Rose Gergely was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec and has loved
animals since she was young. At the age of 11 she became aware of the
horrific cruelty of the Canadian seal hunt and became active in raising
awareness about it. It was also at this time that she stopped eating animals
and adopted a vegetarian diet.
At age 13 she bought her own horse who was boarded in a riding facility
but she soon discovered that many people had no love or respect for their
horses and only used them for sport and profit, eventually discarding
them, selling them or sending them to slaughter. She embraced veganism
when she was 18 years old, and as her awareness of animal cruelty grew
so did her passion and drive to help them.
Rose worked as a veterinary technician and purchased her own property
in Ormstown, Quebec to rescue, rehabilitate and provide a permanent
home for dozens of abused and neglected dogs, cats and rabbits. In 1988,
Rose rescued her first farm animal, a baby lamb named Snowy who needed
to be bottle-fed. Snowy paved the way for the founding of Refuge RR in
1990 when it became a registered charity.
Calls started to come in about old horses that people no longer
wanted. They didn’t trust anyone else except her because they knew her
love for animals was genuine. Soon the word spread, and Rose started
getting many calls about different animals that needed help like horses
from racetracks who were starving and freezing to death and abandoned
and abused animals of all kinds.
Over the past 29 years Rose has rescued thousands of animals ranging
from domestic, to equine, farm and wild animals. She is always finding
loving homes to place abandoned animals and carefully chooses the right
families and sanctuaries that will take the best care of them.
Refuge RR is Canada’s biggest animal sanctuary and is now home to over
250 animals. It is currently located in Alexandria, Ontario where Rose
lives with her two children Matt and Shelby who help her with the daily
work. Refuge RR receives no help from the government and relies entirely
on donations to cover the tremendous costs.
Rose is considered a hero by many and is highly respected for dedicating
her life to saving animals. She whole-heartedly believes that all lives
matter and that every life is precious and should be saved, her level of
compassion and love for animals is insurmountable.