'Elizabeth's Hope' aims to provide care for neglected animals, especially those whose owners have died
Inspired by his late wife's life-long love of neglected animals, Rodney Hope is channeling his grief into creating a non-profit that will provide a wide range of services that will keep pets healthy and loved.
It's all in tribute to Elizabeth, who Rodney met in 1998 and married a few years later.
"I've always loved animals — I can't think of a time when I didn't have a pet," says Rodney, a Cingo Operations Manager in Waycross, GA. "We were a perfect fit — Elizabeth was a huge animal lover, too, and she would do anything she could to help animals."
In their life together, Rodney and Elizabeth explored the Southeast by participating in animal transports, mostly by driving two-hour segments in a journey that moved pets from shelters to their forever homes. When Elizabeth died in 2020 after years-long battle against colon cancer, Rodney learned of another outreach led by his wife.
Working with the Ware County Commission, Elizabeth helped create a low-cost spay and neuter program that is now being run in their county, an effort she cared deeply about.
"Elizabeth never bragged on herself," says Rodney, who continues to care for the couple's four dogs — Mable, Daisy, Sunny and Lucius — at their home. "I went to the Ware County animal services to donate some fans because it was a hot day. I introduced myself, and the lady told me about an event that Elizabeth inspired. She went in front of the county commission to help create a program for free spay and neuter events for people in our community."
Rodney says the perfect name for the non-profit came to him: "Elizabeth's Hope." He's gathered donations since she died, encouraging her friends and family to donate money to help animals in lieu of flowers, and he wants to sponsor pet adoptions for those families who are unable to care for the pets of a family member who has died.
"It's such a rewarding feeling you get when you know you've helped these animals," says Rodney. "They don't have anybody as an advocate, and, like Elizabeth, I want to make a difference in the life of animals."
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