Sep 29, 2014




Ceremony honors “Remember Me Thursday”

STATESVILLE, N.C. (Sept. 29, 2014) – A symbolic piece of artwork made of materials from a former gas chamber was unveiled Thursday during an event highlighting the next phase of Rescue Ranch - the soon-to-open Memorial Garden.

Iredell County Animal Services removed the gas chamber from use in 2013 to pursue more humane methods of animal population control. Now, the chamber has transformed from an object of negative meaning into a positive remembrance.

Rescue Ranch worked with local artists Rhonda Lowthorp and Chuck Fox to split the chamber into two pieces and adorn it with reflective passages. Each piece not only honors the animals that lost their lives, but serves as a reminder about the importance of responsible pet ownership.

One half of the chamber was installed at the Memorial Garden, while the second half of the memorial is being given back to Iredell County Animal Services.

Rescue Ranch’s Memorial Garden will be a special location for people to bury or spread the cremated ashes of their pets or to place a statue or bench to remember them. The peaceful and beautiful memorial grounds are located on a section of Rescue Ranch’s 87-acre property in Statesville, North Carolina.

“This Memorial Garden has been my dream for a long time,” said Krissie Newman, executive director of Rescue Ranch. “I wanted to create a place where people could come and reflect on the wonderful memories they had with their pets.”

Following a blessing by Reverend Ralph Lepley of Rose Hill United Methodist Church in Statesville, North Carolina and Reverend Lynne Lepley of Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church in Harmony, North Carolina, Rescue Ranch employees and supporters lit candles in honor of the second annual worldwide campaign, “Remember Me Thursday”.

“My friend and mentor, Mike Arms, created Remember Me Thursday last year to remember the orphan pets still in need of homes, as well as the 3.4 million animals who are euthanized each year. This was the perfect day to dedicate our Memorial Garden,” said Newman. “It is a bittersweet day, too, as we lost our dog last week; she will have a spot here in our garden.”
The Memorial Garden is slated to open in the spring of 2015. Rescue Ranch will begin the process of accepting plot requests in January.

For more information on Rescue Ranch, visit

Media Contact:
Kristen Bright
ASPIRE Communications
(704) 516-6913

About Rescue Ranch:
Rescue Ranch is a nonprofit animal welfare organization founded by Krissie Newman and her husband, NASCAR driver Ryan Newman. The 87-acre facility offers school, Scout and camp programs, birthday parties and private tours, which promote humane education through hands-on learning. Rescue Ranch is located in Statesville, North Carolina - less than an hour from Winston-Salem, Charlotte and Hickory.


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