Last week an article in our local paper gave me pause [unfortunately, I have no link – the Denver Post has every other story online, but this one]. We who are dedicated to the health and welfare of our domesticated animals – that we label 'pets' – might forget the many other animals who are neglected and abused, and who need our help.
I say 'might' because I believe that we all think of these other creatures when reminded of them, and I know some of us are as dedicated to caring for these animals as they are dedicated to caring for dogs, cats, guinea pigs, birds, ferrets and all the animals we humans adopt as 'pets'.
The article in our paper was titled, "Orphaned, Abused Animals Find Safe House On Praire." The main thread of the story talks about tigers and bears, but this organization rescues many other kinds of 'wild' animals, also.
The reporter is a young girl named Hannah Sherffius. She is an eighth grader at Highlands Ranch school.
Hannah's article tells us about the Wild Animal Sanctuary. She writes that the sanctuary is "run by Pat Craig, who has broken nearly every bone in his body working with tigers and bears." She writes, "It is a magnificent sight to see the majestic tigers sunbathing and swimming right underneath your feet."
She mentions 15 bears that were kept in captivity – in a "dirty, cramped cage" barely big enough for one, let alone 15! Now rescued, they are learning to love the outdoors – including the feel of grass on their paws!
I share this to help remind all of us that animals abound everywhere, and mistreatment is not reserved for 'pets'. Let's remember our wild friends, and our farm animal friends and all creatures great and small, when we work to end abuse, neglect, suffering, and homelessness. It's a people problem – only people can make it better.
I'll end with an uplifting story about the sanctuary –
"Keenesburg, CO – September 28 2011 –In a highly coordinated effort, officials from the Panamanian Government, FedEx Air Cargo, and The Wild Animal Sanctuary (TWAS) airlifted three female African Lions to a wildlife refuge in Colorado this morning.
Found in the small town of Chorrera outside of Panama City, the three sibling African Lions – ranging in age from 15-18 years old – had lived their entire lives being neglected and physically abused. Kept in tiny concrete and steel cages, the Lions were fed small amounts of whatever food local charity organizations could muster."
More information, stories and how to help can be found on the Animal Care page.