January 2012 Newsletter

Happy New Year!

We hope that everyone had a safe and happy holiday and New Year. It has certainly been an eventful one for the big cats!

We have had a somewhat eventful year. There have been many good things and some struggles as well. We have made it through it all because we have so many great supporters who love these animals as much as we do.

January 2011 began with making arrangements and plans to get the new den houses onto the property. There were so many obstacles to getting it done, but the behind the scenes work was moving along nicely. Thanks to Mona Cross at CellXion of Bossier City for that.

February 2011 started out uneventful. Sadly on February 17th our beloved Siberian tiger, Natasha, succumbed to lymphoma. It was a terribly sad day for all of us at the sanctuary. There were absolutely no signs of any illness and she was happy and playful up until just minutes before her peaceful death. We miss her so much.

March 2011 we completed all the required upgrades to the property that the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) imposed on us to get our permit renewed, except the den houses. This was still a happy time of progress.

April 2011 The weather cooperated and we were able to open for our visitor season as scheduled. Two people from CellXion came out and visited the sanctuary to see what logistical issues we were facing with moving the buildings onto the property for our den houses. More progress was made.

Some members of the Navy Construction Battalion (Seabees) from Barksdale Air Force Base came out to Yogie and Friends with heavy equipment and skills and cleared and prepped the property to receive the new den houses. These guys were awesome and did a wonderful job for us.

Some bad storms hit the area on April 26th and a tornado even touched down about four miles south of us in Frierson. Fortunately there were no injuries to any of the local residents and the storm never came near Yogie and Friends and all humans and animals were unharmed.

May 2011 There were delays in getting the buildings onto the property since several of our key helpers had family in other parts of the country impacted by tornados. Fortunately there was no loss of life for any of these families.

June 2011 Our huge, walk-in freezer saw better days and we had to do some major fundraising to rebuild the unit. We needed $15,000 to rebuild what would cost $35,000-$45,000 or more to replace the unit. Our founder is an HVAC master technician and that was why we were able to get this done inexpensively.

On a good note John Parsons, owner of Deep South Equipment, visited the sanctuary and offered us the use of heavy equipment to move the buildings for den houses. What an awesome man,

July 2011 We could not meet the July 10th deadline with LDWF, so we requested a six month extension.

On July 28th all the buildings for den houses arrived and put in place on site. A happy day for all. Thanks to Deep South Equipment, CellXion of Bossier City, and Utley Industries for the 18-wheeler to deliver them. It was a huge team effort.

August 2011 Fundraising for the walk-in freezer was in full swing and we raised much of the needed funds to get the work started. We also got our paperwork in for the 2012 Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), which is a great thing.

September 2011 The CFC kicked off and Yogie is once again in the campaign. The Yogie staff started preparing for the end of season in October.

October 2011 Yogie and Friends had one of the best season finales ever. We had so many visitors and that was so much fun for all of us at the sanctuary.

November 2011 Tim got fresh hay for all the cat pens. We use hay for some of the smaller animals to add more insulation around their den houses for added warmth. The bigger cats just like to play and roll around in it and have a good time.

December 2011 was filled with some really fun fundraisers while our volunteer families prepared for the holiday season.

So, as you can see 2011 was a busy one for us. A sad loss, but a lot of good happenings as well. We hope things only improve for all our cats and our volunteers. We look forward to a great 2012. We still need support from our fans. We always need your financial support and can also use your physical help. Our den houses still need to be modified.

Special Thanks: There are so many people who volunteer their blood, sweat, and tears to make what we do at Yogie and Friends possible. We are ALL volunteers all the way from our founder and director of animal care, Tim Mills, Vice President, Vicki Volk, Webmaster, Paige Bass, Tour guide, Andrea Labor, Graphic Artist, Jeanne Reed, and other board members, Jaret Snow (who also does our electric and other heavy labor work for us), and Kathy Cherry, Animal Caregiver. We also thank all our volunteers who helped gift wrap at Barnes and Noble, volunteers (and there were many) who helped make the bake sales and rummage sale a big success, and everyone who took time our of their busy schedule to put our animal’s needs ahead of their own. Thank you so much for all you have done for these wonderful animals.

Facebook: Don’t forget to follow us on Face Book. We have a very active page and update it often with news and events as they happen.  Sometimes we even make special offers on Facebook for our fans and it’s a good way to spread the word. We’d love to increase our fan base.

A few ways to help financially:

Coins for Cats! Do you empty your pockets of all your coin when you get home and throw them in a jar or piggy bank? Well, what a great way to get kids involved in fundraising help for the animals.  A little coin can go a long way! That little bit of effort can end up being a nice chunk of change.

Kroger Neighbor to Neighbor Donation Program: The accumulation period is 1 July 2011 – 30 April 2012.  It is so easy to do. Just give the cashier the letter we have linked on our website. The old letters work since it is the same barcode. The cashier will scan that and your Plus Card and it will be linked. Every time you shop at a Kroger in Texas and Louisiana and use your card, then a percentage of the sale goes to Yogie and Friends. Kroger gives a portion of $1 Million to local Texas and Louisiana programs through this program.

Be kind to your pets. Make sure they are safe from the elements and always have a warm, dry shelter from the elements. Help control the pet population. Spay and neuter your pets. Adopt, don’t shop. There are so many animals needing your love and attention in local shelters. Help give them a furever home.

For the cats!


Posted in Monthly Newsletter