Thursday, September 8, 2011

Open House Cancelled

Due to unforeseen circumstances, Open Houses have been cancelled indefinitely. We hope to re-institute this service soon and appreciate your support and understanding.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Peek into Heaven

Our remarkable sheep, Cielo ('Heaven' roughly), came to us very close to death having been severely neglected by an animal hoarder. She suffers the irreparable effects of malnutrition, but she continues to grow stronger in spirit.

Cielo receives very special privileges and recently began spending her days next door. We are sincerely grateful that Marianne and Jessica Stovall are developing quite a fondness for the sweet sheep. Often, Marianne will accompany Cielo back to her studio apartment where she can relax and enjoy a much wider variety of food than any other being on the ranch. There is nothing sweeter than a sheep (though Indian Runner ducks are awfully special, too.)

This little girl is one of the most precious we have known. Without your support, we could not help innocent babies like Cielo. It is quite likely that she will not enjoy a long life and we'd like to pack in as much love (and goodies) as we can. If you make it to the ranch, do yourself the favor of sitting with her for a bit. She'll even lift a back leg a bit so you can rub her tummy.

Here's a bit of video.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Just a Snippet

This silly little video is random and a bit disconnected, but there are many cute personality quirks in this menagerie and I can't seem to find the time to present them in an organized, logical manner, so I'm just gonna toss some stuff out there as I am able to capture it.

In a nutshell, when you have no eyes and are mostly deaf, the concept of time has no matter. 'Amazing' Grace is not the frail girl ~ she lets out one clear, loud bark to announce that she has a need ("Potty-Water-Cookie") and it is our responsibility to respond and determine which. I respond with the potty option first to avoid accidents. Often, potty is not the right answer and her response makes me laugh. Paddington would politely walk out two steps, turn around and walk right back in, but not our sassy Texan.

I apologize for the poor narration ~ I talk to them like this all the time and didn't create a production piece. I hope it brings a small smile. The inmates run the asylum.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Sanctuary Update + Upcoming Events - 2011

With the continued support of our monthly giving sponsors and new donations that came in, we're looking pretty good for August - thank you!

We are currently at about 700 sponsors, and our ultimate goal is to get to the 2,500 mark. At that level, we will be at complete sustainability, can rely less on donations, and further concentrate our efforts on helping more animals. We are grateful to everyone who is spreading the word about the work we do, so keep it up!

We'd love to see you at our next Open House on August 13th, from 12 - 5 p.m. Everyone is invited, and we are especially reaching out to seniors this month to come meet our senior animals!

Mark your calendar for the rest of our Open Houses through the end of the year (we are closed for December and January):

September 10th - Fun for Kids
October 8th - Halloween Fun
November 12th - Giving Thanks

"Round Table" with Dr. Rich Jackson
Animal Medical Center, Auburn

Think of all those questions you've wanted to ask your vet, but you forgot, or were running out of time, or maybe you were too embarrassed to ask. Happens all the time. Well, here's your chance to ask Dr. Jackson any and all questions you have about your beloved pet or farm animal.

Dr. Jackson is the veterinarian for the sanctuary, and we appreciate his kind and knowledgeable services. So, bring that list of questions and come join us on Saturday, August 27, from 1 - 4 p.m. for a fun and enjoyable roundtable discussion. $35/person. Advance registration is highly recommended; please go to our home page and click on the class to register.

(Here's our other classes through the end of the year: Horse Sense 101; Cranial Sacral & Other Integrative Healing Therapies for Your Equine; and Cooking for Your Pet & Christmas Treats!)

Monthly Giving - "Homers Heroes"

Our sponsorship program is affectionately named after our "spokes pig" Homer. Our Heroes play an important role in the welfare of our residents.

A minimum $10 monthly donation goes a long way in the care and feeding of our animals, many who have urgent medical needs. You can become a sponsor by going to the HOW TO HELP section on our website.

Each month, we will send you the latest news on what's going on at the sanctuary, along with a large glossy photo and bio of the animal of the month in the category that you choose to sponsor.

"... I have decided to make a sacrifice and give up some of my Starbucks coffee runs ... It was a tough decision (LOL) but one I must make to help you in your mission which I hope one day will be mine. I was in the $10/month program, but let's double that to $20/month... God bless you for all you do. ~ Susan M.


We are slowly but surely putting together a fine team of volunteers. (Here's our wonderful office volunteer, Marta below!) We currently have a strong need for help in the areas of fundraising and grant writing.

We are also looking for volunteers to help out at Dog Day at Green Acres on August 13th and the Eggplant Festival in Loomis on October 1st. If you are able to give 3-4 hours of time on either of these days, we'd love to hear from you - please contact

Victory for Animals!

Senate Bill 917, which prohibits the sale of animals on the street, in parking lots and other similar roadside venues was signed into law today by California Governor Jerry Brown.

Says the ASPCA's Jill Buckley, "By signing S.B. 917, Governor Brown recognizes the need to safeguard animals sold in public parking lots and roadside venues, and puppies, kittens and other pets will no longer be left to suffer in unsanitary and overcrowded cages without proper food and water." The new law also increases the penalty for animal cruelty neglect to up to one year in jail.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Outtakes ~ Kathy

I take a lot of pictures... A lot. Sometimes my subjects just don't cooperate and that perfect shot sometimes take 25 or so tries. I just don't think they understand how important it is for them to hold a certain pose - ok, lemme be honest, the good ones are pure luck. I don't get to the sanctuary as often as I like now that I have a job that requires me to work weekends. Taking the photos gives me a chance to see each and every one. Tonight I was looking through some old pictures and wanted to share the outtakes.

Paddington deciding to fit in a quick chop licking.

Hendry telling me that this angle make her face look chubby.

Lady deciding the camera was more interesting than having her picture taken.

Ok, this isn't really an outtake but Homer has a great sense of humor and style.

I hope everyone is enjoying the summer.


Friday, June 17, 2011

Charlotte ~ Kathy

While all the animals are special, I became particularly attached to Charlotte, the pig. She was the only pig that would talk to me - well, that is using the word talk lightly. She would make these incredible squealing noises that made her sound annoyed, bothered and well just plain mad. At first I thought I was getting too close or that she just didn't like people (me especially) - that changed when I finally stuck around to see why she was so vocal. She eventually let me pet and brush her. When I would sit in the chairs facing the horses in the front, she would sit at my feet. Once I sat next to her on the front lawn, we both enjoyed the sun for about 30 minutes. She also had a fan in L.A., my friend Lea. I would call Lea and Charlotte would talk to her. During the winter she claimed a dog bed and tack room of her own. I popped in to say Hi and the sides of the bed make it look like she was in a puffy taco shell. When Deanna told me she passed away last month, a hole was left in my heart. I know that the time I spent with her was special and I want to believe she is still squealing sweet songs somewhere out there.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sanctuary Update

I want to extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone who has called and emailed in response to the News 10 Story. While we are so very appreciate of the media attention, the reporter’s commitment and passion, I do want to take the tone of the plea down a notch, and better clarify our current situation.

With close to 100 animals to feed, veterinary costs related to caring for a senior and special needs population, facility rent, fuel, supplies, etc… it all adds up to more than $20,000 per month. We have always prided ourselves on giving great care to the displaced animals that find their way to us, and feel that in doing so we are both honoring them while also demonstrating to others that a high quality of life is indeed possible for animals, even for seniors.

Yes, we have been struggling financially. While we have gained some great acclaim and attention over the last 12 months, and in doing so averted foreclosure, the fact of the matter is that right now we do not have $20,000 coming in every month. We have been able to make it month to month by tapping into our reserve fund so that we could balance each month, but now there is no reserve.

So, as it currently stands, there is a projected deficit for June with no reserve to offset that, and that is obviously a significant problem. While it was not accurate to say we would close our doors in two weeks, the truth is that if we do not receive more monthly support right away we would not be able to continue.

The good news is that we do have a very simple solution. Our sponsor program is just $10 per month, and if we can get 1,500 more people to sign up as monthly sponsors (i.e. in addition to the 500 we have now,) we will have a reliable, steady income which will cover our monthly expenses.

We have designed the program to be a true win-win. I know the program is cost effective for the sanctuary. We can produce a mailing for $1, and that means $9 is available to the sanctuary (note: that $1 of cost is already accounted for in the $20,000 above). I also know that people love the monthly sponsor updates. The feedback I get each month tells me that the program is informative, fun, and so very worthwhile. We created the program with the thought that a small amount of financial support from a lot of people would be the best way to keep the sanctuary funded.

We do not want to be the organizational manifestation of the boy who cried wolf, and quite frankly would rather be in the news for how well our animals are doing, but while we are grateful for the media we ultimately do not have control over the tenor or tone of each broadcast. Some are more dramatic than others, and that can make us cringe, even when we do need the help.

In the end, if you are called to help please help us find more sponsors, and if we can do that I know we can move past the point of drama to a place of peaceful sustainability.

Thank you for your love and support…Woody and Deanna

Monday, April 18, 2011

Wow! Blogging... I Almost Forgot How!

The first thing that struck me is that there are now 50 blog followers. Thank you! We are grateful and should be making the time to give you some interesting reads now and again.

It isn't for lack of fodder; this journey undulates like Santa Cruz's Giant Dipper, racing through the completely unexpected, shooting skyward to acutely moving and inspiring, then plummeting into sorrow and surrender, sometimes tempered by a sense of providence, relaxing into the comfort and predictability of the mundane, then rising again through the hopes and promise of another new beginning.

The truth is that I yearn to capture the stories and their associated feelings not only to share with those who care to know, but so that I might have them to look back upon. There are souls who have touched me so deeply that I might never look upon their photo without partially reliving the loss, and I am intensely grateful for the communion. This is both the most gratifying and the most difficult undertaking, but it is rich and full of the very essence of what it means to be human.

Today I have a simple share offering a new avenue of support. We have joined as an affiliate of Stateline Tack and, which means that we will receive 6% of sales that originated through the links on our site (forthcoming.) I have become a seasoned online consumer as well as a spreadsheet crazy comparison shopper. We purchase our equine supplements and fly control through both and I am confident that we could not find better prices.

Zulu and Eddie Model Defender Flymasks in Silver and Black
Customized, of Course

If your life includes a best friend who nickers, please consider giving these comprehensive sites a look. Each month, I look forward to seeing what new and innovative products have been introduced.

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Thank you for considering our new partners and enjoy this prime pony weather.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Walk For Thought

Great news! This year’s Walk for Thought is coming up. Save the date on Sunday, March 27th 2011. This year our walk will be at the State Capitol. We will meet at the West Steps of the Capitol on 10th St., between L & N Streets. Make sure you, your family, and friends join “Team Easter Seals”. This will be my third year of “walking” the event “with a walker”. So join me in raising awareness for brain injury, whether it is a Traumatic or Acquired brain injury. Before I forget you can register for the walk at Don’t forget to register under “Team Easter Seals.” We want to have a great turnout. I’ll see you at the Capitol on the 27th of March, don’t forget and don’t be lazy!


Monday, January 24, 2011

Chevy's Fresh Mex

Save this date: Wednesday January 26th from 4pm-9pm. Chevys of Elk Grove will host the annual scholarship fundraiser for the Brain Injury Association Of California’s, 4th Annual Walk For Thought. Chevys of Elk Grove is located at 7401 Laguna Blvd; they will donate 25% of the proceeds to the fundraiser. So, be sure to invite all your family and friends to enjoy Chevys fabulous cuisine. The Walk for Thought is important because it makes people aware of TBI’s and ABI’s . In case you didn’t know TBI stands for Traumatic Brain Injury and ABI stands for Acquired Brain Injury. So, be sure and save this date for our scholarship fundraiser, and please attend. If you plan to attend, please be sure to print the flyer and bring it with you. It will need to be attached to each bill. Also, please email Meghan Burke at with a RSVP with the number of people attending.

Hector Patino

Friday, January 21, 2011

A Peek from Behind the Scenes ~ Kathy

As the (self appointed unofficial amateur) photographer for the Sponsor Program, I am grateful I get to interact with each and every animal, document events like Homer's Birthday, Walk it Woof it or Hoof it or an Easter Seals visit where my own dog Louie met Hector + get to help out doing whatever is needed.

Being behind the scenes has let me be part of some pretty big happenings last year.

The support that came in after the USA Today article was wonderful. I helped open the letters and was just completely overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of so many people from all around the world. It was very humbling to be a part of a such an event.

I had the pleasure of staying at the ranch with Jordan and her boyfriend when Woody and Deanna took their first vacation in 5 years last Fall. I knew I wouldn't be able to walk a mile in their shoes, but figured I would get further then 12ft. It was hard work and a great experience. Woody and Deanna gave me a greater respect for their love and commitment to the residents here. My favorite part was being in the pasture at night sitting on the wash rack looking at the stars and listening to the horse sounds.

On a more personal note, my friends came to visit us from Australia. A Chance for Bliss was right up at the top of their to do list. Meeting their children after them watching them grow up through emails, photos and phone calls was just well, I don't know if superfabuloustastic is a word but you get the idea - it was awesome. Abby was instantly drawn to Max. And Max wants to wish Abby Good Luck at her first day of High School. (us too!) But it was Joy who wanted to have her picture taken and Abby was happy to oblige.

You can usually find me brushing horses when I am not 'on assignment'. Yesterday was a beautiful day. It was so nice to see the sun and watch the animals burning off some of that rain energy that has been stored up.

Lastly, I will leave you with some shots I got while trying to take some updated pics of the residents. I've tried to take self portraits with all the animals, some are more cooperative then others. If there is a resident you would like to see updated on our webpages, please send me an email

Handsome trying to lead Dusty around

Homer Showing off his newly shined tusk

My self portrait with Sue Sue

And Casper trying to crash Bowtie's Photoshoot

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Holiday Shoppe Success

From Tony greeting you when you walked in the door to the aroma of chocolate chip cookies, the ambiance of the Holidays was everywhere. You could hear festive Holiday music in every nook and cranny of our HTR Shoppe. Anthony and Lawrence served apple-cider and cookies from our “snack shack”. Les was busy selling raffle tickets, for our fabulous prizes. Al our friendly cashier would ring up your sale, with flair and pizzazz. On a couple of occasions Deanna of A Chance for Bliss brought animals along for a visit. The “star” hands-down was “Gordo”, the corpulent and rotund bunny that everyone wanted to see and touch. I want to thank the many community organizations for donating prizes for the raffle. Now a drum roll please…….the grand total that we will donate to A Chance for Bliss this year will be, wait a minute. First I would like to thank all of the shoppers who made our Shoppe a success. The grand total is $1345.93!

Thanks Hector