Being a native New Yorker, when I hear Brooklyn, I think of the Bridge, Prospect Park and the many Vegan eateries in the borough across the river from Manhattan. However, lately I’ve been learning about a very special place in a different Brooklyn: Paint Creek Animal Rescue located in Brooklyn, Michigan.
Paint Creek Animal Rescue is run by Sharon Hall. I had the opportunity to talk with her about her work and the animals at Paint Creek.
R: Hi Sharon. How did you get involved in animal rescue?
S: I am an animal enthusiast. Animals are my number one passion. I love all animals and I am a VEGAN. Since 1970 I have primarily rescued and re-homed hundreds of cats. I have raised numerous orphaned kittens. In 1980 I rescued some ducks and geese and found them a safe haven in the country on a friend’s farm that had a huge pond. In 2001 I rescued and rehabilitated some baby squirrels, 5 fawns, several baby raccoons, 28 chickens and 4 roosters. In 2002 I began rescuing goats in addition to the cats. I’ve raised several orphaned baby goats too. In 2006 I rescued a sheep who went to my friend’s sanctuary to be with other sheep. My dream is to expand my rescue someday (soon, God willing) to save more farm animals. Cows, sheep, pigs, donkeys, horses etc.
R: Tell us about the animals that come to Paint Creek Animal Rescue.
S: The animals come to our rescue from a variety of situations. They are treated with compassion, given support, either medical or/and emotional, and live in a safe, secure environment, and most important, given the love they deserve, but have been denied. Some of the animals have never known a gentle touch, and it is so rewarding to be able to stroke a once feral cat, or earn the trust of a skittish goat. Animals are extremely affectionate and intelligent, and to see the animals literally ‘blossom’ under loving and tender care is beyond words.
I rescue goats and cats and sometimes the odd animal (orphaned fawns, squirrels, birds, raccoons and opossum). I currently have 13 rescued goats, 6 rescued indoor cats, 4 barn/stray cats and several feral cats in my care. Plus an Anatolian Sheepdog named Duke who is a livestock guardian.
The animals ARE like my own children, only with fur. The animals are always my first priority.
R: What are some of the challenges you have faced while running the animal rescue?
S: Our rescue was in risk of having to close if we could not find another farm to move to within our means to rent. God answered our prayers and on Sept. 11, 2009, we found a place with 147 acres that we could afford. The goats were HAPPY!
I am a private rescue and therefore have been solely financially responsible for the care, feeding and vetting of the animals. I am not a 501 organization, and do not get grants or outside funding, but pay for everything from any income I make. Since losing my job in June of this year it is very difficult to pay bills and utilities, buy groceries, provide veterinarian care and buy the animals food on unemployment benefits. So, we still need a little help via donations so we can have enough animal food and supplies to last through winter.
R: What can people do to help?
S: The rescue is in need of supplies and hay for winter. If you would like to help feed the animals, please visit our website and sponsor one of the animals. You can virtually ‘adopt/sponsor’ one of the animals of your choice for a gift of $10, or more if possible (although we accept donations of any denomination….even a gift of one dollar is much appreciated!) Every cent of your gift is used towards purchasing the animals’ food, supplies and any vetting. To see the animals you can ‘adopt’ or sponsor, go to the “Adopt one of the Goats” or “Adopt one of the Cats” page, or just ‘Feed the Dog’.
You can also help if you are in or live near Brooklyn, MI and want to drop off *cat food* (see below for specific brand) or dog food, hay or scoopable cat litter. We are in need of hay, goat feed, cat food and cat litter and dog food. We could also use another heated 2 1/2 gallon water bucket to get us through winter. Please visit the “Wish List” page for items we need. Contact me for directions to the farm on the ‘Contact Page’. If you want to donate your time, volunteers are welcome too!
** Some of the cats have dietary issues such as urinary calculi, diabetes or allergies. They are fed Taste of the Wild cat food as this seems the only brand that causes no problems and which all the cats can eat.
We also have a gift shop where people can purchase t-shirts, buttons, magnets, mouse pads, clocks, coffee mugs, bumper stickers and other great items with pictures of the animals on them. All the proceeds go to help the animals.
What an amazing woman! I can’t imagine how hard it must be to run an animal rescue out of one’s own pocket. That kind of dedication to animals is what keeps my faith in the world alive.
Tom and I sponsored Stubs the goat, Little Scruffy the cat, and helped feed the goats. Benny donated treats to Duke the dog. Who are you going to sponsor?