Rex was out of sorts. His life held no joy. He lashed out by barking, growling and threatening anyone or anything that came within biting distance. Although he had lived in the Puriton animal shelter in Somerset, England for 8…
During my stint as a reluctant farmer, I witnessed a lot of interspecies friendships, but none as moving as this one. A goat named Mr. G and a burro called Jellybean were rescued from a hoarder. According to Animal Place the woman “could barely care for herself, let alone the dozens of dogs she hoarded and three barnyard animals.”
Animal Place Rescue Ranch offered to take in the goat. Another sanctuary took the burro. After a tiring, 8-hour drive, Mr. G settled into his new home. There he sank into deep mourning, refusing food and only leaving his corner of the barn when staff literally moved him.
The home he shared with Jellybean may have been substandard, but at least he was with his beloved friend. Separated from the burro, Mr. G was inconsolable.
From my own experience with animal friendships, I have no doubt Mr. G would have died of a broken heart had Animal Place not decided to bring Jellybean to him. You’ll see in the video that Mr. G could hardly believe his senses when his beloved friend appeared. In short order he was eating again and following his friend around the paddock. Animal Place says the two friends have found their forever home, right there at the sanctuary.
Building and running an animal shelter is an enormous commitment. Heartaches are common. But a story like this makes any amount of work worthwhile. Animal Place gives me – and a lot of animals – hope.
Monique Pool never intended to found an animal sanctuary. It all started with her lost dog. When she asked the Suriname Animal Protection Society if they had found it, they offered her Loesje, a baby three-toed sloth. That baby’s sweet smile captured her heart and changed her life.
The BBC’s Vibeke Venema wrote a heartwarming story about her. Loesje died after two years, but Pool’s attachment to sloths turned into a full-scale fostering operation. One or two a week were sent to her for temporary care. Then in 2012 forest clearing near Suriname’s capital destroyed a major sloth habitat, and Pool ended up rescuing 200 sloths.
Now the Green Heritage Fund she launched in 2005 works to protect the three-toed sloth as well as others of the Xenarthra species. They also fund a dolphin-conservation project as well as research and education programs.
Fair warning: don’t even think about fostering a sloth unless you have a ready supply of just the right fresh leaves. However, you can adopt one through the Green Heritage Fund Suriname. And you can look at the sweet photos Vibeke Venima posted with her BBC article.
Monique Pool, with her compassion for animals and her commitment to work on their behalf, gives me hope.