For those who do not know why we are in the place we are, and wonder what happened, I thought it important to explain.
When Dee and I started caring for senior animals in the fall of 2000, we never dreamed it would be come so large and serve so many and so varied an array of deserving animals in need. From the beginning, through about the middle of 2008, we had been able to fully fund sanctuary operations almost entirely with personal funds, thanks to a long and very prosperous career in the mortgage and business brokerage industries.
Beginning in 2007, both of these industries began a steep and steady decline, which saw a corresponding drop in our personal income from excellent to meager. During the last year we have not been able to make a property payment, have qualified for food stamps, and found ourselves stuck in a tough financial position. A year without a mortgage payment is unheard of, we realize. Ongoing, though fruitless, communication with the mortgage company, combined with workout package submittals and pursuits of additional income channels kept us hopeful that something would give. Certainly it would be in their best interest to work with us. We plan to be here forever and aren’t looking for a free ride, just some help, such as extending the terms.
We have been able to keep the residents fed and cared for through contributions and five small grants, but regular duties and chores take 12 + hours a day from each of us and leaves precious little time for the important work of PR and fundraising. As our income dropped, so did our ability to have paid help, which is why I spend much of my time here at the ranch. We have a great but small core group of volunteers, without which neither of us would be able to leave the property for any appreciable period of time (hours, not days!)
We have reached a point where our backs are against the wall and we need help in a big way. The sanctuary is our home and encompasses all parts of the property. There is no part of our lives or belongings that does not serve the sanctuary residents. Our home is the animals’ home, and thus all we have belongs to the non-profit we formed in January of 2008 (i.e. as a 501(c) 3 public charity). I mention this since while we are also raising money needed to keep the property, I am also working to present another package to the lender in an effort to modify the current loan so that we do not find ourselves in this position somewhere down the line. Also, I am applying for as many grants as we are qualified to and continue to make requests of anyone I can imagine so we raise enough money to accomplish the primary mission, but also to build a reserve that would handle the mortgage for the next 12 months.
Please realize that it is not the actual house that we’re concerned about. We’ve considered that there may be someone out there willing to donate land or a place… but this lot of land is special, not just for its beauty and ability to calm both human and animals who come here, but because the people who surround us here are truly unbelievable. Our lot is just 2.38 acres (Stop! Try to picture that with 21 horses, 2 steer, etc., etc.), but three generous neighbors allow horses to live on their land, and those neighbors AND MORE are fighting HARD to keep us here. What we have happening right here is truly special and supporters have said that you simply must visit the sanctuary to feel it and understand.
We will do everything we can to save the sanctuary and give thanks in advance that we will be able to continue this work for those we serve.
I’ll close by acknowledging the saints and saviors who have been sending donations, large and small. There is love behind these contributions, people who would love to do what we do but cannot. This sanctuary belongs to all of you, all of US.
THANK YOU! Arbor View Veterinary Clinic, Baker’s Nursery, Dana Allen, Margaret Andrews, Caryne Anglin, Marta Anguiano, Ronda Belka, Tami Benton, Carl Brunberg, Vicki Capstaff, Bernice Chin, Neva Chonin, Sharon Connor, Sue and Doug Cooper, Denise Cutrell, Dana Edlund, Evelina Fata, John Fletcher, Kristy Fox, Agnes Frank, K V Girard, Renne Grace, Natalie Granchukoff, Margaret Grella, Healing Arts Institute, Janet Hudson, Laurie Huff, Felice Hussa, Erika Jewell, Robin Johnson, Juarez-Grix Foundation, Hope Justice, Suzanne Lamberg, Stephanie Lanning, Nancy Laskow, Mary Lawrence, Erin McLaughlin, Lisa Michell, Sally Morgan Welch, Trina Nguyen, Noreen Nys, Barbara Orr, Tiffany Owens, Sharleen Oxendine, Jodie Radakovitz, Kay Rodrick, Lloyd Rose, Melanie Schweitzer, Joan Spurling, Jane St. Croix, Michelle Stevens, Gay Teale, Kristina Towner, Kathleen Wagner, Joelle Yuna, and Donna Yutzy.
Thank you, also, to our steadfast support team ~ family, really. Margaret Andrews, Lydia Patubo, Tom Wilson, Christina Watts, and Becca Davis. Their blood, sweat, tears, and hearts are here.