August 2006 Sanctuary News

Greetings,

August is finally upon us and hopefully we will not have the hot, brutal weather we had in July.

As I am sure you have heard by now, Moses has returned to Yogie and Friends. He arrived home on July 7th. He is doing wonderful and enjoying his large pen. As expected he was a little unsure when he first exited the kennel crate, but it sure didnt take him long to start romping around in the grass. We expect to introduce him with another lion when he reaches about 100 pounds. Moses certainly exceeded all expectations. He had a few medical crises in the beginning, but he is very healthy and as of this writing weighs about 45 pounds. His personality is fun to watch as he develops more and more each day. We want to thank the folks at Tiger Creek for helping us with Moses and especially to Jennifer Reddington, Senior Keeper. Jennifer did the majority of the work with Moses and I know it was very hard for her to say goodbye to him. Thanks again.

Our animals recently had their annual vet visit. I must say that this went extremely well. The vet was able to easily inject all the animals on the first attempt. It was almost like the cats knew that we were doing what is good for them and I swear they came to the fence in just the right position and posed their back ends for us. It was the funniest thing, but made our time with the vet so much easier. Batman also has had another vasectomy and that went without any trouble as well.

I get several requests for ‘feeding’ tours. Please understand that the majority of our animals are animals that have been rescued out of abusive or neglectful situations. They get more rambunctious during their feedings and they also get stressed when there is a bunch of people around them during feedings. So, we do not feed during public visitations. Thats not to say that once in a while we dont throw them a piece of chicken as a treat when people are visiting, but it is a rare occasion if we do.

I also get calls and requests to bring one of our animals to churches, schools, mall events, and things of this sort. I just got four requests this past week and from very well meaning and intelligent people. A couple were even acquaintances of mine. I dont get angry. Education is the goal. I try and get as much information to people as to why this will never happen. We have never taken any animal off the premises, other than for medical reasons. Not happening. Never have done this and never will. I dont care how small one of the animals is that we have at our sanctuary, it is not going to happen. Do you realize that anytime you move one of these animals out of a pen you have to go to extreme safety measures to prevent all risk of escape or injury to the handler or animal?

Please understand that we are not trying to be ugly or harsh to people when we say ‘absolutely not’. We are not going to risk or subject any of our animals, or their people, to the dangers, noises, and stresses, of a crowded mall or any other place. These animals were created to be in the wild and have been taken out of their natural domain by silly humans. Why would we make their lives worse by subjecting them to this? If you want to see and learn you can come visit us and have an opportunity for a unique educational experience as well as being able to see these wonderful and magnificent creatures in a relaxed environment. An environment in which they can feel safe and secure. You will still have a wonderful opportunity to learn about them, while helping us to continue maintaining their dignity and respect. Our animals never have to earn their living. It is our privilege to provide them a safe and secure home. If you ever go to a sanctuary that lets you touch an animal or have your photo taken with an animal, then you may need to research more and you will realize that they are probably not a sanctuary. A real sanctuary will not permit you to do this. Reconsider ever visiting a place like that.

We have several events scheduled for Yogie and Friends:

August 5 at 5 P.M.

Esteban Guitar Raffle Drawing at Yogie and Friends.

Louise MacDonald of Queensland, Australia is the winner of the Esteban Black Legacy Guitar. Louise and her son, Luke visited Yogie and Friends last summer. Here is what she had to say in her e-mail response: “I am just happy to be able to do something for Yogie and Friends even though I am so far away. I am still in awe of what I saw when I visited last year and if donating the guitar back helps in any way with the care of the cats then I am happy”. Thanks, Louise!

September 9    11 A.M. 4 P.M.

Bake Sale and Fundraiser at Courtyard Coffee, Youree Drive, Shreveport

September 30   8 10 A.M.

Pancake Breakfast, Applebees Restaurant, Bert Kouns, Shreveport. Cost: $5 each

So many people say they want to help us, but they can’t really afford much. But, it doesn’t take a lot of money to help us. There are so many things people can do that help. It’s even the little things that do help us. For instance, Tim and I are outside working in this extreme heat. We take precautions by drinking lots of water and PowerAde. Well, I have access to Barksdale AFB since I am retired from the Air Force. I might go and buy 5 – 10 cases of PowerAde at a time out of my own pocket because we don’t want to take away from the animals. It isnt a big cost, but it does add up. Just think. If one case costs $6 – $7 it can add up. If 10 people buy one case each then that is 10 cases or 120 bottles. That is a donation that helps us and an easy and inexpensive donation for those who want to help. There are other smaller items that you can donate to help keep costs down. Things like chlorine, bleach, paper towels, bottled water, garden hoses, etc. You can buy us a 100 pound bucket of chlorine powder anywhere from $129 – $160. I bought a 100 pound bucket today with a 20% off coupon at Leslie’s Pool Supplies and it cost $103. That was a huge savings for us. Or if you buy bleach at a discount store like Fred’s when they have it on sale for 99 cents you can buy a case for about $6. All this helps. It may seem like a little thing, but if you add all the little things we need it can all add up. No gift is too small and it is all much appreciate. Check out our wish list for our current needs and wants.

Our Volunteer of the month: is Jason Burns from the 608 ACOMS at Barksdale AFB. Jason and his wife have been coming out and helping with mowing and other maintenance at Yogie and Friends. We really appreciate it.

I know I am not saying anything you don’t already know. This has been one unbelievable hot summer and it isnt over. One of the Yogie neighbors lost two black labs to heat stroke. We care for a stray dog that adopted us and lives on the Yogie property and we are constantly giving her fresh, cold water. She won’t let us touch her or we would get her inside. She seems to be smart enough to stay in the shelter we do provide for her.

I recently was grocery shopping when I saw a small dog locked in someone’s SUV. Well, this person parked the vehicle under a tree thinking it was shady enough. I will tell you that I also was parked under the same tree in the shade with all my windows cracked open more than the SUV had. When I got into my car it still registered at 92 degrees. That is too hot to leave a defenseless animal locked up in. Please, just dont do it. It does not take much for an animal to die from heat stroke.

Please remember to take the necessary steps to reduce this stress on your animals. And know that you are the only voice they have and they depend on you.

Please remember to spay and neuter your pets. There are too many unwanted pets as there is and the animal shelters are filled with these animals needing to be adopted. Be kind and take the time to make sure your animals dont end up as garbage. That is not at all kind.

And remember, Wild Animals Do Not Make Good Pets!

Come out and see us soon.

Be good to your animals and their people! Be the voice for those who cannot speak for themselves.

Jenny


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