LF News


Libby’s Second Chance

Libby was born on the range in the Oregon badlands.  When she was a yearling, she was rounded up with her band by the BLM, separated from them, and shunted from one BLM gulag to another until she was finally sold at auction.

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Liberty Belle (“Libby”), our first rescued wild mustang.

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Libby’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) freezemark brand.

Soon after she was sold, Libby’s owner sent her to a foster.  When her foster could no longer keep her, she was at great risk of being returned to the BLM, and eventually sent to slaughter.  Despite federal laws protecting wild equines, loopholes are often exploited, and when wild horses are returned they can be deemed “unadoptable” and sold to kill dealers, who truck them outside the country to slaughter.

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Wild mustangs in BLM holding pens.

Although our mustang rescue and equine program is still in the planning stage, we decided to take a chance on Libby, and give her safe haven at our Sanctuary – fulfilling an original vision of our Founder, Emily Jo Beard.

Under the patient guidance of Ray Barmore, a lifelong horseman and trainer, Libby took to the groundwork and is gaining trust every day.  She has bonded with our three rescued BLM burros, and Ray’s mares, and is settling in very well in the tranquility of the Sanctuary.

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Ray Barmore, Facilities Manager and horse trainer working with Libby.

Nothing can replace the free range, but with sufficient support, Living Free can one day offer some semblance of the freedom wild horses once enjoyed.

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Libby roams the “Front Forty” section of the property.
No sentient being can thrive when deprived of freedom.  That’s why at Living Free, we provide all rescued animals – cats, dogs and equines – as much space and freedom as possible, while keeping them safe.

In the long term we plan to build a mustang rescue program that will be unique to the region – an expansive, natural sanctuary where horses roam free, and children of all ages can hike into the wilderness and study wild equines in a natural habitat.  We also have plans for an equine therapy program, as well as a humane education center.

Also, our program will help raise awareness of the plight of the mustangs, help stop the roundups, and ensure that wild horses are humanely and rationally managed on our public lands, where they have thrived for many generations.

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Montgomery Pass wild mustang – June 2015. (c. RH – LFAS 2015 )

The Mustang Initiative is a major undertaking, but we believe that preserving a national treasure and symbol of our spirit – not to mention saving the lives of beautiful animals like Libby – is well worth it.

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George’s Heartwarming Holiday Story

George’s life began with everything stacked against him. He was born in a cardboard box in an animal control van on the way to the county shelter. His tiny, terrified mother, Kate, had been injured and could barely walk. The two were brought in to the shelter just as our Kennel Manager, Edgar Santiago, was leaving with eight other dogs he’d rescued, already more than he’d planned to bring to the Sanctuary that day. Edgar took one look at the newborn pup and the traumatized mother and knew they didn’t stand a chance. 
 
WHEN GEORGE AND KATE ARRIVED, IT WASN’T THEIR DAYS THAT WERE NUMBERED. IT WAS THEIR MINUTES
 
Not sure how he’d manage it, Edgar agreed to take them. He brought them back to the Sanctuary and found a quiet, warm space for them until there was room at our “Puppy Palace”.  
 
With a little attention and love, Kate soon blossomed and despite her injuries, she has been a doting mother. And George is an adorable mix of love and curiosity, exploring the world around him, amazed at piles of leaves, warm sunlight, and the feel of grass under his feet.

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SAFETY, PEACE AND DOG TOYS
Glenn Massie, dog trainer and owner of Homeskooling 4 Dogs, donated a lot of “educational toys” for George and future puppies at the Puppy Palace. The toys help familiarize them with common objects and surfaces, stimulate their minds and exercise their bodies.
 
Kate liked to encourage George to go down the slide, but George often preferred to stay up top where the view was better. And of course, there is that ball…

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A “HAPPY TAILS” ENDING 
As soon as George was old enough, adopters were clamoring for him. He recently found his forever home with Jessica Huftless of Los Angeles. Now that he is on his own, Kate will undergo the orthopedic surgery she needs to get back on her feet, and potential adopters are already lining up to offer her a loving home, too.  
 
We are happy that George and Kate now number among our success stories instead of as yet another tragic statistic. There are so many more out there – dogs and cats that just need a second chance that you can help provide.

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Black Friday. Cyber Monday. Giving Tuesday.

You don’t have to be a world leader or a billionaire to give back! #GivingTuesday is about ordinary people coming together doing extraordinary things.

Anyone, anywhere can get involved in #GivingTuesday! Now in its fourth year, #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Observed on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.

What is #GivingTuesday?

Created by 92nd Street Y—a cultural center in New York City that, since 1874, has been bringing people together around the values of service and giving back—#GivingTuesday connects diverse groups of individuals, communities and organizations around the world for one common purpose: to celebrate and encourage giving. A team of influencers and founding partners joined forces—collaborating across sectors, offering expertise and working tirelessly—to launch #GivingTuesday and have continued to shape, grow and strengthen the movement.

Untitled design-4The Big Ideas Behind #GivingTuesday

#GivingTuesday harnesses the potential of social media and the generosity of people around the world to bring about real change in their communities; it provides a platform for them to encourage the donation of time, resources and talents to address local challenges. It also brings together the collective power of a unique blend of partners— nonprofits, civic organizations, businesses and corporations, as well as families and individuals—to encourage and amplify small acts of kindness.

As a global movement, #GivingTuesday unites countries around the world by sharing our capacity to care for and empower one another.

Living Free #GivingTuesday

unselfie-sign-for-printPlease join us on social media this Tuesday! Tag  @livingfreerescu on Twitter or @livingfreeanimals on Instagram with your #GivingTuesday #unselfie – your selfless selfie of you, your rescue, your inspiration or your gift – we’d love to hear from you! You can also share through our Facebook page! See our website for all the ways you can contribute, from donations, to volunteering, or keeping Living Free in mind when you shop through organizations that support our efforts! We hope you have fun with this movement, and Thank You all for your generosity in furthering Living Free’s mission, saving humanity one animal at a time.

 

 

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A Black Friday to be Truly Grateful For!

From Black Friday to Cyber Monday, Zappos.com, the online footwear retailer, will cover the cost of adopting a dog or cat from over 150 no-kill shelters across the nation, including Living Free Animal Sanctuary, as part of a campaign the company has dubbed “Home for the Pawlidayz.”

Zappos is further donating to organizations to support the costs of rescue operations and shelters. The company’s total donation and adoption fees will max out at $1.1 million.

“Thousands of dogs and cats are in need of a loving home and we’re excited to give customers the ability to make a difference,” Steven Bautista, head of karma at Zappos.comsaid in a statement posted to the site

The process is simple. Come find your new cat or dog at Living Free Animal Sanctuary (or a Best Friend’s partner near you) between Nov. 27-30 and complete your application. You’ll save two lives, the one you take home, and the one you make room for – in time for the Pawlidayz! 

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Love is Ageless, Adopt a Senior!

National Adopt A Senior Pet Month sheds light on the on the positive qualities of adopting a more mature animal. Adopting a senior shelter pet is one of the most satisfying things you can do to save a life, giving them a second chance!

Many will find adopting an older pet can be a much smoother transition than getting a puppy or kitten. The beauty of adopting an older dog is ‘what you see is what you get’. There are fewer surprises as the dog gets older, and they are often ‘ready-made’ – leash trained, house trained, requiring little more than a warm bed, a little exercise, a good meal, and all the love and companionship you have to share. And don’t believe the rumors – you most definitely CAN teach an old dog a new trick! Many are eager to learn and already ‘speak the language’.

Experts also agree pet ownership has measurable positive effects on your health, from lowered blood pressure to improved well-being. A great match is senior citizens and senior pets, a partnership which can lift depression and increase socialization.

A misconception is that a senior pet is ‘old’ with health issues. The reality is shelters may have pets as young as 5 years old in the senior category. For some, it simply means they are in their adult stage of life, rather than their puppy phase, with a full long life ahead of them. There’s a lot of bonus points for having a pet that is beyond the challenging puppy stage! The overall expected lifespan of the animal and health is more relative to their status than actual age.

Some think shelters are full of strays or animals with behavior issues. Sadly, we see loving mature pets dropped at shelters as a result of lifestyle and circumstances of the owners – moving, retiring and traveling, lack of funds to care for them, illness or family issues, or addition of children to the home without ability to manage both.

Lately, social media has seen a rise in stories from altruistic animal lovers adopting older seniors and taking them on their self-made bucket list, giving them the life they never had in their final years. Advertising and marketing have also highlighted the rewards of older pets, pulling on heartstrings to sell cars (see Subaru’s ad here – Make the Most of Every Mile), creating  a win-win putting these deserving guys in people’s hearts and minds. Tracy Stewart, wife of Jon Stewart, has released a book called Do Unto Animals, with a passage on the pros of senior pets. All positive attention for shifting us from a culture of pets being disposable, with less numbers ending up in shelters. There is something incredibly powerful about providing sanctuary, love, care, snuggles, and ultimately peace to a senior pet in his or her final years.

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Click the link below to explore our deserving loyal companions. Then come see them for yourself, and take home a lifetime of love! You’ll also have post-adoption support from our amazing team at Living Free to make sure you have resources for a happy transition.

Living Free Animals: Dogs, and Cats. Adoption Forms: Canine, and Feline.

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Everything You Need To Know About This Year’s HOWL & YOWL

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Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at Eventbrite or at the gate. Kids 12 and under are free!

Saturday, Oct 24, 2015. 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Announcing the 2nd Annual Howl & Yowl – Benefit for the Animals. Perfect for the whole family and featuring animal demonstrations including URBAN MUSHING (like the Iditarod without ice, snow and a grueling 1000 mile course), SKY HIGH FLYING CANINES, FLYBALL RACING TEAM, Dog Training with professional trainers and much more. This year, we’ll also be featuring other animal rescue groups for on-site dog & cat adoptions as well as Alpacas of Anza, Beau-Peep Babydoll Sheep and various Arts & Crafts Booths.

Enjoy world-class jazz, blues, rock and country. HONEY COUNTY featuring Devon Eisenbarger, DON REED & BLACK SWAN and JASON POWERS and THE PEOPLE.

Check out the other animal rescue groups who’ll be in attendance!

Animal Samaritans

Whiskers & Purrs with Loving All Animals

Virtual Rescue Warriors

ARF Animal Rescue Friends of Idyllwild

Mary S. Roberts Pet Adoption Center

BIG DEV BBQ, beer, wine, sodas, snacks.

The event is co-sponsored by The Bianca Rae Foundation and The Humane Society Of The Desert.

Your dogs are welcome — just make sure they’re on leashes.

Feel free to bring a picnic blanket and chairs.

All proceeds help save dogs and cats whose time has run out at local kill shelters.

You can make a difference!

We’re located in Mountain Center, CA, a few minutes from Idyllwild, and 45 minutes up Hwy 74 from Palm Springs and Palm Desert.

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Flyball! See a Live Demo at the 2015 Howl & Yowl!

The 2015 Howl & Yowl Musical Benefit at Living Free will feature an exciting demonstration of Flyball, the fast-paced sport for agile dogs. Flyball started as a dog sport in the late 1960s and early 1970s, in Southern California. Some dog trainers combined scent hurdle racing with the dogs bringing back a tennis ball to the finish line. Then a tennis ball-launching apparatus was added and the first flyball box was born. Herbert Wagner is credited with making the first real flyball box.

Flyball is a dog sport in which teams of dogs race against each other from a start/finish line, over a line of hurdles, to a box that releases a tennis ball to be caught when the dog presses the spring-loaded pad, then back to their handlers while carrying the ball.

Flyball is run in teams of four dogs, as a relay. The course consists of four hurdles placed 10 feet (3 m) apart from each other, with the starting line six feet (1.8 m) from the first hurdle, and the flyball box 15 feet (4.5 m) after the last one, making for a 51-foot (15.5 m) length. The hurdle height is determined by the shoulder height of the smallest dog in the team. Under current North American Flyball Association (NAFA) rules this should be 5 inches (12.7 cm) below the withers height of the smallest dog, to a height of no less than 7 inches (20.3 cm) and no greater than 14 inches (40.6 cm). Current EFC (European Flyball Championship) rules limits the height to no less than 17,5 cm and no greater than 35 cm. Each dog must return its ball all the way across the start line before the next dog crosses. Ideal running is nose-to-nose at the start line. The first team to have all four dogs cross the finish line error free wins the heat. Penalties are applied to teams if the ball is dropped or if the next relay dog is released early.

Flyball provides an entertaining and active way to interact with one’s dog and other dog enthusiasts in an environment that is fun while allowing the dogs exercise and enjoyment. It is an especially effective way to burn off the energy of dogs with a high drive to work, such as Border Collies and Staffordshire Bull Terriers.

A large part of flyball’s popularity stems from the fact that it is one of the competition activities available to mixed-breed dogs, allowing rescued mutts and non-pedigree dogs to shine alongside their purebred canine counterparts. Though herding dogs currently dominate the courses, many champion teams have mutts on them. Dogs earn titles and awards based on points earned by their team in racing.

As the sport has developed better dog training regimes have been introduced as knowledge has increased within the sport. Specific training has been developed to promote the dogs using ‘swimmers’ type turns on the Flyball box when catching the ball and turning.

Flyball is not limited to the size of the breed, as smaller dogs such as Patterdale Terriers, Jack Russell Terriers, Whippets and even miniature poodles, often compete with great success in mixed-breed teams (teams consisting of dogs of various sizes and breeds). Smaller dogs are often prized as the hurdle height is based on the height of the smallest dog in the team, commonly known as a height dog. Their only limitation is whether they can trigger the release pad, and small dogs often have to fully jump on it to do so.

Flyball is one of the non-hunting dog sports in which dogs and people work as a team. Many casual pet owners use their flyball time more as a way to relax and socialize with other dog owners than as a competition, and many champion flyball dogs are essentially pet dogs with a hobby, rather than dedicated sporting or working dogs. On the other hand, modern flyball has become the fastest growing teamsport, a sport for dogs, handlers and coaches. First division teams have well trained dogs and handlers and are trained and coached to perform. Some teams use dedicated special bred sportdogs. Flyball can be a real sport for dedicated performers, a hobby for all! (source: Wikipedia)

Don’t miss this fun demonstration at the 2015 Howl & Yowl on October 24th.

Tickets are $15 for adults, children under 12 are free. Pre-purchase tickets at Eventbrite, or purchase them at Living Free the day of the event. Can’t make it to the event? Consider donating the ticket price to help the animals – all proceeds benefit cat and dog rescues from local kill shelters.

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Howl & Yowl Musical Benefit for the Animals

Welcome to Honey County!

A great reason to join us at the 2015 Howl & Yowl – Honey County!

Danni, Devon and Leeann are taking over the pop country scene with undeniable harmonies, melodic hooks and songs that speak the truth.  Within six months of playing together their music caught ears across the country when they were picked as semi-finalists on VH1’s “Make A Band Famous”.  In August 2014, their first single “Blood From A Stone” gained popularity with a feature on HBO’s TRUE BLOOD, and began spinning on the fan-favorite Los Angeles indie radio station, KCRW, and iHeartRadio’s  2014 CMA Award winning station, WPOC 93.1 in Baltimore, MD.  Following the success of the first single, the group went on to record their self titled debut EP in Los Angeles, CA with award winning producer Ryan Williams (Kelly Clarkson, Train, P!nk, Adam Lambert) at Pulse Recording and released it with a feature on CBS Los Angeles morning news show July 21, 2015.  Two days following the release of the EP, the single and music video, ’99 Bottles’ was selected as one of seven finalists picked for Southern California’s GO COUNTRY 105 Country Showdown, simultaneously, ’99 Bottles’ was also picked as a top five finalist in a contest to support country  music star Brett Eldredge.  The band plans to announce a tour in the fall of 2015.

You can buy tickets now at Eventbrite or at Living Free the day of the event. Adults, $15, children under 12 are free. Can’t join us on the day but want to be a part of this very important benefit? Donate the ticket price through our website! All proceeds help dogs and cats rescued from local kill shelters.

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Howl & Yowl ~ Benefit for the Animals ~ October 24th 2015

H&Y Event-Square copyLiving Free Animal Sanctuary’s 2nd Annual Howl & Yowl Benefit for the Animals is coming up this October 24th! Perfect for the entire family, the event includes a full day of music, demonstrations, dog training, and of course, features adoptable cats and dogs. This year we’ve expanded to include other animal rescue groups for adoptions – you’re sure to find your next furry BFF! Also on site, Alpacas of Anza, Beau-Peep Baby Doll Sheep, and Artisan  & Crafts Booths.

The music will be outstanding again this year! We’re pleased to present world-class jazz, country and rock from Honey County featuring Devon Eisenbarger, Don Reed & Black Swan, and Jason Power and the People.

Stay tuned for more details on demonstrations, vendors, and entertainment!

Tickets are $15 for adults, kids 12 and under are free. Purchase through Eventbrite or at the door on the day. All proceeds help save dogs and cats whose time has run out at local kill shelters.

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“Happy Tails” – Spirit

 

Spirit came to Living Free when she was a puppy and was adopted about a year and a half ago, at the age of nine.

Becky Fears, her adopter, says Spirit is doing well. She loves to run around the yard and play “keep away” with her stuffed toy, Dragon (her usual morning routine). She has a ramp to go down into the back yard which she uses to get into the yard, but prefers to walk up the steps to come back in. She takes great delight in burying Becky’s garden gloves to see how long it takes Becky to find them. She now has an orthopedic, memory foam bed to ease the arthritis in her hips.

Her walks are shorter than before, but she still enjoys getting out and takes time to sniff every single blade of grass. She loves to greet each person she meets, but finds it hard to resist chasing small dogs. She and the resident cats get along and chase each other around the backyard.

Becky says Spirit is a real character with a sense of adventure. Everyone loves her and Becky loves her most of all. Thank you, Becky and Ian, for taking such good care of our girl. Love to you Spirit from everyone at Living Free.

Ian & Spirit on walk

Spirit on her daily walk with Ian.

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Spirit on her orthopedic bed with her favorite toy, Dragon. She has a box of toys she can choose from each day.

 

 

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