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Our Story

Gail & Richard Pope with Joey
Richard & Gail Pope with Joey

BrightHaven was founded in 1990 by British-born Richard and Gail Pope, who since then have dedicated their lives to BrightHaven and to giving the gift of tomorrow to animals in need, particularly those who are senior, disabled and chronically ill. By following the wisdom of the animals, BrightHaven has evolved into a unique center for animal rescue, hospice and holistic education.

BrightHaven is a pioneer and leader in the ever-expanding field of animal hospice and our experience with hospice-supported natural dying is well known.

BrightHaven is unique because of the way we work and the results we get. By sharing our unparalleled depth of experience in holistic healthcare, animal hospice and natural dying with the community, we can truly help a larger number of people help animals to experience peak wellbeing, and the best animal hospice and end-of-life care possible. It’s all about living well, in an optimal state of balance, through the last breath!

We created the BrightHaven Menu for Healing, which is the cornerstone of our work, by following the wisdom of the animals.

Gail has an international consultation practice and is contacted by many vets and animal caregivers regarding BrightHaven’s natural methods and protocols for animal care and hospice. Book a consultation with her by sending an email to

Gail has written six books on holistic healthcare and animal hospice that are available on

In July 2013, Gail and Richard received the prestigious Jefferson Award for Public Service in acknowledgement of their devoted service to this extremely vulnerable population of beings.

The Sanctuary Years

From 1990 until 2018, unwanted, old, disabled and chronically ill animals found love, acceptance, family and a safe haven at BrightHaven’s sanctuary. We saved over 1,000 senior, disabled and chronically ill animals by giving them the gift of a loving and dignified home for life—however long or short that life may have been. BrightHaven has also rescued and helped thousands more animals through our programs.

In 2018, we sold our Northern California sanctuary property and closed the sanctuary to bolster the organization’s financial sustainability. We felt this was the best decision to enable our organization to build today for a brighter tomorrow for animals. All of our sanctuary animals settled into wonderful and loving new homes.

Our Current Direction

Lovely Lily looking over all the details

BrightHaven has always been more than solely a sanctuary! We have 2 core programs that continue to help animals, particularly those who are senior and have special needs:

RESCUE PROGRAM: This program specializes in the rescue, foster care and fospice, rehabilitation and adoption of senior and special needs animals most at risk for euthanasia. Our focus on medical rehabilitation makes us unique. So many of these animals would never have this opportunity elsewhere.

EDUCATION PROGRAM: This program consists of comprehensive holistic healthcare and animal hospice resources, based on knowledge and expertise gleaned whilst providing holistic healthcare to senior, chronically ill and disabled animals, and for animals with a limited life expectancy. It is designed to lead the user through the BrightHaven Menu for Healing for the best quality of life at every life stage, including a peaceful natural death. Consultations, publications and online learning are key components of our education program, as well as the Quality of Dying Checklist.

Journey into Natural Medicine

Raw feeding and supplements
Raw feeding and supplements – preparing the yummy BrightHaven diet!

During their journey into the world of natural medicine, Gail and Richard were privileged to witness amazing returns to better health and longevity for many of the animals.

As a result, they experienced a profound mind shift about healing and wellness.

BrightHaven’s evolution became one of in-depth learning about healing – of body, mind and spirit – at every life stage.

The animals have taught that for some, healing will bring about new and wonderful life. For others, healing is necessary to prepare for death and the beyond.

To learn more about BrightHaven’s holistic healthcare, please visit:

Journey into Animal Hospice & Natural Dying

Beauregard tending to hospice patient Patti

Hospice became a way of life at BrightHaven as we have cared for hundreds of senior and special-needs animals since 1990. In doing so, we have learned so much about love and the circle of life from our animal loved ones. We focus on achieving a state of wellness, joy or balance whether for continued life or for transition. At BrightHaven we concentrate on helping the “being” to be the best they can possibly be, regardless of age, illness, or type of being – human or animal!

In What a Beautiful Cat Taught Us About Natural Death, Gail shares how, once again, one of our animals helped to shift our thinking and led us to the natural path of death, which became part of BrightHaven’s Menu for Healing.

To learn more about BrightHaven’s animal hospice care and natural dying, please visit: