by Savanna Adel
Over the past couple of years, far too many fires have been too close for comfort. The Good Life Refuge has met many obstacles and challenges associated with having to plan for 65 rescued farm animals to be relocated in an instant. Although the Marshall Fire that swept through Louisville and Superior were close, the Good Life Refuge was far enough away from the fire to offer help to those who were affected and needed a safe place for their animals. After news of the fire had spread, the Refuge informed followers via newsletter, Instagram, and specific Facebook groups that had been created for the fire and/or lost and found animals, that there were kennels and pasture space available for animals that needed a safe place.
The challenges with emergency situations like this is having available quarantine space for incoming animals to prevent spread or onset of disease. There is setting up of temporary fencing to ensure everyone’s safety plus coordinating to provide adequate housing and indoor space to keep the most vulnerable animals comfortable, especially in the cold Colorado winters. In November 2020, when the Boulder County Calwood fire threatened neighboring farms and sanctuaries, the Good Life Refuge also offered aid and space for animals in need and were able to host four animals for Doolittle Farm Sanctuary and helped with their mandatory evacuation. Luckily, during this fire their sanctuary was safe, and the animals were able to return home the next day.
Since the Calwood fire, Good Life Refuge has developed an evacuation plan with a list of volunteers, vehicles, and trailers who are able to help with future transportation of sanctuary animals. However, another challenge is finding alternate safe places where animals can go. Most residential homes are not built and equipped to house larger animals like cows, goats, alpacas, pigs, mules, donkeys, and sheep. Some volunteers on their list have indicated the number of ducks and chickens they would be able to house safely in garages or sheds, but it’s much more difficult to find safe places for the larger residents.
The Good Life Refuge is seeking and welcoming folks who have space to temporarily house larger farm animals. They also have a need for those with trailers and trucks to join their emergency evacuation list to help when called upon during a future natural disaster or crisis. If you or someone you know is interested in being added to the Emergency Evacuation Volunteer List and can offer assistance with transport, temporary housing or other, please email firstname.lastname@example.org requesting an Emergency Evacuation Volunteer Form.
Good Life Refuge provides a safe haven for neglected and at-risk farm animals. It was founded in 2018 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and is located in Longmont, Colorado. The Refuge believes in the ethical treatment of all animals. It practices careful and responsible stewardship of our organization and for the animals in our care. Moreover, they believe in the benefits of a plant-centric lifestyle and in strengthening and nurturing the bonds between humans and animals.