Rainbow Animal Rescue
Rainbow Animal Rescue | P.O. Box 14254, 2461 E. Little Creek Road, Norfolk, VA 23518 | Office: (757) 583-8777 | Fax: (757) 583-3786 Cell: (757) 472-1585


They Were Loved, and They Will Never Be Forgotten

This page is a memorial for all of the dogs (and very special people) who have passed over the Rainbow Bridge.

Finley Finley Finley


Finley had a rough start to life. He was found by animal control walking down the highway while completely blind. When his family came to claim him they left, without him, claiming he wasn't worth the impound fee. Fortunately Rainbow stepped in and rescued him.

I found Finley through a website and immediately fell in love with him after reading his story. Although blind and cast aside by those that should have loved him he had an indomitable spirit and love for life.

While we only had Finley for a very short year and a half we were blessed to have him in our lives. He taught our family a lot. Like, even though there are obstacles (blindness) you should still live life to the fullest. And I believe he did.

We tried our best to give Finley the life and love he so deserved. He will be missed and remembered always.

Emily Emily Emily


Emily was with me for only seven months. In those seven months she taught me the meaning of trust and how to attain it. I never thought that I didn't know what trust meant – or the importance of it, but it had been some time since I had to actually work at achieving it with another being. I took the concept for granted – and, in turn, sometimes trusted too quickly.

Emily came to trust me very slowly beginning with her acceptance of a gentle touch or scratch on her back. This trust was short-lived in the early weeks of her residency in my home and she would let me know by snapping. Her bite could be sharp, but I learned when to leave her as she had reached her limits of trust. Week after week I kept persisting and letting her know that my hand was not harmful, but comforting. Even though the process was slow, I began to discover this beautiful dog that most likely had a past that I did not want to understand. Through her trust I learned that her ears felt like velvet and her nose was deliciously cold. And as she trusted me more I learned that her tummy was full of the markings of multiple litters and her teeth were remnants of neglect. The greatest measure of the trust she bestowed on me was the friendship she offered. She could not hear but knew when I entered the house and would display her happiness through the wagging of her tail or the closeness she kept to my feet. She enjoyed our slow walks and adventures in the garden. She had become a companion – one that I miss very much.

Emily was precious and precarious, joyful and sad, quiet and protective. I will never forget her and the trust she gave me. The time was too short and the little comfort I have is believing that the trust she extended to our home was an indication of her peace and comfort. Rest in peace Em.

Love, Susan, Kirby, and Delmar

Annie Annie Annie and Family Annie Annie


RIP dear Annie. We were so lucky to adopt you from Rainbow Animal Rescue when you were a young "wild and crazy" rescue pup and you quickly became an integral member of our family. You were such an amazing, adorable, sweet, and devoted companion -- my furry BFF. Missing you terribly but also relieved that your suffering is over.

Willow (aka Berry) Willow (aka Berry) Willow (Berry) Willow and Family

Willow (Berry)

I first saw Willow on TV as a Rainbow Rescue dog up for adoption. I don't know why, but I couldn't get her out of my mind. I called and emailed and arranged to meet her. I fell in love with her instantly. What a sweet baby. She bonded very quickly with the family and Willow seemed very happy. Always wagging her tail and giving kisses. She loved her toys and played with them like she was a puppy instead of a senior dog and she loved going on walks. We only had this sweet girl a week before she left us. But I will never forget how even at the vet, literally an hour before she died, she still wagged her tail at us when we walked into the room. Willow didn't make it out of surgery but I hope she knows she was loved and she mattered. We miss her very much and so badly wish we had more time with her.

Lucky Lucky with Santa Lucky with Esther and Dallas' grandson



Lucky, I miss you so much! I can't believe that you are gone:(. On Feb 14, 2017 you had an ultrasound and were diagnosed with a tumor in your heart! I was beyond shocked. The tears flowed:(. On Feb. 17, your conditioned had worsened. I loved you so much that I decided to let you run free with all of our furbabies who preceded you. I miss you every day and am looking for the feather that you are supposed to drop. Please let me know that you are with me and are ok. There will never be another sweet boy like you. I know you are waiting for me and I will see you again one day. Play with your ball and Abby, Blaize, Pungo, and Willie until I can rejoin my pack! I love you so much my Angel!



Marvin was adopted to a very nice couple in March 2010. His family owned a State Farm business which allowed him to go to work every day. He was their greeter. Rainbow was sent a very nice memorial donation in memory of Marvin who crossed the Rainbow Bridge in January 2016 :(. Marvin was one of the sweetest boys ever and is missed by his family. Run free Marvin with all of Rainbow's adoptees who have crossed over. You are loved by many!

Shay Shay


We lost our sweet Shamus on Dec. 2, 2015 to heart failure. We knew it could happen because of the shape his heart was in when we pulled him. We were hoping that he would have more time and find his furever home, even if for a short time, but it didn't happen. He had a wonderful 9 months with his very dedicated foster, Leanne and he was a happy, pampered boy. Shay was always smiling and begging for attention of which he got plenty. He is missed greatly and will never be forgotten. Shay is running and playing with Willie and all of our other babies. Rest in peace sweet Shay and know that we all love you and will see you some day.



Our sweet Willard (Willie) crossed the Rainbow Bridge on Nov. 5, 2015. His skin issues and ear infections were finally under control and he was comfortable and enjoying his walks and especially his treats. Then it was discovered that he had an aggressive prostate cancer. Even though he was with us for a short time, we loved him dearly as did our other furry kids. He knew love and caring even if for a short time. He is running free and eating to his heart's content.

Rest in peace our sweet Willie, we love you very much!

Big Daisy

Big Daisy

Big Daisy Big Daisy

Big Daisy's Big Life

Big Daisy, I will never understand how anyone could have not wanted you.

You came to me as a 5-year old, 85 pound lump of love who'd been dumped off at the shelter to die, unsure of just where you fit in or where you belonged. I watched you as you sat in the doorway looking outside long after your foster mama left you with us, and I swore I'd never let you feel that lost again. Your cool demeanor and desire to have your own space could have easily led me to believe you were indifferent, until the night I heard your toenails walking through the house, inspecting every room, every corner. Eventually you found your way back to me, and because you were too heavy to get on the bed, you laid on the blankets I'd piled next to me on the floor, your not-so-gentle snoring like music to my ears. You never asked for much, often taking the backseat to everyone else's needs. What you wanted more than anything was to be with me ~ and you voiced that LOUDLY . . your desire for me to come home and your enthusiasm when I did could be heard for 3 city blocks and led to even more moves than I had accomplished on my own.

But, I am grateful for your Big Bark. You taught me that it's ok to be afraid, to ask for what you want, and to compromise for love. To look at problems as possibilities and to not be afraid to follow my nose into the unknown. I miss your bark, the way you'd greet me at the door and then run around looking for your Cow Baby, or looking in the rear view mirror and seeing you staring out the window with a big smile on your face. You were a really happy dog. But more than that, you were an old soul. You had a wisdom and a quiet strength about you that made me feel safe and protected. I miss your presence. You were my best friend, and I am blessed to have had almost 7 years with you. It wasn't enough time, but you managed to fit in a lot: you were on tv, you got to play on the beach, you traveled across country 6 times, you climbed mountains, and you went to two Beaglefest parties. You taught kids about how to take care of dogs and about fostering and rescuing, and you had so many people that loved you and helped you when you needed it. I think you knew all along your job was to help my find myself.

You had a big life miss Daisy, and I am so thankful you shared it with me. Traveling won't be the same without you, but I know that you will still be beside me: big dog, big smile, big love . . . Big Life.

Karal Gregory

Barney Barney Barney


On Wednesday, March 25, 2015 my beloved companion Barney passed away peacefully. Barney had been battling several health problems and I decided with love and sadness that I didn't want him to suffer any longer. Although Barney was with me for less time than I imagined he would be, I cherish the time we spent together. Found on the street in Virginia Beach, it was through the efforts of Esther Williams and Rainbow Animal Rescue that he found a loving home with me for the last years of his life. Barney was the sweetest spirit I have ever known. During our walks he would approach everyone as if he expected them to treat him kindly, even though he had good reason to think otherwise. He loved children coming up to him, he loved meeting other dogs and he loved exploring our neighborhood. Barney had a positive effect on almost everyone who met him. He will be missed by many, especially me. Rest in peace my friend.

Marvin Goldberg




Blaize was definitely Daddy's boy from the time we rescued him to the end. We lost our sweet boy in Nov. 2014 suddenly to a heart attack. We had just been playing soccer when he collapsed. He loved playing soccer and would play for hours. He was such a gentle boy and the only one in our pack who got along with everyone. He was well traveled too. He loved camping and being with his brother and sister, Abby and Pungo, both of whom welcomed him at the Bridge.

He is playing and having a great time while waiting for us to join them. We love and miss you so much sweet boy. Rest in Peace handsome boy!

Rhett Rhett Rhett at Dogs Gone Swimming


Our handsome boy, Rhett Butler, is now at the Rainbow Bridge with Libby and all of our other furbabies who have preceded him. Even though he never officially found his furever home, he was "family" to his foster family. He was with them for almost 2 years when he succumbed to acute kidney failure. They considered him "their" furbaby. Rhett could be quite a clown and is famous for his "love" of guinea pigs:-). When we set up at the Laskin Rd PetsMart we were by the guinea pig cages and he would spend those 3 hours howling at them. We even designed "blinders" out of a bandana to cover his eyes:-). At Dogs Gone Swimming one year, he placed second in the swimsuit contest. You will never be forgotten handsome boy. We love and miss you desperately sweet Rhett. We'll see you again.


Murphy Murphy Murphy


When I got Murphy at a shelter in Ohio, he was approximately 6-9 months old. It was January so I picked March 17th, St. Patrick's Day to celebrate his birthday. Being Irish, I knew he deserved a good Irish name, therefore, Murphy... I called a friend of mine in Ireland Sr. Elizabeth Corrigan, and told her. She said, why didn't you name him Paddy that's a good Irish name? So he was from that day forward on all his papers, he was officially - Murphy Paddy O'Higgins... It fit him because he was a border collie, corgi and loved to herd. A friend of mine even designed a FB account... Murphy's occupation - herder. And he had quit a few FB friends... He was my baby for over 10 years and my heart is broken but I know he is in heaven.


King King with his sisters


In May 2013, a local veterinarian asked Rainbow to help find a new home for King, whose dad had died. His mom worked long hours and didn't have time to provide what King needed to fully recover from ACL surgery. King had already been boarded at the hospital for 6 weeks! King became a Rainbow dog the first of June, but unfortunately, we did not have a foster available. Volunteers would take him to their homes for visits to give him some time in a backyard to play. He loved to play with a big red hard plastic ball just knocking it around the yard. One day upon his return to the hospital, King met a French Bulldog puppy named Twinkie. He was so gentle with her as she stretched to reach his muzzle with her little puppy paws...and nails. King was a very loving, gentle boy with such a sweet personality. King was moved to another facility for boarding that provided him with lots of friends to play with. In fact, the big red ball from a volunteer was taken for him to play with by himself whenever the other pups were too pooped to play or just needed a break.

On July 27, King appeared on WVEC Shelter Saturday and one special family was watching. King finally found his forever home in August with the Preiser family. They really loved each other and his new Boston Terrier sisters were a little skeptical...only at first. Five months later, on December 26, 2013 Rainbow received devastating news. The Preiser family made the very difficult decision to euthanize King. His veterinarian said that he had declined rapidly in the past month and she suspected a spinal or brain tumor since his personality had changed. Events happened that were totally out of character for him! He also became paralyzed in the hind end. Rainbow received these two pictures from King's family four days later as they grieved the loss of their beloved King.

Rest in peace our sweet, gentle King.

You were loved so very much by your forever family and Rainbow.

Libby LibbyLibby in her bikini Libby getting ready for Oktoberfest


Gentle Libby came to Rainbow in January 2013 with an orange-sized tumor on her abdomen and a hot spot on her tail. We were so relieved to find that it was a lipoma! She was constantly smiling and loved getting treats. Libby loved to lay in the grass and have her head scratched. On September 27, we were devastated to learn that our sweet Libby had mediastinal lymphoma in her chest that was pressing on her esophagus. There was nothing that could be done to prolong her life so we decided to give her palliative care until her quality of life declined. Leanne, her foster, provided a wonderful home and took excellent care of her every need, but Libby deteriorated so fast, developing other problems, that we made the decision to end her suffering. Libby crossed over the Rainbow Bridge on September 30, 2013 surrounded by people who loved her.We are comforted in knowing she is now in her forever home, no longer suffering. Libby is running free, breathing easy, and eating whatever she wants.

We love you sweet, pretty girl!


Socks 6/5/2013 Socks 6/5/2013 Socks 8/30/2013


Sweet Socks came into our life a little over 12 weeks ago and a week before my beloved beagle, LitL Bit, crossed over Rainbow Bridge. We were happy to give this 15 ½ year old girl a forever home. I referred to her as my senior with special needs. She loved walks and car rides. If my car was on the street she went to it and looked back at me to see if we were going somewhere. As weeks went by she went from being able to walk a mile a day to only a few feet. She could no longer get up on her own, even on carpet. I trip to our vet revealed that due to the arthritis in her spine the vertebrae had collapsed on the nerves. Anyone who has ever had back problems knows that this is painful. She never complained. She just looked at you and wanted her silky head patted. She crossed over the Rainbow Bridge on 8/30/13. She is missed but I take comfort in knowing she is no longer in pain and she can run and play again.

Betty and Steve


Abby Abby and Pungo

Abby, my sweet, sweet girl.

It has been a month since I lost you. There is a big hole in my heart and I miss you terribly. You are my heart and will always be with me even though I can't touch your soft fur or have you chase me around the yard. I know that you are whole again and playing with your best friend, Pungo, whom I also miss. I know that I will see you again someday and will be able to hug you again. Nancy told me that you are with me and keeping watch over the household. I know that is true. I'm so sorry that I couldn't do more for you, but your meds finally overwhelmed your liver and there were no other seizure meds to give you. Letting you go was the hardest decision I have ever had to make but I loved you so much that I didn't want to see you suffer anymore. Thank you for the feather. I know you are ok.

Rest in peace my special Angel, I love you so much.




Once again we are broken hearted. After a long fought battle with his kidneys and his heart, and at the young age of 16, we decided to let Petey go to Rainbow Bridge to join all his sisters. As we loved them all, but he is probably the hardest to part with. Petey was the last of the group of 4. He's been an only child for a few years now and never spent a moment alone. We didn't pick Petey, he picked us 16 years ago by running in front of our car just minutes from home. With it being 24 hours after losing David's Sly boy, we knew that Sly had a hand in directing Petey where to go. We weren't really little dog people, but then Petey didn't know he was a little dog. He lived all his life with his much larger Aussie and Pointer sisters and loved them all. He traveled over 55,000 miles with us crisscrossing the country camping countless times. He's been to more states and provinces than most people and loved every minute of it. He was one of a kind, irreplaceable and we will miss him more than I can say.

Shobi Shobi and Foster Shobi Shobi

Dear Shobi,

Words cannot express how much you meant not just to me, but to all those who knew and loved you. I am heartbroken that your life was cut so short. You endured abuse, abandonment, and animal control and yet you never lost your loving spirit. You changed hearts and minds about what it was to be a "pit bull." As a friend to every foster dog, you showed Foster how to be safe and confident and gave him a new spirit to go through life with. From our first meeting all the way through to the end you loved in an infectious and complete way that captured many more hearts than just mine. Foster and I are a little lost without you. But you showed us, through every medical issue and the residual physical effects of the abuse you suffered, how to continue on with grace and dignity. Eighteen months was such a short time out of your six years in the human world, but in that time you were undoubtedly an amazing friend who saw me through. My comfort comes in knowing that you and Scooter are running and playing without pain. From your pibble wibble to your tricks to your mischievous sense of humor, you are missed more than can be expressed. Go run and play, finally free from the cruelty you once endured, knowing that are still absolutely and completely loved.

Noa and Foster


Mia and Mom


Angel Mia is at the Rainbow Bridge playing like a young puppy.  She was only with her adoptive mom for 10 months but those were wonderful months for her.  Mia was a senior who was adopted and loved by Rosemary.  Rosemary is one of those wonderful, special people who look past the years and see a special friend who needed love and caring.  Her love and caring more than made up for the previous neglect to which Mia was subjected.

Thank you, Rosemary, for loving and taking good care of Mia.



My special handsome boy is gone. He had a rough start to life. He was left tied to a 7-11 pole in Pungo, thus his name. Even though he was deaf, he knew what I was saying to him and he knew that I loved him with all my heart.

He loved traveling and camping with us and his best friend, Abby. I know that he is waiting at the Bridge for me with all of my furry babies who are gone. Rest in peace my special Angel.


Dear Scooter,

You were the embodiment of everything that is pure and good and real. You showed everyone that it is not the condition of your body that defines you, but the condition of your heart.

I don't know much about your first 8 years, but i know without a doubt that your last 6 were the ones that really counted. I know that blindness forced you to live in perpetual dark and yet you returned nothing but light.

You are missed beyond words. It is my prayer that you now know what it is to run without pain, to see without impairment, and that you still know that everyday you are loved by the ones you left behind. We may have been your third family, but we are your forever family.

From our hearts,
Noa, Tiffany, Jeremy, Shobi, and all of the foster dogs you inspired me to bring home



Our hearts are again broken as on Tuesday Aug. 30, 2011 we let Ruby join her sisters at Rainbow Bridge after a long fought battle with a brain tumor. Ruby was 15 years old and was our girl for all that time. We rescued Ruby when she was just 6 months old in Dunnelon, Florida. We didn't really go there to see Ruby, but another Aussie. But when Ruby ran up to David and kissed him, it was a done deal. She was ours. Ruby traveled all over the country with us and her brother and sisters. She was happy to go anywhere with us. She loved to play frisbee and could catch anything you threw to her. She was the most agile Aussie I'd ever seen even in her teen years. She was also the most loving Aussie. I just can't think of any time when Ruby ever did anything wrong. She was as close to perfect as they come. There just are no words to decribe how much we love her and miss her so terribly already. I know she is at Rainbow Bridge now playing frisbee with her sisters, Kaley and Abby. Rest in peace my love, you're the best and we'll love you always.

An alert Molly Molly in her favorite place Molly on the patio Molly and Annie Molly with her brother Hamish


Our Molly was a very sweet little dog who gave us a lot of pleasure. She provided us with a lot of humor and we felt a sense of pleasure in being able to provide her a good life in her last days. She was really beginning to deteriorate in her last days and had lost almost two pounds. She was eating well but just not gaining weight. She was loved by all who knew her and our dogs knew enough not to mess with her. She would not hesitate to offer her little growl when they tried to take something she considered hers.


We would like to thank Maggie and John for giving Molly such a wonderful end to her little life. She is with her brother Hamish and they are playing at the Rainbow Bridge while waiting for the rest of their family to join them.


George and Gladys George and the little ones

Dear George,

Your sudden passing left a hole in the world and those who knew you well or barely knew you at all felt the sting of the news. My heart tells me you were never meant to be adopted because you were just too loved within the organization…and loved you are. Your energy was so strong in life that even in death you are still felt here, within us and among us.

To look at you one might have thought you were weak, incapable, and among the lost. From the floor of Isle of Wight Animal Control to the hearts you touched while you were with us, you were anything but. I saw you teach children how patient a dog could be and I saw you look at the world with certain and unwavering love in your eyes. You could bring joy to strangers with nothing more than your presence.

Those of us who were fortunate enough to know you and love you got much more in return. You had quiet lessons to teach fellow dog and human alike and those who heard them are the better for it. Your body may have failed very suddenly, but while you run and play at the Rainbow Bridge you left something behind for all time. You were the spirit that put "able" in "disabled" and you are that heart that reached the masses. You will be missed but your dignity and grace have carried over into the hearts of the living. Thus, just like that, you live forever. Thank you to Esther and Dallas and Jean and Curtiss for saving you, for giving you a home for your short time here, and for sharing you with us…the more fortunate ones.

We love you!

Sunny and Jim


...the greatest friend I ever had!

Love, Jim

Princess Keila


September 8, 2010 - Rest in Peace my beautiful angel, Keila...you will be greatly missed but I will keep your memory alive by remembering to look up, smile everyday and "speak up and HOWL when it is most appropriate to let them know that WE ARE HERE"! Watch out world....we will be a quite a TEAM to reckon with! ;-)

Love, Gwen and Larry

P.S. Dear Angel Princess Keila....thanks for sending me the white feathers....smile!



Ellie was a very sweet, loving girl who was adopted by a wonderful family two years ago.   She was diagnosed with syringohydomyelia,  which caused her much pain.  Her parents did everything possible, but to no avail.  They loved her so much that they gave her the greatest gift of all- freedom from the pain.  She is now playing at the Bridge and waiting for the day when she will be reunited with her family.

A donation is in memory of Ellie, who was rescued from Rainbow by Jack and Lauren Mooney. This gift is from Lauren's parents, Rick and Kathy Austin.



When we took Dakota into Rainbow Animal Rescue, we knew that he was 10 yrs. old and had hip and spine problems.  After 3 months, it was obvious that he wasn’t going to be adopted.  He was the sweetest, most gentle, smiling boy that you would ever see.  We only had him 1 ½ yrs. He brought such joy into the household.  He was constantly smiling and trying to play with his brothers and sisters. Even toward the end, when he was in obvious pain, he was still smiling and was always by my side. Not a day goes by that you are not thought of and missed, my little Angel.  I love you, Dakota.



Dixie (Gypsy) was a very special girl. She had a very hard, miserable life until July 2006 when she was rescued from the woods outside of Charlottesville. She was in foster care until Sept. 2007 when a very special family adopted her. She crossed the Rainbow Bridge last night, Dec. 27, peacefully in the arms of her very special loving family. Her family, Barb and Bill gave her more love in the three months she was with them, than her previous family gave her in the 9 years that they had her before chaining her in the woods to die. Her family is heartbroken, as are all of the Rainbow Rescue volunteers who cared for her before her adoption. She will be missed tremendously.




May 31, 2006 - Melanie had a very hard, short life. She was adopted but ran away from her new parents. She was found by Animal Control after 4 days. The new parents decided they didn't want her. She went to Rainbow Animal Rescue who found her a new set of parents. They were very nice and took Melanie to visit his parents for the Memorial Day weekend. She backed out of her harness May 26th and ran into the woods. Everyone searched for her Friday -Sunday, to no avail. She was found Wednesday, hit by a hit and run vehicle and was dead at the scene. Her life was just beginning and ended as quickly as it begun. She is in a better place now, and she won't have to run away anymore.


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If you have a special rescue dog, or person, please consider a donation to Rainbow Animal Rescue in their memory. These donations help us rescue more dogs. Anyone wishing to donate to our memorial page, may do so using PayPal.

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Last updated: November 29, 2017