Carla: Warrior Rescue Princess

Heaven got a little brighter, and our world, a little dimmer, today. Our beloved Carla McCreary – warrior princess – lost her long battle with cancer. She was part of the fabric of Homeward Bound from the start, rescuing, connecting dogs to humans, and connecting humans to humans to humans to save animal lives.

Fearless, she would go anywhere and to any length to help an animal in need. Respected and trusted by animal advocates in shelters and law enforcement, she ferried dogs from horrible circumstances to us as part of our witness protection program. She wanted to personally provide their freedom rides while reassuring them about better days ahead.

She was the voice of the dogs for as long as I can remember, and probably long before that. Thousands of them. She spoke as them without sugar coating because she knew that there was a match for everyone but the best path to “forever” was through honesty. Her empathy always resonated, and she helped others see into the dogs’ souls, however damaged.

We worked together weekly to get her dog profiles to the website. She would write the bios, then go to chemo. I don’t know how she had the strength to carry on. A couple of months ago, she started asking for assistance. Until then, I knew better than to adjust her words or veer out of my lane. And then, in December, she shared a grim prognosis. She insisted that she wanted to keep writing – and rejoiced in spending the afternoon with her new great grandson. But she could not keep writing. And she did not object when I stepped in.

It looks like it falls to me to channel Carla for the dogs. I will hear her voice as I write, do my best to do her and the dogs justice, and likely steal from her huge volume of tales.

I’m glad that there is no more pain for her. But she leaves behind many broken hearts. I believe she was greeted at the bridge by her beloved husband and a very long line of animals whose lives she made better.

Fly free, dear friend. You will be remembered always.

Published by


I am a nascent gardener, rescuer, and photographer, chronicling the journey of the dogs at Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue and Sanctuary near Sacramento, CA - and the Memorial Garden we have devoted to them.

12 thoughts on “Carla: Warrior Rescue Princess”

  1. Carla was also the proprietor of Heartworm Hotel.; fostering many dogs through treatment. She will be missed by volunteers and dogs alike. 💔

  2. What a lovely write-up for someone who sounds like such a special person. I don’t recall ever meeting her – but my loss, for sure! I’m sorry you and HB have lost this wonderful soul.

  3. I am so very sorry for your and HBGRR’s great loss of Carla. She sounds like a woman to whom every person and canine I know would be drawn. And I’m sorry for her family’s loss as well. May all the memories give comfort and peace to all whom she left behind.

  4. A beautiful tribute to a special lady. Thank you for carrying on the important role to speak for our pups. Our loss and heavens gain!💔

  5. When Carla pulled in with her station wagon it was filled with a dog that survived heartworm. She has this great room and run created on her property where they could relax as they stayed quiet for months while they did the treatments and recovered. When she left HBGRR Sanctuary it was a dog in need of care, and she gave that to them until they were well and made the return trip to the Sanctuary or she adopted them from her ranch. She used to love to dog sit her former fosters. She shared great stories and photos of these dogs over the years, I used to love to get the placement list once a week and read about the new dogs that were looking for a new home, she had such a gift for seeing exactly what each dog needed in their new home. Carla was a true animal rescuer, she also had two off the track thoroughbreds that she loved. She is with Mike her first love now and running the circuit together again in the cars. Thank you for being you Carla!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s