Luckily, she had a wonderful foster mom that helped her progress. Eventually, Boone and Kinsley were reunited at SOAR and we worked with them daily to get them to come further out of their shells. It took many more months of daily interaction and baby steps. Sometimes it meant just being there so they could become acclimated to the presence of humans. Then it progressed to being able to touch them more, then the big milestones of being able to go outside, walk on a leash, and go on outings. They turned into dogs!!! Today, they are safe and happy together in a loving adoptive home where they will spend the rest of their lives being the best babies and getting all the love they always deserved. It took a special family willing to understand and accommodate their fears and quirks and they found the perfect fit! Peaceful Souls still keeps in contact with the adoptive family to make sure all is going well and to educate the new owners if they run into any issues. We are committed to making sure both dogs are happy and healthy in their new home and that their owners have all of the tools needed to ensure a successful adoption.

This is why we continue to do this hard work. This is why it is so important and why we are so grateful for our Peaceful Souls volunteers. These dogs could have frozen to death, been hit by a car, or been injured or killed many other ways and would have never known what life with kind humans could be like. We are so thankful for the good Samaritans that helped with recovery by reporting sightings. This is why it is so important that fosters are willing to step up for the “hard” dogs and that rescue organizations are willing to take chances on dogs that may take months or years to rehabilitate. This is why networking within the rescue community is crucial for the best outcome for the dogs.

How can people get involved with Peaceful Souls? 

Peaceful Souls occasionally offers volunteer opportunities for our events such as microchip clinics. As our organization grows and expands to other areas of rescue, we may have some additional volunteer opportunities. There are many other animal rescue organizations that Peaceful Souls networks with that also need volunteers, fosters, adopters etc. If anyone is interested in any of those things, I can help connect them to the right organizations.

How does working at Elanco help inspire the work you do with Peaceful Souls? 

I previously worked for Eli Lilly for 18 years where the primary business focus was human pharma. After the separation of Elanco from Lilly, I decided that I was interested in learning more about the side of the business that aligns more with my personal passion, which is Animal Welfare. Joining an Animal Health Company seemed like a great way to meet like-minded people and to work for a company with a focus on improving the health of animals.

Anything else you want to add about your work at Elanco and the Organization?

Elanco products, specifically for companion animals, align with my passion of helping animals live their best lives – whether it’s a flea/tick, heartworm, arthritis, or a general vaccine product – they all are made to allow pets to live longer, heathier lives. Working for a company on a daily basis that has these types of products at its foundation is in direct alignment with my passion to help animals in other capacities.

Are there any benefits that Elanco offers that you capitalize on in helping Peaceful Souls be more successful? 

Elanco Matching Gifts Program - Benevity platform. Peaceful Souls was recently added as a charity and there are many other great animal welfare organizations that can also be supported. Elanco also offers the Day of Purpose where Animal Welfare organizations can be supported as well as allows for volunteer time off that can be used to support organizations. The Bring Your Dog to Work program has been a great motivator for those of us that love dogs and enjoy seeing them at work and I hope that other people that don’t currently own pets may see the benefits of owning one.

Learn more about Peaceful Souls on their Website and Facebook page.

Jennifer Green

Advisor – Global Treasury Operations


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