Happy New Year!
New Year’s Day is a time to reflect on the last 365 days, acknowledge losses and trials, rejoice in successes and happiness, and to set goals and plan for the next year – in hopes of making the New Year better than the last.
Around the globe, 2016 has been a trying year for many. There have been a lot of changes, challenges, and of course loss.
But, 2016 had some amazing moments as well, especially here at CARE! We want to look back and remember our top 7 moments in the past year!
1. Here at CARE, 2016 began with a new arrival to the CARE family, Bobbie! A former pet whose family wanted a more suitable home for her, Bobbie has fit into the CARE family wonderfully and is tremendously loved!
2. CARE’s Operations Director Derek, aka Big Cat Derek, was nominated for a Shorty Award! Derek has helped raise awareness for our organization tremendously over the last few years, and are so happy that he was honored in this way.
3. Spring brought the annual Furry Fiesta, and the attendees raised a record-breaking $18,750 for CARE. CARE committed to sharing 25% of that amount with a DFW domestic cat rescue and TNR clinic who was able to use that funding to save the lives of numerous homeless cats! We remember what it was like to really, really struggle as a small non-profit, and we remember those that helped us. It was time to pay it forward!
4. This year, for the first time ever, we were able to pay two full-time staff members – our Executive Director Heidi was finally able to be paid a salary and we created the position of CARE Curator, which intern-graduate Rachel Rossetti now fills. You cannot imagine what a huge thing this is for a non-profit that spent its first 12 years as a 100% volunteer organization!
5. Coming off of our major fundraiser at the end of 2015, we were able to build a brand new enclosure for Boomer and Slade, a custom indoor addition for the special needs Araali and Zuberi, and construct the Safari Suites which will bring in sustainable funding for the facility! We also welcomed our first guests in these suites with great success! *Remember, you can book you stay in the suites at wildanimalretreat.lodgify.com
6. We had several scout groups and volunteer groups come out to complete service projects that included work on several enclosures, improvements to the lemur housing, and the construction of a new llama shelter (after the old one blew away in a storm).
7. Last, but certainly not least, at the end of the year we were able to rescue four young tigers – Divali, Nadal, Naya, and Shaanti – who desperately needed a forever home. Their happiness and comfort that they have shown since their first moments here is the greatest gift we could receive!
More than anything this year, we saw an overwhelming amount of support from you. Every time we asked for supplies for the animals, you sent them! Every time we held a fundraiser or were in a pinch financially, you gave! And, every step of the way this year, you supported our work and showed your love for the animals we all hold so near and dear to our hearts. You have made it possible for us to achieve all that we have this year, and we thank you – from the bottom of our hearts – for that.
On this first day of 2017, we are already thinking about all the amazing things we have planned for the next 365 days. In the upcoming months, we aim to rebuild the large front enclosure to move the new boys – Divali and Nadal – into so the girls can have both sides of the enclosures they are in now. Until that time, you can still give to our Giving Fund to make sure they have what they need at this time.
We want to begin work on our “bobcastle”, a custom habitat for our 3 bobcats that will give them more space, more fun stuff to do, and more privacy – which bobcats tend to need. We hope to make it large and roomy enough that we will be able to take in more bobcats as needed.
We would like to build additional lemur housing to not only give our group of three – Rita, Mort, and Miss Stewart – more room, but also be able to take in some of the lemurs we get almost monthly calls about. Sadly, there is a tremendous need for lemurs that have been bought as pets to be rehomed, and right now, we do not have the ability to do that.
We also plan to continue building our support base, increasing our volunteer group, seeking long-term donors and corporate sponsors, increase our education program to reach more people and help create new advocates for animal welfare, and to build important partnerships that will further our mission and help animals everywhere.
Of course, our main goal will never change. If nothing else, we will continue to provide the best home and give the best care we possibly can to the animals already here. Can we count on you for your help? We hope we can, because we can’t do it alone!
Thank you for making 2016 such an important year for CARE and we hope each and every one of you has a wonderful, successful, and bright 2017!!
Love and thanks,
The CARE Family