What motivates us
The directors of KFAAF have great passion and heart, and a deep love for animals. Even before KFAAF was established, they had been actively helping animals in need for some time. Meet the founders below, and learn about what motivates them to operate a sanctuary like KFAAF.
Peggy de Lange
Peggy de Lange (founder and president)
As long as I can remember, animals have played an important role in my life. If you looked through one of my old photo albums, in nearly every picture you’d find me with an animal. And if you had asked years ago, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I would have answered: “A farmer.” I was also known for telling mom and dad whenever they’d listen that I wanted to have a lot of animals, but then I’d add, “They must all remain living.” Needless to say, my parents didn’t think my idea was such a great one since every farmer needs to earn a living, and that usually means animals have a pre-determined lifespan.
In 2000 I got my first dog (woof as I call them), together with my ex-boyfriend Thomas. Soon after Dart, our Golden Retriever arrived at our home it was clear that he suffered from LPC, a serious disease of both elbow joints with severe arthritis and limpness as a result. The outlook was bleak, however euthanasia was not an option since he was so young and had a determination to live.
We went to every specialist and animal clinic trying to find the best possible treatment for him, which wasn’t a simple task. After all, seventeen years ago the treatment of elbow dysplasia in dogs was still unexplored territory. Dart has been operated on several times abroad by the best orthopedic surgeon and following that, there was a long period of rehabilitation which included years of various therapies in combination with anti-inflammatory medication used to relieve joint pains.
Dart was a fighter, a go-getter, a beautiful woof with an incredible character. The same year we welcomed him into our home, we adopted a second golden retriever named Boot. He was 11 months old at the time and came to us from a background of neglect and abuse. He was a heap of misery, a giant woof in terrible psychological condition. Once inside our house, he would lie motionless – flat on his stomach. Absolutely nothing we did had any affect on him – he simply wouldn’t move at all. He seemed like an old dog in a puppy body. It took months before we gained Boot’s trust, and for him to start behaving a bit like the young dog he was. Our patience and lots of love pulled him through eventually, though the scars of his past were forever burned into his soul.
Dart and Boot both loved water. Whenever Dart and Boot were around water, you didn’t even need to heard a splash to know they were already in it, and there was absolutely no getting them out. Much to our dismay and subsequent heartbreak, both Dart and Boot died at a relatively young age from cancer. But I am so grateful to have known them and been able to love them, because they helped me realize I have a special bond with animals that need special care. Animals with special needs are treated like outcasts because of their imperfections and diseases, but they have a great need for loving attention and care, and I wanted to give it to every one of these poor souls I could find.
In the years since Dart and Boot passed away I’ve taken care of many other special needs dogs. If you want to meet them, browse through the “roommates”.
KFAAF came into existence because of Dart and Boot: they’re the ambassadors of our rescue farm for special needs animals. They embodied what we value and it is to their memory we commit our time and energy to the new special needs animals we meet and are so blessed to be able to help. Without the tireless efforts of my co-directors and our amazing colleagues and volunteers as well as the support of our donors and KFAAF friends, this non-profit foundation could not stay operational. Thank you from the bottom of our heart. And to Dart and Boot:
“Your mission continues!”