Monday, February 24, 2014

An Unexpected Donation

A few days ago, we were so fortunate as to meet 12 year old Reese Jackson when she stopped by the Sanctuary. Reese showed us quickly that she is a truly special young woman, and her generosity is unmatched by many her age. She saved up all of her holiday and birthday money and decided that she wanted to donate that money, totaling $550, to a good cause. Lucky for us, she chose to donate the savings to the animals living here at the International Exotic Animal Sanctuary. After making her donation, we were happy to take Reese around to visit the animals she helped. She even spent time with Odin, the Sanctuary's youngest lion!

We are so happy and thankful for Reese's altruism. It's rare to see such generosity in such a young person, and we are so grateful that the animals at IEAS will benefit from her kindness. Thank you SO much, Reese, for your incredible donation! 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

"Rescue is worth it... because THEY are worth it."

We've seen this piece written by Ashley Owen Hill of Lucky Dog Rescue on a number of animal rescue pages. It is beautifully written and was a wonderfully touching passage for us to read. It so accurately depicts what goes through the minds of rescuers, both of exotic and domestic animals, and those who work as closely with animals in need as we do. It is most certainly worth reading.

Titan: Came to IEAS after being rescued from a traveling circus.

"For animal lovers like me, rescue is the most incredible, rewarding job... in the history of ever.
At the same time... it's also the most heartbreaking...
The truth is... You see a lot of things... you never thought you'd see.
You witness a level of cruelty... you didn't think was possible.
You feel a degree of helplessness... you never thought you'd know.
You stare at painful images... soon burned into your memory... that will haunt your thoughts forever.
You try to pick up the pieces... so many pieces... of the damage you didn't do.
You do everything in your power... but even still... you'll never reach them all.
You'll try to stay strong... but you'll mostly feel weak.
You'll build walls to protect your heart... but they'll never keep you safe.
You'll place barriers around your soul... but the pain will always reach you.
And no matter how hard you try to fight it... over time... here's the truth about what happens in animal rescue... 
Nala: Arrived at the Sanctuary as a cub with such severe
osteoporosis that she could barely lift her head off the ground. 
The neglect changes you.
The abuse hardens you.
The suffering breaks you.
The ignorance angers you.
The indifference disturbs you.
The injustice destroys you.
On a daily basis... your faith will be tested...
Your heart will be wounded...
Your soul will be altered.
One a weekly basis... you'll question yourself...
You'll question your strength...
You'll question the world.
On a monthly basis... you'll fall down...
You'll get up...
You'll go on.
On a yearly basis... you'll look back...
You'll see faces...
You couldn't save them.
You'll learn to mourn. To grieve. To sob.
You'll learn to trust a little less. To do a little more. To fight a little harder.
You'll learn to try. To hope. To pray.
You'll learn to fail. To succeed. To accept.
You'll learn when to hold on. When to give up. When to let go.
You'll learn who you are. What you stand for. Why that matters.
Then... at times... you'll forget why you matter.
You'll question what you're doing.
You'll wonder if it's worth it.
But... here's the good news... When you forget... When you question... When you wonder...
All you have to do... Is take a look around... And you'll see them.
You'll see their faces.
You'll see their smiles.
You'll feel their love.
In their eyes, you'll see their journeys...
You'll remember their beginnings...
You'll know how far they've come...
You'll remember when they didn't know you...
When they didn't trust you...
When they'd given up.
You'll remember how you healed them...
How you loved them...
How they loved you, too.
And as you look back... You'll want to move forward...
For them... and because of them.
In your darkest hours, you'll look around...
To find the differences made... the hope given... and the lives saved..
Because you existed.
In those moments, when you look into their eyes...
Every doubt will be erased.
Every question will be answered.
Every worry will subside.
Because in that instant... in each of your hearts...
You both share the very same thought:
'Every bit of pain was worth it... for this moment here with you.'
And honestly... no matter what else happens...
Those moments hold all the strength you need... To keep going. 
Rescue is pain. 
Rescue is joy.
Rescue is worth it... because they are worth it.
And that's the honest truth." 
Bill: Was forced to live for 13 years in a 4'x9' cage in a barn
before being rescued and brought to IEAS.