Spring is normally a time for rejoicing. It’s a time of warmer drier weather and a time of rebirth. At the sanctuary we see the return of a wide variety of migratory birds and a time of nest building. It is also a time for increased hunting for food to feed the impatient babies waiting for their weary parents to return to the nest.This spring has been a very unusual time for us at the sanctuary. We have experienced both ends of the spectrum when it comes to new births and the need to feed hungry babies.
At Joplin’s Sanctuary as we ended our first year we decided to look back at the over twenty rescues involving nearly eighty animals that we handled or were involved with during that time. This exercise was undertaken primarily to help us understand where the animals are coming from that end up at our sanctuary or within our rescue operations. Additionally, we wanted to see if there were any trends or revelations that would come out of this process. Through this review we hoped that we would gather insights that would allow us to better educate the public on various issues, so that we minimize as much as possible the number of animal neglect, abuse and abandonment cases
we see every year.
During the late fall and winter season the weather can vary greatly here in the Northwest from rainy and temperate,
to crystal clear with bone chilling temperatures to snowy and everything in between. We are often asked what challenges these varying weather conditions pose for us as we continue to care, rehabilitate and re-home animals.
In the past we have reported on our involvement and response efforts as it has pertained to multiple wildfires in the state. These include both grass fires as well as forest fires. In these situations (whether caused by lightning storms or human error) we have used the terms “boots on the ground” and “logistical support” to describe our involvement.
On several occasions we have been asked what does those terms mean and what is involved in each area? The following is our definition of those terms. Note: other first responders may have different definitions or groupings of activities to describe their response efforts.
Given that we are facing another arctic blast this week we thought we would take some time and answer many of our followers’ questions in regards to what impact does the extreme cold have on the sanctuary’s day to day operations.Of course each storm or arctic blast has its own characteristics but there are some consistencies that we face each time as it pertains to the day to day care of our animals.Regardless of whether it is fowl, goats, horses, dogs or other species we have to keep a fresh supply of water available to them for drinking or for swimming and bathing. In some cases we endeavor to use heated water buckets but in many situations that is not entirely practical, so we need to go out three or four times a day to break up the ice layers on buckets/water bowls or to completely dump a swimming pond and replenish it with water. That results in a couple extra hours of work each day. We of course are doing the “routine” chores of wrapping pipes and protecting hoses etc.as well.
With great sadness and heartache we wanted to report that we lost Kevin, one of our sweet goats to a fast moving infection this week. Despite the heroic efforts of our veterinarian and around the clock forced feedings, changing warm blankets, heating pads/hot water bottles and constant care, Kevin's condition rapidly worsened to the point that he couldn't even lift his head. It is always difficult to humanely euthanize an animal, as it is our goal at the sanctuary to make every animal's life as pleasurable as it can be every day. But when an animal is great discomfort and it is clear that it will not recover, we feel it is the best thing to humanely euthanize the animal when it is surrounded and being held by the people who love him/her. Kevin is now buried under a beautiful canopy of maple/oak trees and will have a marker placed in the sanctuary's memorial garden in remembrance of his sweet disposition. Thanks to all of you for your interest and support. It is through your donations and help that we are able to provide the loving care that our rescued animals so desperately need at times.
Conversely and thankfully we have also experienced the joy of new births this spring. Fawn the one year old pregnant goat that we rescued along with Pearl and Daisy delivered twin boys to us on Saint Patrick’s Day. It only seemed fitting to name them Shamus and Patrick.
As an example, about a month ago we had the privilege of working with and teaching a five year boy (Ben) about the various animals’ daily needs. His mother accompanied us around the sanctuary as she took photographs as a part of her own college photography project. Ben was a very attentive young boy and eager to learn about the various animals and their specific needs.
We would also like to express our sincere thanks and gratitude to South Sound Critter Care.
For the love of
People who have visited or toured Joplin’s Sanctuary often email or ask “how are Danforth and Quasi doing?”
For those of you not acquainted with them they are two of the abused animals who have found their way to the sanctuary over the past year and we are happy to report that they are doing great.
CAUTION: Quasi’s story is one that is heartbreaking BUT yet in many ways a story of resilience and
incredible love for life. Please read his story with the understanding that we are relating his travails to
point out the level of abuse that some animals unfortunately suffer and to secondly document his on-going needs.
Quasi is a domestic white duck who has suffered greatly at the hands of a human or humans. When he was first
found dumped in a commercial parking lot by a loving PUD worker he was covered
with motor oil and his eyes were crusted over due to infection to the point that he could hardly see.
In late July we were called in to assist on the search and rescue and evacuation of residents and animals living West of Leavenworth. As of July 17th the Chiwaukum Creek/Mills Canyon complex fires had expanded to over 6,600 acres and were spreading rapidly towards the Tumwater Canyon and the residences inside the canyon. Given our previous experience working on various wildfires in the area(i.e. the large Hatchery Complex/Rat Creek fires in 1994 which destroyed over a dozen homes along Icicle Road through the rapid moving 2012 Wenatchee Complex /Leavenworth, Mission Ridge fire) we were called in by private citizens and local authorities to assist in the Tumwater Canyon area.
At Joplin’s Sanctuary and Animal Rescue one of our main goals is to broaden our outreach in the areas of humane education to the next generation(s) in a number of ways. We believe that it is critical that families and young children understand that every animal deserves humane treatment regardless of whether it is a dog or cat or a duck or a chicken or a horse or a donkey, etc. Since it is a well established fact that children at an early age learn quickly we have arranged a number of private visits for families with young children. Children as young as three, four and five have been able to see, touch and learn about a wide variety of animals and how to care for them.
Routinely when we speak to people about the work we do, we talk about “socializing” as being one of our main goals for the animals that come to the sanctuary. But what does “socializing” or “socialization” of an animal really mean?
By definition: “Socializing is the process of working with and training an animal to live in a close relationship and in harmony with humans and other animals”. At the sanctuary it means that the animal is comfortable with and not afraid of humans as they work around and with them. It also means that they are comfortable being around other animals of their own species and with potentially other species as well.