D.E.L.T.A. Rescue and The Poem That Touched Hearts: Leo Grillo’s Mission of Compassion

D.E.L.T.A. Rescue and The Poem That Touched Hearts: Leo Grillo's Mission of Compassion
Photo Credit: D.E.L.T.A. Rescue

In the serene Angeles National Forest lies D.E.L.T.A. Rescue, the largest no-kill, care-for-life animal sanctuary in the world, founded by Leo Grillo. This sanctuary, home to over 1,500 dogs and cats, is not just a refuge for abandoned animals but a symbol of unwavering commitment to animal welfare, epitomized by Grillo’s dedication and the touching story of the poem “Rainbow Bridge”.

Leo Grillo, initially aspiring to be an actor, found his true calling in animal welfare. His journey began in 1979 when he rescued an abandoned Doberman, Delta, in the Angeles National Forest. This act of kindness marked the inception of his lifelong dedication to saving animals, leading to the establishment of Dedication & Everlasting Love To Animals (D.E.L.T.A. Rescue). Grillo’s compassion extended beyond Delta, as he later rescued 35 more abandoned dogs, demonstrating his commitment to providing a sanctuary for these voiceless beings.

Under Grillo’s stewardship, D.E.L.T.A. Rescue has become a sanctuary where animals are not only sheltered but are given a life filled with care and love. Funded entirely by donations, the sanctuary exemplifies the impact of philanthropy in animal welfare. Grillo’s influence in this field extends to his other ventures, including the “Horse Rescue of America” and the “Wildlife Sanctuary of America”, as well as his continued work in the entertainment industry.

Interwoven with D.E.L.T.A. Rescue’s story is the moving tale of the poem “Rainbow Bridge”, which has provided solace to countless individuals mourning the loss of their pets. As revealed in a letter from Grillo, the poem was written by a Scottish teenager named Edna, who penned her feelings in a tribute to her deceased dog, Major. For decades, the true authorship of “Rainbow Bridge” was unknown, but Grillo’s efforts brought recognition to Edna’s contribution to the world of animal lovers. Now in her eighties, Edna was unaware of her poem’s global impact and only recently discovered its fame​​​​​​​​.

Grillo, in a heartfelt message, relates the poem to his own experiences at the sanctuary, particularly with an aging dog, Bobby Jack. He reflects on the inevitable parting and the comfort brought by the idea of “Rainbow Bridge”, where beloved pets wait for their owners. Grillo credits his rescue dog, Delta, for guiding him to save the 35 dogs and for his ongoing inspiration in his mission. He encourages readers to find solace in “Animal News From Heaven”, a book featuring a chapter on Delta and “Rainbow Bridge”, emphasizing the deep connection between humans and their animal companions​​.

D.E.L.T.A. Rescue, under Grillo’s leadership, is more than a sanctuary; it is a movement that underscores our collective responsibility towards animals. The sanctuary challenges societal attitudes towards abandoned and stray animals, reminding us of the profound bond between humans and animals. Grillo’s story, intertwined with Edna’s touching poem, serves as a powerful testament to the impact of compassion and action.

The mission for, D.E.L.T.A. Rescue is not just about providing a haven for animals; it is about fostering a world where every animal is valued and cared for. Leo Grillo’s dedication, coupled with the emotional resonance of “Rainbow Bridge”, creates a legacy of love and hope, inspiring us to contribute to a better world for animals. Grillo’s life and work, alongside Edna’s poignant words, remind us of the enduring bond between humans and animals, and the transformative power of compassion.


Published By: Aize Perez


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