Thursday, August 17, 2006

Can We Save the Animals?

I saw this article today and my heart just broke. The United States' largest wildlife sanctuary is closing because of lack of funds! Everyone was busy donating to tsunami and hurricane victims, and funding that kept the sanctuary operating fell short. There are more than 150 large carivores living here, and if the non-profit can't find a place for them before they run out of money, euthanasia is the only option.

Since I can only wish for the $600,000 a year it takes to keep them running, I've got nothing left to do but pray, and spread the word.

DENVER, COLORADO – August 14th, 2006 The Wild Animal Sanctuary (also known as Rocky Mountain Wildlife Conservation Center) has announced the non-profit sanctuary for Lions, Tigers, Bears and other dangerous carnivores is closing. Devastated by the negative effects of world-wide disasters in 2005 – the sanctuary will be forced to close its doors - leaving over 150 wild animals homeless. The 140 acre sanctuary was the largest of its kind in the United States, but now its residents face an uncertain future as their caretakers scramble to find alternatives to euthanasia.

Like many other non-profit animal organizations in the U.S., the Colorado-based rescue organization was devastated financially last year when their donations all but disappeared as people shifted their support towards helping tsunami, hurricane, and earthquake victims. The sanctuary fell into major debt last year as donations dwindled and the year wore on - and even though they did receive some renewed support late in the year, the funds that came in were not substantial enough to allow the organization to fully recover. Facing massive shortfalls, management has decided that it is in the animals’ best interests to close its rescue operations as soon as possible.

The sanctuary, which has operated in Colorado for nearly 27 years, is home to over 150 lions, tigers, bears, leopards, wolves and other large carnivores that were originally confiscated from illegal “pet” situations by law enforcement agencies. The sanctuary will do everything in its power to try and find new homes for the animals… however, there are very few organizations in the United States that have the ability to take these kinds of animals in, so placing all the animals will be a very difficult.

“Most people logically expect their local zoo could take these animals in,” says the Sanctuary’s Executive Director, Pat Craig, “but that isn’t the case. The fact is that almost every zoo in the country already has a serious surplus problem of their own, and are unable to help in situations like these.”

The 140 acre sanctuary is the largest of its kind in the U.S., as the facility has more large carnivores than any other large carnivore sanctuary, including 75 tigers, 30 bears, 20 mountain lions, and dozens of leopards, African lions and other big cats. “The only way we will be able to place this many animals is with ample time,” says Craig, “as it’s going to take an incredible amount of work to find that many homes, and to also get the animals moved across the country when new homes are found.”

However the Sanctuary doesn’t have sufficient time to accomplish their goal of placing 100% of the animals since it costs over $15,000 per week to operate the facility and their operating funds have been completely depleted. “We may be able to stay open for another week or two, at best, so if we don’t find more resources right away we will be forced to close before new homes can be found for each animal.”, states Craig “Any support we can get right now will allow us to stay open another day… and each additional day we get will increase the odds for saving another life.”

Information and Time Frames:
Sanctuary Open to Public: Now till funds run out…
Placement/Transport of Animals: Now till funds run out…
Special Sales/Auctions: To be announced – check our web site or call, 303-536-0118 Information/Donations: On line @ via mail, or at the Sanctuary until closure is complete

Our immediate focus is to find homes for the animals and get them transported. We will be continuously trying to raise funds to that end, as well as to meet other needs, such as food, utilities, equipment payments, and paying people to help close the Sanctuary.

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Fyrecreek said...

Sorry, folks, I don't know what the deal is, but my profile can be found all the way down! I played with the html template until my eyes got all brackety, it'll just have to stay like this.

Rhi said...

I finally had a moment to read the blog, and this article really means so much - I think i visited when I was a kid.