Donations needed as spring arrives
By Michael Turton
It’s been the most challenging winter in years — even for the animals at Shepherd’s View Animal Sanctuary (SVAS) just outside Cold Spring. Sanctuary President Heather Howard said that the unrelenting cold weather has created an extra burden.
“Food is expensive in winter and it’s been tough,” she said. “Animals need double the protein to keep them warm.” The nonprofit organization receives contributions from local donation boxes; however, Howard said those funds are falling well short of the $600 a month currently needed for food and veterinarian services. Winter has also wreaked havoc with the site’s small shelters and barns, which she said are in need of spring repairs.
According to Howard, the sanctuary’s most immediate need is cash donations. She said food is sometimes donated, but cash contributions enable her to buy the best and most food at bulk rates. Funds are also needed for materials for barn repairs, as are volunteers with carpentry skills to help with the work. Donations and inquiries can be made directly via the sanctuary’s Facebook page. Checks made payable to Shepherd’s View Animal Sanctuary can also be mailed to SVAS at 61 Torchia Road, Cold Spring, NY 10516. Tax receipts are provided.
The sanctuary was established in 2011 to aid domestic, farm and exotic animals in need of a home. “Right now we have ducks, chickens, dogs, cats, goats and sheep,” Howard said. “Our newest resident is a 27-year-old severe macaw.” There are also nine adolescent domestic rabbits onsite that she said need a home and are ready to be rescued by qualified families.
Asked why she created the sanctuary, Howard said, “I just love animals — and especially helping the ones that can’t help themselves. Not just with my voice but by tending to God’s creatures day to day.”
The sanctuary’s food needs are as varied as the creatures that live there. “We use strictly nutritious food, including fresh produce, organic grains, dog and cat food, rabbit and duck pellets, and chicken feed,” Howard said. “And also a slew of vitamins and minerals, especially in winter.”
Cold Spring veterinarian Dr. Peter Bach serves on the SVAS board. “It’s a unique kind of shelter that deserves to be supported,” he said. “It provides a permanent home for animals that need it, and it’s not in competition with SPCA shelters.”
Howard said that the sanctuary is planning an open house this spring “so that the community can come and see what we’re all about.” Normally, visits are by appointment only.
Photos courtesy of Heather Howard