Central Texas woman needs help running dog sanctuary after cancer diagnosis

A local animal shelter is hoping the community will help them keep their doors open after a tough diagnosis.
Published: Apr. 5, 2022 at 7:21 PM CDT
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HICO, Texas (KWTX) - In the last several years, a local woman has helped nearly 300 animals find homes. Despite a tough diagnosis, she wants to continue that mission, but needs the community’s help.

Sue Weaver opened Circle of Love Animal Sanctuary in Hico in January 2019. She’s dedicated her life to helping animals--Weaver has taken in more than 450 animals, and helped nearly 300 of them get adopted. Beyond taking in animals, Weaver and her sister-in-law and son also do community pet food donations.

However, she was recently diagnosed with stomach cancer.

Aside from a few donors, Weaver has largely funded the sanctuary herself, which she said costs around $3,000 a month just to keep the lights on. After diagnosis, Weaver said she needs to focus on her health, but doesn’t want to close down the shelter.

“We are always one day away from shutting the doors,” Weaver said. “I had to sell our flatbed trailer this month just take the mortgage. So if we don’t get some help, we don’t get some donations, you know 450 dogs in three years, dogs and cats in three years, that goes away completely.”

Weaver said donations are key, both to keep the sanctuary running, but also to cover the costs of vet bills and transporting animals. Volunteers are also welcome, along with any shelters willing to take in dogs, or people looking to adopt one. She said a sponsor would be very helpful as well.

If necessary, Weaver said she would be willing to sell the sanctuary to someone who could keep it running.

“I will get through this. There’s not a doubt in my mind. The sanctuary was God’s mission for me,” Weaver said. “He’s got me. I’ll get through this one way or the other. I’m in God’s hands, but the animals are my responsibility, and I’ve got to find a safe place for them.”

Weaver only helps large dogs, and that’s one reason why she said it’s so important to keep her sanctuary going. She said in the Hico area, there aren’t many shelters, and the ones in the area are full. Many also don’t help the larger animals she does.

“We want good homes for everybody here. But if we don’t get the funding, the animal just go somewhere else and that gap shows up in Hico again,” Weaver said.

There are a number of dogs at Circle of Love Animal Sanctuary available for adoption now. You can learn more about them and fill out an application on their website.

Donations can also be made online or by texting Circle of Love to 53555, which takes you to their donation site online.

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