Friday, January 7, 2011

Crisis in Montana

The holidays are over, I am not one of those people that get depressed after the holidays are over. I hope that you and yours all had a very Happy Holiday Season, remember all donations in 2010 are tax deductible. I love to hate the month of January. It is the worst month of the year at our facility. It is a constant daily battle to deal with the ice, the snow and the cold but I love January because it is normally slow on the rescue front. Without many animals coming in, I get a chance to relax and work on paperwork. I also do not do many events in Jan. to promote our facility, so I am not on the road as much. I would like to mention, we are currently booking events for 2011. This year has not starting out slow like usual. I am currently working on two big rescues. Both of these cases will be very expensive to assist in.
In Montana, around 15 years ago, a Sanctuary for unwanted animals was started. Very similar to what we do, they specialized in taking in unwanted livestock and exotics. They have a large number of animals there, my focus is on the approximately 800 llamas that they have gathered over the last several years. I was a critic of what they were doing for years. Some of the the worst rescues that I have been involved with have been at other rescue facilities. Many people with good intentions, start "rescues" and quickly get in over their heads. Some of these "Rescues" are basically animal hoarders with good intentions and limited resources. Before Thanksgiving, I heard that the Montana Sanctuary was bankrupt, closing and the animals were dying. I swore that I couldn't get involved, I didnt want to use our limited resources on a problem halfway accross the country. For the last few months, I have stood on the sidelines watching the train wreck unfold ....I wanted to look the other way but I can't any longer. Efforts are underway to feed the llamas throughout the harsh Montana winter with donations from all over the nation from other rescue groups. I thought the money raised from donations should be used to ship the llamas out of Montana, instead of feeding them there. I know both have to be done. The feeding is happening but the transportation out of there isnt. The llamas are very thin, lack appropriate shelter and need to get out of Montana to reputable rescue facilities that can adequately provide for them. I have agreed to take 50 of these llamas and provide feed and care for them until I can find them new homes. I do not have several thousand dollars in our budget to ship them to NY and we desperately need donations to do so. You can see the animals and the facility in Montana on YouTube. There are a lot of very talented rescue people throughout the nation working with me on this one. One way or another, I might not be able to save the 500-600 llamas remaining in Montana but I will start with 50. Southeast LLama Rescue has agreed to match our 50. As soon as the first 50 arrive, I will start planning on the next transport of another 50. One person can make a difference, many people can make a bigger difference....Now would be a great time to donate if you havn't in awhile.
The other big case that I am working on right now is not a rescue case but it could turn into one. I know of a small private zoo that is closing down on October 1st of this year. The problem with finding homes for animals from zoos is that many of the animals require special licenses to own. I dont think that requiring licenses is the problem, the problem is that there are not many people left with licenses. I have lined up homes for many of the animals already but I would like to move the Mountain Lion to our facility. It is very tough to securely house these cats and I will need several thousand dollars to do a new enclosure and do it right. We have 10 months for this project but things need to be put in place now to do it.
I am always begging for checks and we need them now more than ever BUT We can also really use a public relations person, a grant writer, and donations of building materials. Besides for the Raptor Flight Material list on our website, we could also put to great use cattle panels, sheep fencing and pressure treated posts. I also would love to find an architect that would like to design a bear, cougar, bobcat building with me as a future project. We really need a corporate sponsor, I will gladly put their name all over our facility and on the projects they help fund. We need someone with some celebrity connections.....
I know that 2011 is going to be a busy year. If you have forgotten about what we do, schedule an appointment to visit our facility. Everyone has something to contribute to our mission, think about what you have to contribute.............WES


Book Worm - SilkWorm said...

How do we get involved if we can provide homes?

Gayle said...

If you're interested in adopting, please visit our website at and use the email link at the bottom of the page. We'll get back to you with information. Thanks so much!

It will very likely be at least spring before we've really been able to evaluate the llamas for adoption.

Superbadfriend said...

I will tell everyone I know. This is so upsetting. Bless your heart for stepping in. xo