Most of the rescue organizations who receive funding from our non-profit spend
the majority of their energies trying to find loving homes for the animals
they've saved. The harsh reality is, despite these heroic efforts, some animals
will never be adopted.
In the last couple of decades, there’s been a dramatic drop in the rates of
euthanasia. One of the consequences of more humane treatment by shelters is that
the same animals who would’ve been put down are now living long lives, thanks to
significant advances in veterinary medicine. Providing for their physical and
emotional care can be costly, and divert resources from homing efforts.
Even if adopters have the best of intentions when choosing a new companion
animal, most of us make a selection based on an ideal notion. It is the rare
individual who has the time, energy and financial security to adopt a pet kid
with chronic medical conditions, sadly many due to horrifying abuse or neglect.
So, who will step in to care for these creatures?
Fortunately, there are groups of people who've made it their mission to provide
superb care for the 'unadoptables' in the form of animal sanctuaries. This is
why it gives us such great pleasure to highlight one such group, C & W's Rustic
Hollow Shelter, one of our recent grant recipients.
This mighty-in-spirit collective says to each animal upon intake, 'welcome home,
your new life starts today'. In operation since 1985, C & W's sanctuary is
nestled on 190 acres of land which was originally a family farm. The current
staff even works the grounds - flowering plants ring the patios, providing no
end of things for curious kitties to explore.
Some of their cats have already been adopted before, perhaps even twice. And,
for any of a number of reasons, ultimately returned back into foster care. For
the cats at C & W's, there's no more uncertainty ... they are exactly where they
should be. Everything they need is right here.
They specialize in caring for senior cats who become homeless upon the death of
a pet parent, cats with feline leukemia or FIV, and also any number of kitties
with chronic medical, physical, neurological or extreme behavioral issues. There
are even two special-needs dogs who call this rescue home.
The sanctuary provides excellent living accommodations. Cats live cage-free,
with access to toddler beds, stuffed animals and many perches for climbing and
lounging. The even have their own TVs which play cat-friendly videos. Even
though they will never have a 'traditional' family of their own, these felines
are more than happy.
Not content to rescue just in their little corner of the world, this
organization maintains working relationships with other rescues across the
nation. In fact, they’ve partnered with one of our previous grant recipients,
CARMA (a NM group), to save animals who are classified as 'adoption-challenged'.
To date, they have taken in special-needs cats from over 30 states!
With a sizable staff for a small non-profit, close to 50 volunteers,
co-directors who spend upwards of 80 hours per week and the supervision of
Carmen Linda Conklin (Founder and Director), this is a true labor of love. C & W
receives no governmental financial support, but rather is funded through
donations, sponsorships, fundraising events and grants like our own.
In their community, they advocate on behalf of companion animals on several
fronts. Their mission is to promote the humane treatment of all animals, provide
community awareness and education on the importance of spay-and-neuter programs
and make available behavioral counseling to prevent situations that could lead
to abandonment. They even host bi-monthly low-cost clinics, often performing
more than 50 surgeries per day.
The staff also does monthly therapy animal visits to area nursing homes. Not
only do the volunteers bring along their wonderful kitties, they also bring
animals from home, including ducks, chickens, rabbits, baby goats … sometimes,
even miniature horses.
C & W plans to use their financial award to help cover the costs of veterinary
care and daily operating expenses.
Here are just a few of the sweet, loving cats who now call Rustic Hollow their
permanent home address …
Betty Boop Biggins
A purebred Exotic Persian, Ms. Biggins is large and in-charge, keeping all the
other kitties in line. She suffers from chronic nasal issues resulting from her
flat face, and also doesn’t use the litter box as much as she should. But, she
has a home now, and everyone is making do. As soon as anyone walks in to
Bradley’s House, Betty Boop (aka “BB”) they’re treated to one of her great big ‘mewells’.
This dear little soul came from Texas, where a good Samaritan found her
wandering around in circles on the side of a road. She’s quite confident in her
new surroundings and is able to navigate her rooms without difficulty. Due to
her extreme shyness, especially around new people, it’s believed she suffered
horrible abuse early on. Her caretakers have persevered and built up her trust …
she even allows them to pet her on rare occasions. Helen adores her roommates,
several of whom are also blind. She is truly fortunate to have found this place
to call home.
You’ve heard the phrase ‘belle of the ball’? This Belle certainly proves the
rule. As a matter of fact, she’s the only feline who has her own private room.
Occasionally, she will stoop down to associate with the commoners, but she
definitely walks around with an air of superiority. There is no doubt in this
kitty’s mind … she is the queen of this assembly. Belle was left all alone when
her guardian died, but now she has found the perfect dwelling for her unique
Named after Christmas, the day he was abandoned, Chris is by all accounts a
‘wonderful cat’. His previous guardians complained about his litter box habits,
but that’s hardly a deal-breaker for his new caretakers. He also suffers from an
inner ear problem, vestibular syndrome, so he often tilts his head. It causes
him no pain and only adds to his unique charm.
All of these cats, as well as others, are presently seeking sponsorship angels
to provide for their ongoing care. To learn more about this animal sanctuary,
and perhaps even sponsoring one of these dear creatures, we encourage you to
visit rustichollowshelter.org today.
From all of us here at Life’s Abundance headquarters, we thank this committed
network of lifesavers for their incredible work. And we thank all readers and
customers … through your personal donations and continued patronage, you’ve
helped make all of our grants possible. Your generosity and loyalty have helped
to make the world a better place for abandoned, abused and neglected animals
We are currently accepting applications for funding. Our next round of grants
will be reviewed in April, so if you know of an animal rescue organization that
deserves special recognition and financial support, please encourage them to
fill out an application. Download here.
Check back next month for more good news from The Dr. Jane Foundation. Together,
we’re making a difference!