The Fallbrook Animal Sanctuary’s dog shelters and play areas received a well-deserved face-lift with the help of two car clubs, the Fallbrook Garden Club and other animal lovers on Friday, November 21.
The group of volunteers gathered early in the morning in order to put together five dog barns with hard covered shelters to protect the animals from wind, heat and cold, then painted them in bright, cheerful colors.
Each dog barn is insulated to ward off cold weather at night and keep cool during the warm parts of the day. The barns currently house two dogs each, with their food and supplies, but can house up to four dogs each if there is a sudden influx of animals.
The barns allow the dogs access to a protected play area between the shelters, which has a hard covered roof that allows them outside access while still protecting them from harsh weather conditions.
The new barns provide much better shelter than the chain link fence pens and tarps that were used to house the animals before, said Debbie Ibsen, who has been working as an Animal Sanctuary volunteer for a year.
“The winds get pretty strong out here,” said Ibsen, “and the tarps aren’t much of a protection when they get shredded in the wind.”
Most of the supplies were donated to the no-kill animal sanctuary by supporters and animal lovers. Even though the barn’s construction was “time consuming and tedious,” volunteers seemed happy to prepare shelters for animals that need a temporary home before being adopted by a loving family.
The construction seems timely with the rising amount of homeowners losing their houses to foreclosure, leaving them unable to care for their animals and causing them to “dump,” or abandon, their animals in the more rural areas of town, such as De Luz, to fend for themselves.
“I don’t know how those people can sleep at night,” said Ibsen. “These domesticated animals are used to living with people and deserve the best care. It’s a sad situation.”
The construction of the barns is only an elementary step taken by the Fallbrook Animal Sanctuary; the next large fundraiser will focus on raising funds to build similar housing for the 130 cats currently under the care of the Sanctuary.
The Sanctuary has received the support of several strong volunteers who are “brainstorming” ideas to raise funds for the construction, as well as be able to prepare all of the planning and permitting necessary to be able to be a county-recognized sanctuary with its own property.
“We are trying to improve the day-to-day operations at the Sanctuary, such as the business and adoption aspects,” said Ibsen.
“These animals need to be in loving homes,” she continued, “and we’re hoping to get word out that we need to put these animals in homes, not in kennels.”
Even with the help of these supporters, the Sanctuary still needs donations from the community and the help of volunteers to walk dogs, clean kennels and cages and assist during adoptions.
Fallbrook residents who are interested in supporting with monetary donations can send their checks and money orders to: The Fallbrook Animal Sanctuary, PO Box 159, Fallbrook, CA 92088.
Those who wish to donate animal supplies to the Sanctuary may call (760) 685-3533 or visit http://www.fallbrookanimalsanctuary.org.
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Fallbrook Animal Sanctuary’s ‘Wish List’
• 1 energy-efficient refrigerator/freezer
• 4 large Rubbermaid deck boxes for storage (size 4’8.5” x 1’9” x 1’10.5”)
• 6 Contico shelving units (size 36” x 18” x 72”)
• 3 extra-large dog crates (for dogs weighing 85 to 125 pounds), with crate pads
• 3 medium-size dog crates (for dogs weighing 30 to 50 pounds), with crate pads
• 4 exercise pens, from three to five feet in height
• 12 clamp-on water and food bowls for pens
• 2 Mr. Buddy propane heaters with propane tanks
• Cleaning supplies
• Syringes and vaccines for dogs and cats
• Dog collars and leashes, all sizes
• Kitty litter
• Revolution, Frontline and Advantage for dogs and cats
• Cat scratchers, poles, cat trees and litter boxes
• Dog toys
• Dental cleaning for dogs
• 12” x 12” concrete pavers for cattery floors
• Dog and cat grooming articles, such as flea combs, electric clippers, brushes and shampoo