About Me

Welcome to Focus on Animals!

Since childhood, I’ve loved animals.  Advocating for animals through this space, I primarily reblog and share news and newsletters from animal organizations and animal welfare experts whose organizations I support and/or blogs I follow on a regular basis. Some organizations I support are Animals Asia who rescue moon and sun bears from bile farms and dogs and cats destined for slaughter for food in Asia, PAWS (Performing Animal Welfare Society), Farm Sanctuary, PETA, wild horse sanctuaries including Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary, Panthera Corporation devoted to preserving big cats and their ecosystems around the globe, Rhino Orphanage, GRACE who save gorillas, Chimfunshi Home for Chimpanzees in Need where I sponsor a young chimpanzee named Ian, and many others.

I strive to spread awareness of animals in crisis, the ways in which people can help animals, and heartwarming stories that illustrate the positive difference made in many animals’ lives by compassionate people who care deeply about animals and their rights as sentient beings. Focus on Animals is here to share information and inspire readers to get involved, raise funds, volunteer at a shelter or otherwise act in some way on behalf animals who are suffering.

You’ll also find here plant-based recipes, my favourite quotes, poetry (mine and others), and a selection of articles I’ve written over the years as a freelance writer since 2000.


Since 1984, I have been involved in wildlife rehabilitation; raising orphaned animals such as raccoons, squirrels and over one hundred backyard birds, including robins and finches, various sparrow species and birds that I’ve discovered few people like, such as starlings who are a clear favourite of mine and bursting with personality. Most were raised from hatchlings, fed every 20 minutes from dawn to beyond dusk. All mammals and birds were released back into the wild when they were ready.

My most recent rehabilitation were two little coonies named Basil and Dusty, raised in the summer of 2012 in my front porch, then into a specially constructed ‘coondo’ then soft-released (their wild diet supplemented with food from me, as required)  on my five-acre property in sprng 2013. Basil comes back to visit every spring since and from the cutest little raccoon I’ve ever seen as per the photo here, he’s become a big, beautiful and healthy adult.

My husband and I share our country home with Chip, a wonderful collie cross, a few glorious cats and a striking, multi-pastel-coloured lovebird I call Scrunchy Monkey; all these critters enrich our lives in countless ways. Eleven dogs and sixteen cats who have now crossed the Rainbow Bridge have called this old house home over the last 20 years.

Through my business, The Phoenix Collection, I sell First Nations art, a selection of equine art, farm animals by Lisa Audit and wildlife art prints by several renowned artists—framed and unframed—through catalogs (online discontinued) by telephone and mail order. If you would like to view my offerings, please contact me through susandorlingdesigns@gmail.com Susan Dorling Designs handcrafted jewelry Spring 2018 Collection will soon be available online. I am also working on a freelance writing project this winter of 2018.