June 2004 News

Hi again everyone

Well, it is only the first day of June and I think we are in for one hot summer. And because it is going to be so hot we cannot stress enough that you ensure your animals are provided cool clean water, shade, shelter, and any other necessity to keep them safe and healthy. After all, we are the only ones they have to help them. I cannot stress this enough. Please never leave your pets in your vehicle even with the window cracked or open. The inside temperatures will still reach deadly numbers with the windows open. I went out to my car on Memorial Day and the temperature reading was 107 degrees until I started moving.  Even 80 degrees or higher your pets will die from heat stroke. Please remember to give all your animals clean fresh water, shelter from the sun and heat, and a safe clean environment to live in. Remember that you are all these animals have and they depend on you

We’ve done a lot of work out at Yogie this last month. Tim poured over 12,000 pounds of concrete (150 eighty pounds bags) by hand in the lockdown pens. This was very much needed. We place the cats in the lockdowns in order to clean and repair their pens. We never keep them in the lockdowns for any extended length of time. Sometimes they even like to go in and lay on the cool concrete. We also use the lockdowns to place larger than normal pieces of food for the animals. So, the concrete is the best material for sanitizing.

We have also upgraded the entire electrical and security systems on the grounds by adding more cameras and extending their coverage, made another small patio seating area for our visitors, and added more safety features to the cat living areas. We are constantly improving on the living areas for the animals. This is what it is all about. The cats!

If you have been out to Yogie and Friends you will have noticed a large red barn looking building on the grounds. I bought this (out of my own personal money and not from the animal funds) for an education building. This building will be used so that when we conduct tours we can educate about each species of animal and give a little history of them before going out to see the animals. It gets so hot and this will provide a wonderful opportunity for information sharing. I tried, unsuccessfully, to get grants for this project. The building is a good thing for us. There will be a small 3 by 5 office and a handicap accessible bathroom in the back portion of the building. The front portion will be for educational, fundraising projects and volunteer meetings. We just need the materials to finish the building. Materials such as insulation, drywall, nails, and the basic guts required to make it a nice classroom. Nothing fancy, just nice. It is coming along and I have to thank Jim Denney for his diligent work with getting the bathroom together. Once the walls and other finish work is done we will be able to allow public restroom access. Call me if you can help with any funding or the materials for this building. We can use the help.

Also, we are in need of building a privacy fence. We need the materials to build a 6-foot privacy fence to create an entranceway to the sanctuary. We estimate it would cost approximately $2000 in materials and we will do the building of it ourselves. It is important for us to separate the parking area from the animal viewing area. This will decrease the noise of vehicles driving on the property and be less stressful to the animals. If you can help with this project, then please call us.

The 1st Annual Children’s Animal Education Fair was held on May 8th at the Expo Hall in Shreveport. Since this was the first of its kind it wasnt as crowded as some expected. I do believe that is was a wonderful start to what will be the beginning of a well-needed educational experience about animals in the Ark-La-Tex. I had the opportunity to meet several people and it was a lot of fun.

Our VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH this month is Sara Lyles from Baton Rouge. Sara will be entering her second year of veterinarian school in the fall at LSU. I met her when I went to speak at the school in March.  Sara had the opportunity to observe the cats at times others dont normally see them. She also helped me get the second patio together. She saw the hard work it takes to work with exotics and as a future vet can see what the medical issues will be. We appreciate the input she provided us and hope she can come back again in the future. We wish her luck with her studies at LSU. Thanks again, Sara.

We hope that you will consider Yogie and Friends when giving financially. We need the help and support of the public to care for these wonderful animals. We have received gifts in memory of lossed loved ones and realize that it takes a special person to do this during their time of sadness. Remember that your gifts are tax deductible to the full extent of the law. We appreciate what you do when you help us.

The cost of food is ever increasing. The water and electric bills get so much higher for us at this time of year. It is not unheard of for us to have a water bill of $175.00 or more a month compared to $12.00 a month in the wintertime. We have pools for our animals and it is a great source of fun and enrichment for them. We need a great deal of financial support and hope you can help.

If you are willing and able to come and work hard we can use your help. I am needing to train people to collect admission, work tables at local pet stores, do car washes, etc. The majority of the work on the premises will be demanding and physical. Things such as digging and hauling loads of dirt into the cat pens, cleaning the food trays, mowing, weed eating, and other grounds maintenance. Sorry, but we cannot allow anyone below the age of 18 to work on the property. We can use you at fundraisers. Better yet, kids can help by creating ways to raise money for the animals. Shreve Island Elementary School first grade class raised $554.00 this last month for the cats. Way to go kids!

Hope you come out and visit us soon.

Jenny


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