About Us

Rita Reynolds - Founder of the Animals' Peace Garden
Rita Reynolds is Founder of the Animals’ Peace Garden. She is the author of Blessing the Bridge, What Animals Teach us About Death, Dying and Beyond and Ask the Cow, A Gentle Guide to Finding Peace. She also edits and publishes the internationally distributed quarterly journal, laJoie and has been rescuing and tending to creatures since since she was a small child. When she, her husband, and two young sons, Michael and Tim, moved to Virginia in 1978, they brought with them two dogs and two cats and the sanctuary continued to grow from there. The Animals’ Peace Garden works with all beings, most notably animals moving through illness, dying and beyond death, with our philosophy based on Dr. Albert Schweitzer’s famous ethic of Reverence For Life: a way of living that likewise offers a compassionate “place” for people to share their grief over their loss of an animal companion. 

Michael and his younger brother, Tim, were raised with a house and barn full of animals and from a young age learned how to milk goats and hand-feed orphaned creatures. They each learned first-hand about the responsibilities involved in caring for other beings – about life and death, loving and eventually having to let go. In knowing the hearts, personalities, and minds of the animals who have always made up such a vital part of our family, both Tim and Michael have learned compassion and respect for others of all species and meet Spirit in everything. 

Michael is Chief Garden Designer and Engineer. Through his ability to visualize and layout pathways, plantings, borders and other aspects of the physical Animals’ Peace Garden and dedicated, hard labor of digging, pruning, transplanting and planting, Michael brings to the gardens a wonderful sense of order, discipline, and variety of plantings. Despite frequent visits by opossums, raccoons, rabbits, whitetail deer and one smallish black bear, the garden flourishes and expands each year. 

Tim’s deep love for animals early on fell into synchronization with his love of artwork and innate creative ability. He says of the animals he paints: “I easily find [the animal’s] soul in the eyes – that is what I look for and try to convey in the portrait I am painting, because the soul is what endures.” These days Tim paints and draws as well as designs and builds unique furniture and stained glass, with many of his pieces enhancing both the exterior Garden and house interior.

Rita Reynolds, author of Blessing the Bridge and owner/editor of La Joie invites you to view all of her offerings available to animal lovers everywhere - to learn more visit the following links:

 Books >  Consultation >  La Joie Quarterly Journal >

Please note: Animals' Peace Garden is not a non-profit organization;
donations are not tax-deductible