*** Emergency Appeal *** Forced to find new sanctuary after arson attack
We have very upsetting news to report, as our little sanctuary has fallen victim to an arson attack. The events of the past few weeks have left us feeling dejected yet determined at best - weary, bereft and discouraged at worst.
As many of you know our little sanctuary is located in rather a struggling area, between Israeli Arab and Jewish villages and the border of the Palestinian West Bank. We have suffered a few setbacks over the last 19 months since we set up here but what drove us on always, was the fact that so many animals in the immediate area, desperately needed us.
However, there comes a time when there is only so much we can take before we know in our hearts that it is time to move on. Tragedy struck nearly two weeks ago when our little sanctuary suffered an arson attack. Somebody lit up a half ton bale of hay, and in the searing heat, of course the fire spread rapidly. A few of our animals managed to run outside but we managed to round them up, all except for one. My precious beloved donkey, Gideon. He has disappeared, and of course now, we fear he was taken by somebody and so, is unable to come back to us. I pray for his safe return home.
The fire spread across the ground, caught hold of our small poly tunnel which was used to store all our sawdust bags and also served as our little stray dog shelter. From there, it started to take hold of one of the large poly tunnel shelters just before the fire brigade arrived and were able to start to bring it under some control. It was devastating and very nearly claimed the lives of one of our little dogs and our poor, beautiful donkey Zachariah - the poor boy whose eyes had been taken out. Thank God, it didn't, but Zachariah, already often still disturbed by not being able to see anything, will have suffered terribly being in his stable, smelling the smoke, hearing the fire, feeling the heat... not knowing where to go...
I won't go into who, what, when etc., but suffice to say it was all caught on our CCTV and is being dealt with by the Israeli Police. The ensuing days and everything that was involved, were very unpleasant. Also, being in the middle of a very hot summer and the fact that the original fire had burnt through most of our large sawdust bags, it created a mountain of sawdust and periodically the fire has reignited itself, forcing us to call the fire brigade out a number of times.
Then, only a few nights later, our sanctuary suffered another break-in and one of our beloved horses was stolen: our big, gentle giant, Stormcat. This time it was some Palestinian youths with a donkey and cart, and one of them rode Storm at full gallop, hotly pursued by the others with the poor little donkey pulling them on the cart. Thankfully, they had been seen and were heading straight to the Palestinian border, to a little known crossing area. We managed to pursue them and by a miracle when Storm heard our call, he stopped suddenly, sending his rider flying. Needless to say we managed to catch him and bring him back home and he is now staying somewhere safe. Because he is big, strong and yet so gentle, he is a target. Sadly I know of many people that have had their horses stolen and once they are across the border, they are almost always never seen again.
All these happenings have led us to know and accept that, despite our hopes and dreams, we really have very little choice but to move to a safer area. We have already found a potential place that is still not far from our current sanctuary but it is in a safer, more secure location. The concern though is that it costs substantially more to rent per month and it needs some essential work done in order to prepare it for the winter to ensure that our animals will have adequate protection from the elements. It consists of two fenced shelters that have some surrounding perimeter land spanning over approximately one and a half acres, as well as a large fenced field that is just over two acres in size. It has real potential and we are currently working on getting it prepared to be able to receive our donkeys.
We have also just rescued another dear donkey, Whitey Boy, a dear, sweet soul who has suffered a horrendous hobble wound to his left back leg.
He was found at the back of the Arab town of Tayibe so it's suspected he must have come from the Palestinian area behind Tayibe, perhaps he had been abandoned because of his leg injury.
Our vet also came earlier this week to do the gelding operations for four of our boys - Fresco, David, Whitey and Bilbo!
The approximate costs - which are being kept to the absolute minimum and most basic needs - for us to move to a safer and larger, nearby location are as follows:
* More details can be given on individual request. Just email us.
* NB. All amounts are approximate and calculated by today's exchange rate - August 7 - Israeli shekels to $ and £ and they will vary almost daily.
* Labor costs are calculated with tax, all other amounts do not include 17% VAT.
New Farm Sanctuary
Rent - $690/£530 per month
Shelter roof and guttering - $3317/£2547
Tractor work for a day - $330/£255
2 truckloads of sand - $330/£255
Labor - 2 specialist builder workers for 3 days - $969/£745
Material to make good access road - $415/£320
TOTAL - $6051/£4652
To disassemble and move constructions from old Farm Sanctuary
Labor - Disassemble 2 (possibly 5, depending if we can sell any) poly tunnel shelters & 3 adhoc workers for 3 days - $1017/£781
Tractor work for half day - $220/£170
Truck hire to transport metal posts and arches -
(PVC used on poly tunnels is not reusable once disassembled) - $415/£320
TOTAL - $1652/£1271
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Thank you so, so much for your help and support!