Our human society has been governed by the need to be useful for a so called progress. It is true that we have made many advances in science and technology that have made our lives of better quality, but this concept of usefulness does not cease to appear in what we do, and that permeates the purpose of our lives; thanks to that we have been generating useless needs that have done a lot of damage to the planet.
That idea of usefulness and productivity has only turned us into selfish beings, has made us ignore the most important purposes, in fact among them there is the need to protect our planet and life in general. Following that line of thought, there is no better purpose than to support the protection of life, especially of those who have been at our mercy for so long.
So, what is an animal sanctuary? It is a facility or place where animals are brought in to live. It’s a place of refuge where they are protected for the rest of their lives. Abused and stray animals are brought in here to get a second chance at life.
If you want to learn more about animal sanctuaries and how you can help make a difference, read on below.
Why are animal sanctuaries extremely important?
The objective of sanctuaries is to educate, show others that we have much better ways of living with animals. Show that they are not here for us to exploit, they are only here to live and be happy as they wish. We cannot continue depriving them of their freedom, we no longer need to consume them to continue living: we have made great progress in the way we eat and dress, we have no need to exploit anyone, anymore.
Moving or relocating animals from their habitat is challenging. However, for sanctuaries, they offer the same natural habitat. They make them feel comfortable by living in an environment they are familiar with and that is natural to them: wild and free to roam.
All occupants inside these homes are fully protected and monitored. Those that have been abandoned and injured are rehabilitated, fed, and treated.
These animal homes also protect them from humans. Some humans have been reported to mistreat and abandon the animals they have brought into their homes pets, such as dogs and cats. They may be left without food, water, and love. Those with deformities also get a chance to live a normal life.
What kind of animals reside in sanctuaries?
People sometimes confuse an animal sanctuary with a zoo and may ask, what is an animal sanctuary?
What makes a sanctuary different is the philosophy that the non-human animal occupants do not exist for human use, entertainment, or consumption. Their needs and happiness get all the attention and are the first priority.
Humans benefiting from the animals by taking their eggs, milk, skin, or wool is prohibited. The animals are left alone to exist how they would in nature without worrying about humans trying to take something that’s theirs. Farm animal sanctuaries rescue many different animal species that are commonly “farmed,” like cats, dogs, turkeys, chickens, horses, cows, roosters, pigs, rabbits, ducks, and bison, etc. The list is endless because there are so many animals that need saving from harm by humans.
There are also wildlife refuges sanctuaries that mostly host wild animals that wouldn’t interact with humans in the wild. They may include lions, cheetahs, zebras, bears, gorillas, rhinos, wildebeests, ostriches, leopards, warthogs, elephants, camels, and giraffes, as these animals are often saved from a zoo, aquarium, or other situation where humans derive “entertainment” from them.
Every animal sanctuary is not always open to the public, as they aim to avoid any activities that would place the occupants in any stressful situation. They are only opened when they request support from the public through donations and fundraising. Donations entail contributing finances, taking part in clean-ups, and walking the dogs as part of their exercise. Some sanctuaries also offer tours of the grounds or meet and greets with the animals to tell the public about their stories, what they were rescued from, and how we can reconnect our bonds with animals and prevent doing future harm to them. This is an essential part of animal sanctuaries, as learning of their hardships is how we encourage people not to cause the animals to be in that situation in the first place, by living a vegan lifestyle.
What important role do sanctuaries play in saving animals from harm?
Protection is the primary agenda for having animal sanctuaries. Most of the animals that are rescued have been found in conditions that have caused them to suffer.
Many of the animals are rescued from farms where they were bred and raised to be slaughtered, dairy farms, circuses, petting zoos, hoarding situations, or have been hit by a car in the street. Many are rescued with medical emergencies or injuries. Sanctuaries take in these animals and offer treatment.
Additionally, wildlife sanctuaries rescue endangered species from harm. This includes those animals that are born with deformities, were abandoned, or orphaned.
Campaigning and participating in educational seminars to inform the public about animal rights and how they suffer today are among the activities that sanctuaries take part in. Their activism is important as it strives to end the cycle of violence that has caused the animals they’ve saved from needing saving. They also support laws that protect animals and ban activities that harm them. Animal sanctuaries are essential not only to the animals they save and house but to spreading their compassionate message.
Why should you help us?
By supporting a sanctuary like ours, you help more people realize this, you also protect lives and contribute to the redemption of animals that have been punished by indifference and apathy. Especially in a country as convulsed as Colombia, where human rights are not even respected.
All those involved in Juliana’s Animal Sanctuary have assumed this great challenge, and we do it with all the love in our hearts. Our lives are meant to save others, which we thank daily. You can also be part of this project, together we will move towards a world where animal liberation is a fact. The road is long, but our bravery is bigger.