Sanctuary – More than a Safe Haven

What makes an animal refuge a sanctuary?

from Wikipedia:
A sanctuary, in its original meaning, is a sacred place, such as a shrine. By the use of such places as a safe haven, by extension the term has come to be used for any place of safety. This secondary use can be categorized into human sanctuary, a safe place for humans, such as a political sanctuary; and non-human sanctuary, such as an animal or plant sanctuary.

We think of a sanctuary as a safe haven, a refuge free from the violence of war and external turmoil, free of mistreatment.  In the case of animals, a sanctuary must be this and something more.  It must rescue, care for, respect its animals as individuals and permit them to flourish.  And it must not contribute to the problem, enormous in scope, of neglected, abandoned, and abused animals.

That means, a sanctuary must neuter its animals and thus not permit them to breed.

An animal refuge has only so much room.  When it breeds its animals, where do these creatures go when the refuge cannot care for them?  Do they join the ranks, 150 – 200,000 strong in the case of captive wolves and wolf-dogs, most of whom are euthanized?  Are some sold to private owners, who soon find themselves unable to care for an adult wild animal?  Do they spend their lives in a travel kennel or on a chain, a chain which sometimes digs into the neck and requires surgical removal by a rescue organization?   Are they beaten regularly with a bat on the face?  Please see W.O.L.F Before and After Rescue Photos  The “after” photos make this bearable.

This is not a pretty story, but it’s the face of reality in the animal rescue world.  We can turn away, or we can acknowledge the existence of a problem to be addressed.   When your local zoo closes its wolf exhibit, where do the wolves go?  Does anybody ask?  What happens to the babies when your special animal refuge has a breeding season?  What are their prospects for a decent life?  Who are we and what do we care about?

Please visit The Wolves for stories that will make you cry and laugh at the same time.

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15 Responses to Sanctuary – More than a Safe Haven

  1. Gray Dawster says:

    This is a very interesting piece of writing Monica🙂
    Have a lovely evening and equally a delightful Tuesday🙂

    Andro xxxx

  2. giselzitrone says:

    Sehr guter Bericht die armen Tiere tun mir Leid.Wünsche einen schönen Tag und gute Woche.Gruß und Freundschaft.Gislinde

  3. penpusherpen says:

    Cry and Laugh, Monica, So true your words. We must of course acknowledge the problem, or not be able to live with ourselves. Many thanks for your hardhitting and caring blog my friend. xPenx

    • Monica says:

      Thanks for this special response, Pen. People seem stunned to hear about this problem. It’s one of the many things that couldn’t continue if laid out in the light of day.

  4. The Emu says:

    Very informative, Monica, the pictures are moving and the story on WOLF, is really a good insight on how the wolves are cared for to save them from certain death.

    • Monica says:

      Ian, thank you. Wolves in the wild – captive and bred wolves – they each have a separate set of issues centering around human activity. The rescue and wildlife organizations do a tremendous job, but we are slow to learn.

  5. SandySays1 says:

    Great posts – Educating humans to the wonder of wildlife is a noble cause. PS I’ve got some great wildlife pics and clips on my last few posts – baby night herons, manatees, and alligator calling.

  6. Monica says:

    Hi Sandy! I have seen and commented on those great posts – love that alligator call. It sounds strangely like a bird chirping.

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