March 9 th


Journey’s End Ranch Animal Sanctuary March 9, 2014 Newsletter

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Tomorrow is our 4th anniversary of becoming a 501(c)3  How time has passed so quickly!

We have had a very mild winter and sure feel sorry for most of the rest of the country which had such a rough one. The horses are already shedding and a few of the mustangs ask to be hosed down when I am filling the water troughs.

Rhonda, our 11 year old beagle who arrived 2 years ago, appears to have degenerative myelopathy. I noticed her rear end was weak when we got her out of the local shelter 2 years ago. With lots of room to run, she got stronger. Several months ago, she started getting a bit wobbly and ataxic in her hind end. She has no pain. I always try to avoid running to the vet for every issue that comes up, as we cannot afford to and I am an enthusiastic problem-solver. I did a little internet research and found that degenerative myelopathy is the only hind end disorder with no pain involved. Usually, a dog is paralyzed within 6 months to a year of developing any symptoms. However, I am a huge fan of supplements and I feel some that I have been giving her for 2 years have slowed the progression. This article was very informative. the drug used to delay the progression of this condition is expensive, but I just found a compounding pharmacy that is said to be much cheaper and will have our vet call them tomorrow (update, we can get it for $17 a month and it is on its way). At any rate, we will continue with supplements and give her the best quality of life possible until her hind end gives out. Rhonda is very high strung and has some anxiety issues, so a cart/wheelchair would not be a solution in my opinion. She also needs to be able to get through the dog doors and our terrain is not level or smooth. Rhonda is the most joyful and funny little girl, her tail is always wagging, and she is often baying her head off. She was found on the streets and was never claimed from the local shelter. She had never been spayed and she protects her collection of stuffed animals and carries them around, so it seems she had been used as a breeder until no longer “useful”. The extensive dental she required 2 years ago left her with a lot of missing teeth and her smile always reminds me of a Jack-o-lantern. Taking in old and ill animals is always inviting heartbreak, but the joy they experience by being given a new life makes it worthwhile.



Carson is starting to feel his age, but is still active and a source of constant amusement for me. He is the smartest, most obstinate, bossy dog I have ever met. I love him so much!

Rainy & Carson March 7

Rainy & Carson March 7

Jabari, the basenji we took in from the horrific OAS hoarding situation, has gone to a wonderful new home after being with us for medical care and rehab for 5 weeks. He was somewhat intimidated by our other boisterous dogs and our friend, Keith (a BRAT volunteer) found him a home with a man who was raised with basenjis and with two daughters who have bonded with Jabari. They were willing to deal with Jabari’s Fanconi syndrome and need for testing, supplements and thyroid medicine for the rest of his life. Jabari is about 6 years old and went through living hell at OAS, where dogs were kept crated for months to years, in a metal building. They were fed unrefrigerated raw meat, and were only fed every other day. No one knows his history, but his new family has found him to be very smart, playful and entertaining. It is a miracle he survived and it is no wonder he was aggressive when he first arrived in Arizona. With medical care, good nutrition, love and patience, he has blossomed. We are so grateful to Keith, Bernard, Kenzie and Kiana!

Jabari in his new home

Jabari in his new home

Our Vice President, Bonnie, who lives 40 miles north of JERAS, had been feeding an an abandoned dog for a few weeks. He was in a yard down the road from her. When no one claimed him, she took pictures, we networked him and within days, he had been transported to Las Vegas where a rescue group took care of his veterinary needs, neutered him, had him groomed and placed him in a loving home. Thank you, Bonnie,  Beth Snook of Niki’s Pals(who transported him) and So NV Australian Shepherd Rescue! It really does “take a village”.

Teddy, sad and alone

Teddy, sad and alone

Teddy after grooming & in a home

Teddy after grooming & in a home

Bear and Maggie got early haircuts and both are very happy. Bear is actually doing pirouettes and I keep thinking we have acquired a black poodle. Apparently, Bear is not crazy about his Chow Chow coat and getting rid of it has been a blessing for him. He was a once-feral dog and has been with us for 9 years.

Maggie, now 13. She was tired after her grooming session.

Maggie, now 13. She was tired after her grooming session.



Our local shelter/animal control has a new manager. Mary used to work for our vet and had been a shelter manager in Ca. for 8 years at one time. Things are really improving there now and they actually have a Facebook page up, too. We are thrilled to know that many more local animals will be saved now.  We have fostered 6 dogs from that shelter in the past few years and try to network the dogs and cats there as much as time allows me to.

Sienna, the quarter horse mare we took in last spring,  is never going to be sound and is going to live permanently at a rescue who adopted her out 2 years ago. When the adopter decided they no longer wanted her, they violated their contract and sold her, instead of returning her to C Bar J Rescue. She went through another two homes and was then “free” on Craig’s list. I thought we might be able to rehab her with body work and hoof trimming, but she has arthritis in an elbow and will not be rideable. We are happy that C Bar J wants her back as a permanent resident and it will lessen my work load and help our finances.





Our bank account was very low and had me extremely worried, as these animals have to be fed. We have a wonderful new supporter whose generosity has come to our immediate rescue, but we still need to broaden our donor base to afford some future security for these horses, burros, dogs, pigs and sheep. Please help if you can or at least share our website, Facebook page and Affiliates page. I can care for the animals, but funding is needed to buy the feed and supplies they require. I am turning SIXTY this month, so please make it a happy birthday by helping us. Thank you!

Here’s a gift idea! You can make a donation to us in behalf of someone else, such as your grandkids, and we will send one of our photo cards to them, with the story of the animal featured. Just make a donation of $10 or more and be sure to include a note and the name and address of the recipient when using Paypal or sending a check. Thank you!

Do you shop at Smith’s, Kroger or Fred Myer? You can help us!
 All you need is a Smith’s Rewards Card and then go online to create an account and choose Journeys End Ranch Animal Sanctuary. Every time you shop and swipe your card, you will be helping the animals here. Click here for instructions.


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Cathy & Carson





Categories : News


  1. Dawn says:

    Can’t believe you’ll be 60 in April – my birthday, too, but I’m a year younger! Don;t know how you manage such wonderful things while I’m exhausted caring for foster cats and my regular house of pets!

  2. Cathy Ritlaw says:

    Thank you! It would be easy if not for a lifetime of Lyme. <3

  3. Madelaine (Vazquez) Woodman says:

    I am so very proud of you and the wonderful work you are doing. Animals are a precious gift from God. There are two kinds of people in this world, those who love them and those who don’t. You can guess which group my friends are in! When is your birthday? How is your Dad? Sienna is a beautiful horse, hope he (she?) will be happy in the new home. I cant believe that you and Jan are now sixty, that makes me at least seventy! Love you always, Madelaine.

  4. Sharon Jacobs-Salinas says:

    Cathy, you don’t look even close to 60! You said you’re birthday is this month…what’s the date? Wish I could up my monthly donation; I know that would help to a degree. I pray many of your thousands of Facebook friends would commit to giving you a monthly donation. If they did, you wouldn’t have quite the financial burden you have not. You’re always in my thoughts and prayers. I know your Lyme disease is progressing and I pray for you every day. Much Love and Many Hugs to you and the ‘Gang’…

  5. cathy ritlaw says:

    Thank you, Sharon. March 19. It would really help to broaden our donor base and everyone can help by sharing our website and info. Love you! Cathy

  6. sara (cousin) says:

    Nice newsletter ‘cuz! Happy BD. I just celebrated my 53rd in Feb. WE are as young as we feel!

  7. Cathy Ritlaw says:

    Thank you, Cousin!! Hope your was a good one. I am physically 99 and mentally

  8. Cathy Ritlaw says:

    Thank you, Madelaine! You can’t possibly be 70! My B day is the 19th- Feast of St. Joseph. My Dad is active despite his COPD and takes Clyde (the dog) to the park every morning and is active in the Knights of Columbus- cooking for the pancake breakfasts and fish fries during Lent. Sienna is going back to people who love her, so it should be fine. I was telling Jan it feels like yesterday we were water skiing and camping out together… Love you!

  9. Monica says:

    So sad to hear that about Rhonda – Cathy – you know that is what Vega my boxer had. It is heartbreaking to see them go through that. They are mentally great, just the awful disease takes their hind legs from them.
    Bear looks unreconizable with that haircut! Love it!

    Monica & the gang

  10. Cathy Ritlaw says:

    Hi, Monica.. so sorry you had to go through it with Vega. I am hoping the medication will slow the progression. I never expected to fall in love with Rhonda like I have and it will be hard. The worst thing is knowing she had a hard life and deserved more good years. She is so darn enthusiastic and happy..such an inspiration to me.
    Bear looks somewhat ridiculous but he thinks he is the cat’s meow and is acting very silly and happy about his haircut. It’s funny, we have Bear with too much hair and Carson who is bald.. lol <3 you

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