Journeys of Discovery: Dogs and cats find a home for life in Wisconsin

Apr 4, 2020

There are two standard options for dogs and cats that arrive at shelters and pounds: adoption or euthanasia. Lisa LaVerdiere decided to create another option that she dubbed The Third Door, providing a home for unadoptable dogs and cats. In a recent visit, correspondent Tom Wilmer learns that LaVerdiere was a successful tort lawyer with a specialization in asbestos issues and juvenile lead poisoning. 

Mid-career LaVerdiere took down her shingle, purchased 40 acres skirting the Apple River in Star Prairie, Wisconsin and opened the Home For Life sanctuary for dogs and cats. Central to Laverdiere’s mission is to provide care for life for dogs and cats that are unadoptable—either due to severe health issues or traumatic injuries, often intentionally inflicted by sadistic tormenters. 

Through a network of animal rescuers around the world, the dogs come from various countries including India, Southeast Asia, Mexico and Saudi Arabia.The facility includes temperature-controlled buildings and three catteries, including a building specifically for cats with communicable feline leukemia. In addition to being home to an average of 100 cats, approximately 100 dogs reside at the facility in doggie accommodations that include suites and townhouses, complete with piped-in music.  

In celebration of Journeys of Discovery’s 30 years of producing on-air and digital-media travel shows, Home For Life (originally published August 29, 2019 ) is reposted as a “best-of-the-best” travel feature.

You are invited to subscribe to the Lowell Thomas Award-winning travel show podcast, Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer, featured on the NPR Podcast DirectoryApple PodcastiHeartRadio, the NPR One App & Stitcher.com. Twitter: TomCWilmer. Instagram: Thomas.Wilmer. Member of the National Press Club in Washington D.C. Underwriting support provided by the Society of St. Vincent De Paul.