About Payton

I met Payton Rose in January 2020, the day she was surrendered to the shelter. She was about 7 years old and, by appearances, obviously neglected for quite some time. Her skin covered with malodorous infection that created large bald patches over her entire body. Her ears were thick and infected, paw pads on her front left leg were torn and bloody. Her left elbow did not bend when she walked. From what we were told, she was hit by a car as a puppy, and the injury didn’t heal properly. She was uncomfortable, confused, and very stressed out. Of course, I fell in love and started working with her immediately.

After two months, our daily routine of bathing, skin care, energy work, and massage came to an abrupt halt as the world faced a global pandemic and everything shut down. Volunteers, myself included, were not allowed at the shelter and while foster homes were found for many of the animals, Payton was the only dog that did not find a home. 

Three months later, when I was allowed back in the shelter to resume care of Payton Rose, we were overjoyed to see each other again. Right away I noticed a marked decline in her health. The stress of being in a shelter environment had heavily weighed down her spirit. For the next seven months, I visited Payton daily, even if for only five minutes. Despite my best attempts to help her relax and heal, both physical and emotional challenges continued. Payton was an extremely talkative girl, and had so much to say to me. Her daily sermons were very direct and delivered with conviction. She told me often she felt like no one was listening to her and she wanted out. After every one of her speeches, I would say, “Payton, I promise you… after I see you through your journey, I will start the sanctuary.” Every single day Payton was my promise, and I was hers.

As the months passed, she continued to deteriorate, despite medications, meticulous skincare, and an abundance of love from me. After Payton’s amazing shelter care team discussed it with the vet, they decided that the kindest thing to do would be to euthanize her. This decision crushed my heart, but deep down I knew that Payton’s physical body was no longer able to serve her great spirit. The director of the shelter granted me permission to adopt my sweet girl and take her to my vet for private euthanasia. When Payton’s Best Last Day arrived, I threw a party for her which included swimming, running in the yard, playing with her favorite toys, and feasting on all of her favorite foods. Some of my dear friends who knew and loved Payton joined in the celebration. We took turns affirming her amazing spirit and how grateful we were to be in her life. She tilted her head from side to side, hanging on to every word.

As her appointment time grew near, she knew and seemed ready, which made it easier on me. She jumped off the lounge chair, ran over to the fence, and started jumping up and barking at my truck. Payton was ready. My compassionate vet had a large blanket laid out on the floor so I could lay with her and talk her through the process. After the sedation kicked in she finally laid down and rested her head in my arms. Just as my vet started injecting into her vein I was whispering my promises in her ear. I immediately heard, “Thank you mom. I love you” and within an instant, I felt her enormous spirit leave her body. Finally at peace, Payton’s tired, beautiful body laid perfectly still in my arms, and her eyes were closed, something I had never seen in eleven months. Beyond my grief, I too felt a deep sense of peace in my soul. It was because of my experience with this beautiful girl that “Payton’s Promise” was born. Having a sanctuary for dogs has been my life long dream, since I was seven years old.

About Karen

More than 30 years of experience in the healthcare industry has led Karen to where she is today. As a young girl, Karen volunteered in animal shelters in eastern Pennsylvania. Her instincts as a natural healer led her to a medical career upon completing a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing degree at West Chester University.

Karen worked full time as a Registered Nurse for over 25 years and continued her education in holistic medicine over the last 20 years.

While operating the sanctuary full time, she continues to work with private clients remotely, using animal communication and energy healing. She offers solutions to health issues, behavior issues, stress, anxiety, and end of life transitions. Most of these are treated with various energy healing modalities. Karen is passionate about helping to heal animals in shelters, sanctuaries, and rescue organizations.

Today Karen continues to be involved with the local rescue organization, Florida Keys SPCA in Marathon, Florida. 

While she has volunteered with FKSPCA since 2003, she took on a more personal role in 2014 when she began implementing the use of calming music, and the diffusing of therapeutic-grade essential oils. This has helped to promote relaxation and healing in the indoor kennel areas by calming the dogs’ nervous systems. 

This has been her successful model for the sanctuary.

In addition to establishing Payton’s Promise Sanctuary, Karen is also a Best Selling Author, Healing Touch for Animals Practitioner, and Intuitive Healer. She graduated from Communication with all Life University, where she fine-tuned her skills in animal communication and energy medicine. Karen lives in South Florida with the loves of her life; her personal dogs and the sanctuary dogs.