Little Belle’s Magical Sanctuary

Little Belle’s Magical Sanctuary is founded in August 2017 in memory of our dearly beloved Little Belle who passed away on April 25th, 2017.

Founders: Little Belle & Irene van Raadshooven
President: Irene van Raadshooven

Finance Committee:
– Stéphanie Lecoutre, Belgium  stephanie.lecoutre@hotmail.com

Little Belle

Hello, for the people who don’t know me yet, I would love to tell my story. For almost 12 years I lived in a puppy mill in Portugal, I’ve had a lot of puppies and my ‘home’ was a cage. I was saved by organization Bianca Organization (http://www.bianca.pt/english/)
When I was found I was very sick; very skinny, Leishmania, glaucoma in my left eye, ingrown nails and no muscles so I could barely walk. I received care and treatment in Portugal and was soon adopted in the Netherlands. I traveled to my forever home in early 2011. The first 2 months were tough because of the treatment of Leishmania for which I received injections. I was mostly very sleepy. Above this, I had severe dental problems so I had to undergo a surgery. Shortly after I woke up in the recovery room, I got a heart attack and they had to reanimate me. It was very scary, also for my mom who thought she was going to lose me. But I was and still am a fighter and I survived! Sadly, 10 days after this, my left eye got worse and the eye pressure was so high it started to hurt me. So I had another operation to remove my eye. It was very scary again, because of my previous reaction to the anesthesia my mom was very worried. But again, I showed what a miracle I am,  everyone was amazed how I was doing and my recovery went very well.

In the years that followed I grew a lot. I was initially very scared, got easily frightened for everything new, for the smallest movements and sounds. I did not know how to move and did not dare to walk. But with the help of my wonderful family, I dared more and got to know the world better. I went more and more on adventures and it was always such a joy to walk outside where there was lots to explore. Where I first walked in the shadow of my mom, I then walked proudly in front and looked behind me and said ‘Are you coming now’? It always made Irene very happy to see me walk around like that.

So, from being very sick and feeling a lot of fear, I grew and grew and enjoyed life more and more. I love my family and all the adventures I had with them, especially in the summer, I loved the sun!

In January 2015 I sadly lost my sight completely because of glaucoma in my other eye and from then I had to learn and experience a whole new world. I had a great inner strength and will to live, so together with my family, it didn’t take long before I perceived my world with confidence and joy again.

My family consists of Irene, 9 canine friends, Robert (husband of Irene) and 7 horses.  Irene her passion is giving dogs in need a forever home with unconditional love and understanding of our needs and pleasures in life.

In April, 2017, I transitioned to the other side. I know how many people and friends miss me. But I am still here, in another form. My spirit never dies.

Here you can read more about the reason why we both had to let go: Why we both had to let go

And pictures of my family saying goodbye: Our family saying goodbye to Little Belle


Irene has devoted her life to the animals around her, a passion that is about truly living from her heart.  She loves to fully

In the world of dogs and people, there are still many old outdated principles and ways of interacting with dogs and Irene would also like to inspire people to look differently and to find other ways of living together with our canine family.

Over the years she experienced how people can look at animals who are different, how people can judge and think it is animal unworthy. This touches her deeply, especially given her own experience with dogs that are different. How they, like any other dog, can perceive and experience the world around them. How they are eager to go on all kinds of adventures and especially how they enjoy life. Being differently abled or not being able to do something does not mean that there is no possibility of a wonderfully full life.

The family

Click on the pictures for their stories

In Loving Memory ❤️