Jeff Green | Mar 30, 2006
Feature Article - March 30, 2006
Back toHomeFeature Article - March 30, 2006
Making a home for animals in need
byJuleKoch BrisonDonna and Larry Llama - he likes to chew on her braids when he gets nervous Donna Adams has always had the dream of being able to offer refuge to animals in need. For a while that dream was realized when she became the animal caretaker at Sherlock's Maple Haven Animal Sanctuary in Westport .
When the sanctuary closed down, Donna was not going to let the dream die. It was shared with Kevin Madigan, a retired U.S. Coast Guard Warrant Officer, and a few months ago they founded Cedar Bridge Animal Sanctuary on a 700-acre farm near Westport . The old pioneer farm had been carved out of the forest by Kevin’s great grandfather.
Donna and Kevin had to start from scratch, as there was no house, electricity, or well, let alone a barn. They built a house and are slowly finishing it, and presently have a small bird and bunny house and a temporary llama house. Right now they have two llamas, a donkey, and about 30 birds, including ducks and chickens. Their resources are limited, however, so they have to proceed slowly. Donna finds this frustrating, as so many animals in need are waiting to come. Nevertheless, she and Kevin recognize that they could easily overwhelm themselves with work and debt and not be able to help any animals.
Basically, the sanctuary needs everything, and would welcome all donations of time or money, but the most urgent need is for help to get fences put up. The llamas live in what needs to become their garden this summer, so they need to relocate them as soon as possible in order to grow a good crop of vegetables both for them and the animals. Donna says, “We have five sheep, a cow and some pot-bellied pigs waiting to come, but they can’t come until we have fences. Hopefully some special people will come through and help us get the fences up.”
Cedar Bridge has started an animal sponsorship program in which monthly donations would go towards the food and health care of an animal of the sponsor’s choice. Their first sponsored animal is Fortune, a Flemish Giant rabbit, which is being sponsored by a local resident for her granddaughter as an Easter present. Donna points out that rabbits bought for children at Easter often end up at the Humane Society, after caring for them becomes too much work, so sponsorship is a good alternative.
Donna says that one of the rescued rabbits, Crabapple, has taken to sitting on the hens’ eggs every morning after they have laid them and gone out into the yard. He keeps them warm during the day for them. Maybe he thinks he can hatch them himself - or maybe he really is the Easter Bunny!