December 13 th


Happy Holidays!

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This has been a busy year at JERAS. We had become a non-profit in June of 2009. With the help from a grant from a wonderful foundation, we were able to attain 501(c)3 status this March, making us an official tax exempt organization. Two months ago, we became a Licensed Equine Rescue, one of only several registered with the Arizona Department of Agriculture.
This year, we adopted and gave a permanent home to 6 additional dogs which were either about to be put to sleep or severely neglected- Tara, Carson, Liza, Missy, Shyla and Patty. Tara was our neighbor’s sick and neglected 9 year old husky. Missy came all the way from Kentucky where her time was up at a shelter, after being dumped there by her former owner. Patty and Liza came from Texas. Carson was a very pathetic-looking old boy who was about to be put to sleep in a California shelter. He had a myriad of health problems, an injured leg and was emaciated. Shyla arrived a week before Christmas. She was an injured stray picked up in Tucson. We also fostered and saved Birdy from death at a Ca. shelter. Birdy’s hatred for Carson forced us to place him with a rescue which works with aggressive dogs. He is doing well there and will find a forever home soon. We pulled a little boy basenji mix from our local high-kill local shelter and he now lives in Phoenix with a man who adores him. Gracie came to us scared and sick. She had spent several months with other rescues, all who missed the cause of her extreme fear and illness- low thyroid. We got her started on thyroid hormone and healthy, and now she is headed to a new home. We “pulled” a little Shih Tzu from a Dallas kill shelter and he now has a great home in the Dallas area, where he loves to ride on the footrest of his owner’s wheelchair.
In January, we received notice of mustangs in a feedlot in California. They were about to ship to slaughter. We networked them and Return To Freedom collected funds and bought them at the last minute. They then shipped the 2 mares to us. These horses- Windy and Rene’ – had been used in Mexican rodeos for the illegal “sport” of horse tripping. Both have back injuries and arrived here severely traumatized. They finally have some peace in their lives. In March, we adopted a half-blind mustang, Tonka, from a woman who could no longer afford to keep him. She had tried to find him a home for 6 months, but no one wanted him because of the blindness. In May, we bought a local horse, Raven, from people who could no longer afford him. He is untrained and was at risk of ending up at the slaughter auction because of his low price and lack of training.
We found homes for at least 10 horses at risk of slaughter, by networking them. I have more than 1200 Facebook friends and the sanctuary has over 2000 fans. This allows us to reach a lot of people. We have helped save and find homes for dozens of dogs and cats. We have tirelessly worked to bring awareness of horse slaughter and the extermination of America’s wild horses to everyone we cross paths with. We have sent letters and petitions for hundreds of animal welfare issues. We have made hundreds of phone calls. We introduced a new friend from Connecticut to the wild horse and slaughter issues in January. She created an organization which is now suing the BLM for abusing wild horses and violating  the 1971 Wild Horse and Burro Protection Act. We continue to educated people on animal health issues and have been told by others that the information we gave them actually saved their animals’ lives.
JERAS is now home to 20 animals- all living in a safe and happy environment. Their physical illnesses are healing and their emotional issues have been resolved. They are a very happy bunch.
We hope you have a wonderful Holiday season and a Happy & Healthy New Year.
Cathy and the Gang at Journey’s End Ranch Animal Sanctuary

Categories : News


  1. Catherine, is the little burro in the Christmas card at the bottom of your article, one of yours and at your sanctuary? I just love these little critters, and I’ve been toying with the idea of adopting one, or two, to be friends with my two horses.

  2. Cathy Ritlaw says:

    I am so sorry I missed your comment until now.
    Yes, Jovita is Serena’s daughter. Serena was wild and pregnant when captured. Jo was born in Sep. 2004. She was only about a week old in that pic.
    Burros don’t eat much and are wonderful watch animals- chasing stray dogs and coyotes, even mountain lions away.

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