WOODWAY, Texas – Tucked away on the outskirts of Woodway is a different kind of animal rescue – run by the Executive Director of the Humane Society of Central Texas and her husband.
Old Soul Animal Rescue has been around for a few years. The rescue was first established in Las Vegas, and has moved to several states before coming to Texas.
“At old souls, we rescue geriatric, special needs, and hospice animals. Mostly older dogs – dogs with special needs. We’ve had some diabetic dogs, blind dogs, dogs with disabilities in terms of walking, and we have also rescued livestock,” says Isaac Rivadeneira, Executive Director of Old Soul Animal Rescue.
Animals big and small can find refuge here. The rescue moved from Yuma, Arizona to Waco in February 2020.
“We had some wonderful volunteers from Yuma, Arizona, and also from the East Coast. The East Coasters actually flew out to Yuma, and then traveled by car, and helped us transfer all of the dogs and cats that they had,” says Rivadeneira.
But COVID struck shortly after their arrival, and the rescue had to adjust it’s visiting policies.
“The animals are used to a lot of attention from people. It’s been really hard on them with the pandemic, and with no one really knowing that we’re here. They haven’t gotten the attention they’re used to getting. It’s been hard on them,” says Rivadeneira.
As you can imagine, it’s a lot of work – and they need help with the day-to-day tasks.
“I’ve managed to do it all by myself. Paula does help out when she can, but she does have her responsibility at the shelter. So it’s pretty much me,” says Rivadeneira.
You could even make a weekend out of it.
“We have an AirBnB. The reason why we started the AirBnB back in Yuma is because through social media, we were actually able to acquire a lot of fans that wanted to come and visit and help out for a weekend or a week or whatever,” says Rivadeneira.
The rescue is helping animals find comfort in a trying time.
“Since we’ve been doing this for a long time, we know a little something about taking care of animals. I want people to feel comfortable in emailing me, or calling me, and saying, ‘Hey, I have an older animal that I’m having difficulty with. Can you give me some assistance or advice?’ We’re not vets, but we will always help out,” says Rivadeneira.