A new year is a time for new beginnings, and that’s what BCFS made in 2016.
It takes a lot of planning, hard dirty work, sweat, money, worry and hope to build a new sanctuary from the ground up. But that’s what we’ve done, building on the initial groundbreaking and construction we started in August 2015.
We’re proud of our bright red new barn and Q-hut, our beautiful stalls and fenced enclosures.
Work has continued all year to make our Little g Ranch a refuge for unwanted and unloved animals. Here in our care, dozens of permanent and foster animals have found healing, love, warmth, comfort, training and sanctuary this year.
Proverb: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” BCFS goes together, with our supporters’ help
We made a new beginning by relocating to our new sanctuary in Wainfleet. It’s tucked away in a secluded, wooded location that affords our animals the privacy, peace and serenity, and safety they deserve.
In April 2016, the big day came and one by one, we moved the animals to their new home. Our blind pony Splash…
Trusting blind pony Splash is led into her trailer on moving day
Hershel, our pot-bellied pig who was fostered while we built, came home to his friends here…
We were glad for our old friend Gus to live long enough to experience Little g with us.
While we were busy building and relocating our permanent residents to our new location, we were also rescuing, fostering and rehoming many dogs, including one of our longest-term fosters, Verena.
Puppy mill mama Verena arrived in January frightened and unfamiliar with the world outside of the cage she’d spent eight long years in. During more than 7 months in our foster care program in 2016, yorkie poo Verena learned to love, trust and live as a dog, and found her forever home in August. Verena is just one of our success stories this year.
In all, during 2016 BCFS rescued, rehabilitated and rehomed – or provided permanent sanctuary to – dozens of animals. Including these souls for whom BCFS was their last chance:
We also successfully rehomed the mini horses we rescued in November 2015 – including an unexpected but beautiful fifth mini horse, Cooper who was born to mama Montana and papa JB, all of whom found forever homes through us.
BCFS PERMANENT RESIDENTS
We decided one of the mini horses we rescued, Heidi, was more suited to a permanent home with us due to her age and health issues. She’s happily living with our blind pony Splash here at BCFS.
Heidi, Brent and Splash shortly after we rescued Heidi
Heidi began to deteriorate in late September 2016 and we were very worried. Dr. Sherry (our large animal vet) came out to assess the wee mini horse. Heidi has swelling to the left side of her face and Dr. Sherry said it was likely a tooth abscess.
We started Heidi on a regiment of antibiotics with little success. After weeks of medications Dr. Sherry started talking about removing the tooth, but that’s a big deal with horses. They have to cut open the cheek to access the back teeth. It’s a big procedure and minis don’t generally do well with anesthetic, but we wanted to try.
This was on a Friday afternoon and Dr. Sherry promised to make some calls on Monday. On Saturday afternoon Heidi showed signs of colic and severe discomfort. She was drooling foul smelling pus from her mouth and was rolling in the stall.
We called our emergency vet line and Dr. John came out to see our skinny little mini. I told Dr. John that we’d been fighting a tooth abscess for weeks and he said “… well, lets have a look.”
Dr. John stuck his big hand in little Heidi’s mouth and searched blindly for the offending tooth. “Ah” said Dr. John as there was a popping sound and Dr. John pulled a molar broken into four pieces out of Heidi’s mouth! Pus and blood oozed out of Heidi’s mouth as she dropped her head to the ground. I stared in amazement at Dr. John: he was our hero!
Dr. John treated the colic and gave Heidi more antibiotics, but he said she should be just fine.
It’s December and Heidi is doing great! Eating and pushing around Hershel the pig just for fun. It was touch and go through the fall for Heidi, but she’s made a full recovery!
Speaking of Splash, we’ve worked to ensure her lack of sight doesn’t prevent her from living life to the fullest. This year we’ve been fortunate to have our volunteer Megan come work with Splash, taking riding lessons, building a relationship of mutual trust, and making some pretty impressive strides together.
Splash relies on Megan to be her eyes, and that’s enabled Splash to take walks and even canter on the shores of Lake Erie. Splash has happily gotten wet in the water’s edge.
Splash also learned to pull a wagon, no small feat for a blind pony. Click here for video! The exercise and new learning experiences are part of what we do in providing lifelong sanctuary for this sweet pony.
In February we rescued a baby goat we named Elsa whose mama had abandoned her in the snow. Elsa got ‘round-the-clock care with bottle feedings, naps on Brent’s chest, and a village of caring volunteers who came to feed, play with and socialize Elsa.
Even though Elsa is growing up, she still thinks she’s Amy’s lap goat.
Elsa outgrew her hijinks in our dishwasher and on our kitchen counters, and eventually moved to the barn to hang out with our senior goat Nelly and beloved pot-bellied pig Hershel.
Believe it or not Nelly is still hanging in there! She’s going to be 18 years old in 2017 and she’s still the boss. She’s battling tumours in her udder; one burst at the end of September 2016 and she’s been much more comfortable since.
She’s on pain killers for her arthritis and manages to make her rounds.
Hershel is still going strong and you can hear him greet you in the morning with his happy snorts. He had his tusks trimmed in September 2016 by Dr. Sherry who trimmed his hooves then as well.
With he cold weather he spends most of his time in the heated barn, inside his igloo (when Nelly isn’t napping inside the igloo). He still loves his people and his treats.
Blue is a white husky with blue eyes who came to BCFS as an adult from the far north. He was special to our northern connection and was the pack leader in his home town.
This means Blue has some issues, so he’ll be staying on at BCFS to manage his behavioural issues.
Blue’s favourite thing is to run through he bush and patrolling the fence lines of HIS FARM.
Blue has taken full ownership and responsibility of the property and animals of BCFS. He tolerates little shenanigans and we’re thrilled for the extra protection.
Zig has also come a long way in his quest to find his place at BCFS. He’s friendly with strangers and we’re 57 days without a bite!
Zig has a special attachment to Amy and Brent and demands pick up cuddles every morning. We’re happy to have found a place for a dog that had no place left to go.
Sanctuary and Donations
Our sanctuary has large areas to run, play and heal. Where animals are given the time and direction needed to feel good and to feel loved.
Our biggest cost aside from veterinary care is hay for the large animals. The price of good Hay has gone up to $7 bale and it’s only December. If anyone knows a good hay supplier who can help BCFS please contact me at email@example.com
These forever residents rely on us, and on you and your support, for their lifelong care.