Chimp Sanctuary Interview!

Hey everyone! It’s that time again! We have another interview from a great organization! We here at ILRA are pleased to introduce you to (or simply allow you to learn more about) Chimp Sanctuary Northwest! I first heard about Chimp Sanctuary when I found them on twitter (@ChimpSanctuary). I read through their tweets & learned about their wonderful chimps and I was hooked. I even won a twitter contest they had for knowing that it was Foxie who loved to play with trolls & got some very pretty cards! I hope you will all take the time to go read the bios of all the chimps. Trust me, it will make you smile to know that after all they’ve been through, they now have an awesome home and will live out the rest of their lives in happiness!

Chimp Sanctuary

What is the full name of your sanctuary?
Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest

Where is Chimp Sanctuary located?
Just outside of the town of Cle Elum, WA

When was your sanctuary established?
The organization was incorporated in 2003. The chimpanzees arrived June 13, 2008.

What is the mission of your sanctuary?
To provide lifetime quality care for formerly abused or exploited chimpanzees, while advocating for great apes through education and collaboration.

How did you decide which chimps to rescue? Were they all ready to be retired?
Construction on the sanctuary began for a group of five to seven chimpanzees, but the exact chimpanzees had not been identified. In 2007, the sanctuary learned of seven chimpanzees at the Buckshire Corporation in Pennsylvania. Buckshire had tried to place the chimpanzees years earlier in another sanctuary, but that had fallen through. The chimpanzees had been “waiting” for sanctuary within cramped cages in a windowless basement at Buckshire.

Is the sanctuary big enough to add more chimps? Do you plan on doing so in the future?
The building was designed for a group of five to seven, so we are pretty much at capacity. In addition, it can be very difficult to integrate adult chimpanzees with one another. We would like to be able to provide a home for other chimpanzees in the future.

How is your sanctuary run? Is it mostly volunteers?
There are five staff members that do everything from caring for the chimpanzees to grant writing, outreach and construction and about 40 regular volunteers.

Where do you get your funding?
The majority of our funding comes from individual donations. We also receive grants from private foundations and we’ve received some corporate support (from LUSH handmade cosmetics). We do not receive any government support.

Tell us more about your sanctuary. What makes it unique?
There are only a handful of sanctuaries for chimpanzees in North America and each one is unique. We are able to provide very individualized attention to the chimpanzees at Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest because the group is small. This also means that we can share the personalities of the individual chimpanzees and our supporters can learn a lot about them. We have a blog that we update almost daily with photos, video and stories, a Twitter account, and Facebook pages, including individual pages for each of the chimpanzees.

Do you have a favorite story you’d like to share?
There are so many! Everyday the chimpanzees do amazing things that illustrate how intelligent, resilient and individualistic they are. We’ve seen remarkable transformations in the less than two years the Cle Elum Seven chimpanzees have been at the sanctuary. For example, when Jamie arrived at the sanctuary there was a large patch on her belly that was plucked down to the skin. Looking at her records, it was clear that she had done this for years. Her hair starting growing back immediately and she hasn’t plucked it out since arriving at the sanctuary. Jamie is extremely intelligent and is constantly up to something – she’s just one of those people who’s wheels are always turning. She creates projects for herself with the toys and other objects that we provide the chimpanzees. It’s heartbreaking to think about the years she spent in the laboratories with nothing to do but pull her own hair out, but we do all we can to make sure she has fun, new things to do everyday from now on.

Is there anything else you’d like us to know?
The sanctuary is not open to the public, but we do share the chimpanzees with people through our website and social networking sites.

Where all are you located online?

Facebook Causes page: Cause Page
Facebook Fan page: Fan Page

For the chimpanzee’s individual Facebook pages, search for their name (Annie, Burrito, Foxie, Jamie, Jody, Missy, Negra) followed by “Chimpanzee” (so, Jamie Chimpanzee’s page is: here).

Rick & Duke Need a Forever Home

Hey everyone! We are helping to look for a forever home for two wonderful dogs that were recently saved from possible euthanasia at a shelter in Rowlett, TX. It was a great effort between Nikki & I at ILRA, CLASP, Dallas Dog Life & one amazing woman named Heather Stewart who donated a whopping $100 to complete the $120 it took to spring these boys. The day after they came back home, their foster mom, Loretta, sent us all this picture:

Now we need to help these handsome boys find loving forever homes, hopefully together. If you or anyone you know lives in or near Rowlett, TX please spread the word! In case you don’t know, it is near Dallas & Fort Worth. If you are interested in these babies, please either let us know or contact Loretta directly. Below is what Loretta has to say about Rick & Duke:

These two dogs need FOREVER homes as soon as possible. They are brothers and were dropped off to my husband and myself by an aunt to babysit for a week. It has been several months and this aunt is not coming back for these babies. We have two dogs and two cats of our own and cannot keep these precious dogs. We have exhausted all of our funds trying to keep these babies fed and healthy and it has been a struggle. They have gotten out of a hole in our fence a couple weeks ago, got picked up by the Rowlett, TX Animal Services and we did not have the funds to free them. The animal rescue community came together to raise the money to save their lives and help us get them out of doggy jail. Now, they need loving, FOREVER homes. Rick and Duke would prefer to go to a home together, but can be separated if absolutely necessary. They are very close with each other. The information for both dogs is included. I hope we can find them a loving home fast where they can play, relax and become your new best friend! I have attached a few photos also.

Name: Rick
Sex: Male
Age: Approx. 1 year
Breed: Pit Bull/ American Eskimo
Color: Blonde
Medical History: Had a puncture wound a month ago and was treated with anti-biotics, no current health problems, may have a few fleas from being in the shelter
Vaccinations: Current on rabies, previous owner states he is current on all shots, but there is no way for me to be sure, not neutered
Likes: Lots of attention, playing with other dogs, belly scratches, kisses, kids, chew toys, walks, laying in your lap, running, sleeping indoors, laying in the sun
Dislikes: Smoke, loud noises
Behavioral Issues: Likes to dig a little, not 100% potty trained (will not use the bathroom indoors while you are there, but will if left alone for too long)

Name: Duke
Sex: Male
Age: Approx. 1 year
Breed: Pit Bull/ American Eskimo
Color: Tan/Red
Medical History: Did fight parvo several months back and won the battle, no current health problems, may have a few fleas from being in the shelter
Vaccinations: Current on rabies, previous owner states he is current on all shots, but there is no way for me to be sure, not neutered
Likes: Playing with other dogs, chew toys, belly scratches, likes to be the leader, chasing lasers, kids, laying in the sun, sleeping indoors, running
Dislikes: Loud noises, being alone for long periods of time
Behavioral Issues: Kind of shy at first, likes to dig a little, not 100% potty trained (will not use the bathroom indoors while you are there, but will if left alone for too long)

Please contact me at if you are interested in setting up a time to meet either dog and see if they are a match for you! 🙂

ILRA Postcards & How You Can Get Some Free!

Hey all! Remember when I tweeted awhile ago about Nikki & I receiving our brand new postcards from UPrinting? Yeah, probably not, it’s been awhile. BUT! We did receive them and we are really excited about them. They are real live postcards designed by Nikki that not only tell a little about our site & our mission but also feature everyone’s favorite mascot, Spunky! I, for one, think they are just plain adorable, but besides that, it’s a great way to spread our message of loving & helping animals in need. Would you like some cute but meaningful cards to send to your loved ones? Well they’re going to go on sale once Nikki revamps our site and adds a store but if you’d like to get some before everyone else, we have a way for you to get a 5 pack – FOR FREE!

All we want from you is a guest post. That’s right, all we want is to share your thoughts with the rest of the animal loving world. Send us a few paragraphs (or more!) on some animal subject you care about. It can be about anything related to animal welfare, a review on an animal related news article you really like, a certain animal cause happening at the moment that you want to make sure people know about, ANYTHING like that. We’re doing this because we really want to get you involved in ILRA. When Nikki & I started this website, we never wanted it to always be just us talking at you. We want everyone in the animal community to not only feel welcome here but to participate! We want everyone involved in growing ILRA & spreading our message. We want this site to be a dynamic, flowing network of animal lovers sharing their knowledge, passion & stories.

Obviously, we can’t do this alone. We NEED you! We need comments, we need people sending us ideas for what they want to see from us and most of all WE NEED YOU TO JOIN US! Even if you just want to write one post for us & then never do it again, at least you got your voice out there. What we’re hoping, of course, is that you’ll find you like it & will become a regular writer for us. No pressure, though. For now, we just want to hear from you! The great thing about writing guest posts is that it can bring a new audience to your own website or blog. But wait – that’s not all! As an added bonus to help encourage you to overcome your shyness, we are offering 5 FREE ILRA postcards each to the first 5 people to send us their guest post! How neat is that? So put your thinking cap on, get those creative juices flowing & send those posts in and you’ll be the coolest kids on the block with your very own, yet-to-be-released ILRA postcards!


Brand New Postcards!

Just email your super awesome guest post to and we’ll get back to you ASAP. We look forward to hearing from you and helping your voice get heard!

Pets for Patriots Interview!

Hi everyone and welcome to the interview with Pets for Patriots! I am very excited about this interview because Beth, the founder and executive director of Pets for Patriots, answered these questions herself! I love her responses because you can tell how passionate she is about her cause. I hope you will be too! If you’d like to learn more, they can be found at several homes around the internet!

Pets for Patriots

Twitter: @PetsforPatriots
Facebook: Pets for Patriots, Inc. Fan Page

To donate to them, you can find a link to their donate page on our home page under Featured Organization. Also, please tell your local rescue groups and any vets you know to sign up with them! I know it’ll be a great partnership! Let’s help them grow!

What is the name of your organization?
Pets for Patriots

Where is your group located?
Long Beach, New York – though we plan to operate nationally

When was your organization established?
October 2009; one month later we received our 501(c)(3) tax exempt status.

What is the mission of your organization?
Our mission is to consistently give the gifts of fidelity, joy and companionship to both pet and person.

To be more specific, we:
• Facilitate hard-to-place shelter pet adoptions by military personnel
• Improve the well-being of service members through companion pet adoption, a humane way of easing the stresses associated with military life and military transitions
• Foster education and awareness about the state of animal abandonment and neglect
• Educate the military and the public at large about the many physical and emotional health benefits of adult pet adoption

What prompted the creation of Pets for Patriots?
I’ve had a longstanding passion for the plight of homeless animals. Growing up, my family adopted shelter pets only and when I was twelve years old I started a neighborhood dog walking service. Mind you, this was long before these things were such big business: I charged a dollar a day, which included three walks and dinner. Needless to say, this was quite a while ago! But the idea of helping to reduce animal homelessness never left me, and I knew that someday I’d return to it again.

At the same time, my siblings and I were raised to respect and admire the military – not just the institution, but the men and women who sacrificed so much in order to protect our freedom and way of life. Many of our family vacations, which were almost always camping trips, included visits to military museums or historical sites.

I had the idea that I could do something positive for both of these populations – shelter pets and service members – in a way that would benefit each. And I decided that the “someday” of helping homeless animals was going to happen sooner than later. I wrote a business plan to help me figure out how it would all work, and set about putting together a board. The end result is Pets for Patriots.

How is your organization run? Will you actively help patriots find pets to adopt?
Absolutely. We’re just starting to build our shelter and veterinary network. We encourage any patriot in the U.S. to register on our site. If we don’t yet have a participating shelter or veterinarian in their area, we’ll do the legwork to get those in place and direct that member patriot to those facilities. We leave the actual adoption pairing and decision up to the shelter, since they’re the experts in matching pets and people.

How do you get your funding?
Like most charities, we rely on the generosity of the public for donations. Once we’re more established, we’ll seek corporate sponsors and grant opportunities if we think they’re relevant to our mission.

What are some of the challenges you face?
Is it still hard to convince people to adopt rather than buy? Because we just launched in January 2007, one of our biggest challenges is just getting people to know about us. Once they do, we find people really love what we’re about. But converting that enthusiasm into a contribution remains a challenge. We know the economy is tough; our founder is a small business owner and she deals with it, too. We appreciate all donations, no matter how small – or how large!

As for the buy versus adopt debate, we’re seeing new laws proposed around the country to shut down or severely restrict the activities of puppy mills. Over time we think these events will diminish the supply of animals for sale and make adoption a more attractive choice for more people.

Tell us more about your group. What makes it unique?
We are one of the only organizations in the U.S. to focus on adult shelter pets and members of the military, at any stage of their careers and from any branch of service.

These two things truly set us apart. First, we promote the extraordinary value of the ordinary shelter pet; that adult dog or cat that isn’t destined to become a service animal, but still has lots of love and life to give. Second, we accept patriots at any stage of their military careers – active, reserve, inactive reserve, veteran, retired and national guard – and from all branches of the U.S. military.

Do you have a favorite story you’d like to share?
Not yet, but we hope to soon! We’re actively seeking patriots who are interested in adult shelter pet adoption to be among our first great success stories. We know they’re out there; we just need to find each other.

What is the accomplishment your organization is most proud of?
Going from business plan to launch in six months. That tells us that we have the right stuff to make this new not-for-profit successful: determination, persistence and heart.

What are your goals as you expand your organization?
We wish we could single-handedly end animal abuse and homelessness, but we can’t. But we can do our part to elevate the value many people place in companion pets, and we will.

We plan to be national. We envision Pets for Patriots member shelters and veterinarians across the country, each sharing our commitment to permanently rehome needy shelter pets with military personnel. In doing so, we hope to make our military more open and friendly to families with pets – one dog and cat at a time.

What is the one thing that people could do to help your organization the most?
Make a tax-deductible donation, either on our secure site or by check. We can’t do any of our good works without contributions from good folks who love pets and love our patriots. Right now, this is our greatest need.

Is there anything else you’d like us to know?
Small acts can make a difference. Do you have a military neighbor, coworker or friend who needs some emotional support? Tell them about us and about how pets have enormous healing potential. Short on cash, but want to help? Even $10 gets us that much closer to our mission. Love animals, but can’t have one of your own? Consider volunteering at your local shelter, or becoming a foster parent to a pet whose parent is either sick or being deployed. As individuals, we have a great deal of power to make positive change, one small act at a time.