Emergency Veterinary Care Funding:
Caring for many dozens of animals rescued from the slaughter and breeding pipelines means many have chronic medical conditions or physical challenges and disabilities. Our medical fund is critical so that animals can get the veterinary care, medication, surgeries, hospitalization, and end-of-life care they need and deserve.
Fire Safety Equipment:
Last summer the sanctuary was forced to evacuate more than 80 animals in just a few hours when the River Fire terrifyingly burned within a half mile of the property. Armed with an evacuation plan, an army of brave and resilient volunteers, and a lot of luck, the evacuation was a success, but we learned a great deal about what we need to be better prepared for any emergency in the future. Funds donated will go toward purchasing fire extinguishers for all barns, a rescue glide (large animal evacuation equipment), smoke masks for volunteers, and other essential safety equipment.
General Operating Expenses (Animal Rescue & Care):
Donors who give toward operating costs and animal care are the most critical part of our non-profit's success. It's easy to rescue an animal from a dire situation, but much more difficult and expensive to provide care for the entire duration of that animal's natural life, (especially for our special needs residents). By giving to the animal care fund, you allow us to budget for food, medications, bedding, appropriate shelter, veterinary costs, transportation, and daily animal care staffing. Whether $5 or $100, your support makes it possible to run the sanctuary on a day-to-day basis.
To maximize your impact, you can also choose to become a monthly supporter on our website or give a one-time gift to sponsor a particular animal's regular medical care. Our large pigs for example, have been selectively bred to grow to unnatural sizes and have special health needs because of that. They need 3-4x/year sedated hoof trims and tusk trims by our veterinarian along with their regular vaccinations and deworming.
Unrestricted funding helps us to meet a variety of needs that come up throughout the year. Past unrestricted funding has been critical in renting needed equipment like tractors and excavators, hiring animal care staff, helping with emergency rescues and medical emergencies, purchasing a generator for PG&E blackouts so the animals have water from the well and electric fences for predator protection, etc.
LEAP - Humane Education Program:
Our high school student program, LEAP (Leaders in Ethics, Animals, and the Planet), is operated in collaboration with Rancho Compassion and Jameson Humane.
After being approached for an alternative to slaughter by students in Future Farmers of America, we knew that students and animals deserved a more humane, kinder option, so we decided to create just that.
LEAPers participate in online classroom education and volunteer each week at their local participating sanctuary with hands-on farmed animal care. They also learn about climate solutions, the humane treatment of companion and farmed animals, and develop leadership skills, public speaking proficiency, and responsibility for themselves and others.
To compete with FFA and 4H programs where students earn money for sending their animals to slaughter, we offer student scholarships for the successful completion of the LEAP program. We are also working to obtain needed materials and staff funding for continued program operations.
By donating to the LEAP program, you are assuring more students and animals can have a compassionate alternative to traditional ag programs long into the future.
Community outreach, virtual field trips, and tours of the sanctuary focus on connecting people to the sentient beings society traditionally teaches us to see as food. Visitors learn about the humane treatment of companion and farmed animals, climate solutions, making healthy dietary choices, and respecting oneself and others, including those with special needs.
The sanctuary's third children's book, "The Very Ugly Chicken" is the latest in a series that teaches children about kindness, compassion, and appreciating others' differences.
Blackberry Creek also has a "Book Barn" on the property where young people can practice reading skills and develop a love of literature by reading to the rescued animals.
Land for Expansion:
Because our property is only five acres, we are limited in how many animals we can rescue, how many visitors we can have at the sanctuary for educational programs and events, and how much grazing land we have for our large animals (which means a large hay bill each month due to limited grass)! We are currently at capacity, and a donation of land would be paramount in allowing the sanctuary to grow and help more animals long into the future.
Our animal care volunteers are hard-working individuals who come weekly to feed animals, muck stalls, clean coops, rake pastures, haul manure, trim hooves, clear invasive plants, perform health checks and do any number of other tasks.
Good physical fitness, reliable transportation, and the ability to work in the heat and the cold (including rain and snow) are essential, and volunteers must be able to lift at least 50lbs (the weight of a feed sack) and be comfortable getting dirty and working around large animals.
We also have a variety of volunteer opportunities available for people interested in other ways to help beyond animal care (handyman services, landscaping, fundraising, tours, etc.). Please fill out our volunteer application form at blackberrycreek.org if you are interested in joining our amazing volunteer team!
Please note: We ask that volunteers commit to a minimum of four months of weekly service. With only one employee at the sanctuary, it is essential that we have committed volunteers to rely on.
Our current in-kind donation needs are as follows:
1.) Small tractor and/or excavator
2.) Sprinkler system and additional fire extinguishers for barn for wildfire protection
3.) Water storage system for irrigating pastures
4) Sound system for educational programs
5.) Concrete for animal feeding areas (to cut down on winter/spring mud)