Dozens of Volunteers Save Hundreds of Animals
Fourteen hours after leaving Missoula, Montana, my plane landed in Houston’s Hobby Airport. None of the locals thought the 50 degree weather they were experiencing was warm, but I stood happily outside in shirt sleeves waiting for the shuttle. I doubt that I will ever complain about the cold weather of South Texas again, even on the rare day that it reaches freezing. Walking through frozen pastures at -10 is enough to convince me that the South is a place to call home.
The end of the Montana Large Animal Sanctuary and Rescue is now in sight. I spent the last three weeks doing whatever was necessary to help clear out around 1,200 animals, of which only 120 were equine. It took the efforts of dozens of people working together to reach this point. No one organization tried to claim the ultimate victory by waving their flag. We all did it by each organization playing a role for the animals under their assigned care.
Two days after landing I received an email that brought it all together. A young lady named Alvin, working from the internet and literally a thousand miles away, announce that all the llamas had finally been adopted. Her work and coordination with Karyn of AniMeals, who has stayed on site since before Christmas, found homes for each one of the surviving llamas, over 600 of them. The remaining few will be leaving this week. By January 31st, Karyn, her husband Jeff and Ang, Kayrn’s co-worker, will drive off and return to their lives.
A short time ago, Jane Heath of the Montana Horse Sanctuary ( http://www.montanahorsesanctuary.org ) announced, “Whew! All the horses are now out of Hot Springs and are in a wonderful foster care facility in the Bitterroot Valley.” Previous to that, all the donkeys had been removed. Currently the horses are being placed on their website. Phyllis Ruana and her friend Bev of the Montana Animal Care Association, did 99.9% of the work in Hot Spring, rebuilding fences, hauling water, setting out hay and capturing horses that had rather not be touched, all of this in the bitter cold and snow on ice covered ground.
The goats and sheep, plus a couple of blind horses, left the sanctuary grounds. The two camels left a few days ago, thanks to Dave Pauli of HSUS. One camel has a really rotten attitude (the other had to have his feet trimmed so he could walk) and fully enjoyed the screams of panic when he charged after people. I never knew this before, but when camels are upset, they foam at the mouth and growl. That’s the indicator to get away from the fence. All things considered, I can guarantee that we won’t have any resident camels at HfH.
On Monday the trailer full of pot-belly pigs leave for their new home. Then each day trailers are showing up to remove more camels. The bison leave Tuesday, which is also the day that the three remaining steers and one calf are rounded up and taken to the rehab location a few miles away with the remaining steers and cows.
The world famous cow, Molly B, ( http://www.freedomforanimals.org/mollybcow.htm ) and her friend, a dew-eyed heifer named “Baby,” will obtain sanctuary at another location in Montana this week. Read her story and you’ll understand why she’s special. I can certainly tell you that her fighting spirit is not lacking in the least.
All the exotic birds are gone, as are the ducks, geese and cavies. Why there were cavies at that place is beyond me.
So the rescue of 1,200 animals is coming to a close. After six weeks of intense work and negotiations, much of it done by Patty of the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, the collapse of the Montana Large Animal Sanctuary and Rescue, once billed as a rescue that is “too large to handle,” is drawing to a close.
Now we find this in dozens of emails sent to the office today:
It never ends.
Habitat for Horses, Inc.
PO Box 213
Hitchcock, TX 77563
- Northeast Llama Rescue to take in 100 gelding llamas from the Montana Large Animal Sanctuary (timesunion.com)
- So tragic, I still can’t fathom…MLAS (timesunion.com)