Archive for Journey’s End Ranch Animal sanctuary

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Journey’s End Ranch May 1, 2015 Newsletter

Our hay drive was a huge success and we thank you!

Thanks to matching funds that were pledged, we raised the funds needed to get a semi-load of this year’s new Bermuda hay. This will last our 23 equines through July. The hay is very dry and clean and we thank K&M Transport.




Our weather had gotten warm and it sometimes seems that the watering chores take more time than feeding. The animals appreciate getting their tubs cleaned daily and getting fresh water.




Some of the horses like getting hosed off and Rusty was taking a roll in the sand after getting wet in this picture.



Knickers turns 33 this month. He is always an inspiration, as he survived against all odds and is an indomitable spirit.



Well, old Warrior never did stop wanting to chase Bayron. So, our neighbor volunteered to come with his grader to clear a fence line so we could cross fence. Thank you, Mike Gannuscio. Now, Warrior, Penny and Red have one area and Lucky and Bayron have another. Lucky and Bayron are very fond of each other and love to play. Our next project to be done very soon is to add an additional shed roof on the north end of the current shelter, so Bayron and Lucky will have shade and protection from the elements, should they seek it.

Warrior, 26 this year

Warrior, 26 this year

Bayron and Lucky

The kangaroo rats provides nightly entertainment.Cost of admission to the rat circus- a handful of bird seed.

kangaroo rat

kangaroo rat

The desert came into bloom and we have many beautiful flowers.

beavertail cactus

beavertail cactus

I think I cracked a bone in my foot early in April, but I could not stand the “boot” I got, so I just kept it wrapped for a few weeks and I am limping along much faster now. I even managed to keep up with the hoof trimming.

Once again, we are very thankful for the support of our friends, without whom we could not provide a safe haven for these wonderful animals.


Cathy & The Gang

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Journey’s End Ranch April 1, 2015 Newsletter

Some good news from our home state- Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey vetoed legislation yesterday that would have weakened all but one of Arizona’s current laws against cruelty to farm animals, including horses. We received this message from his office:

“Thank you for taking the time to contact Governor Doug Ducey regarding H.B. 2150 (Livestock or poultry cruelty; exception; violation; classification; definition).

Yesterday afternoon, Governor Ducey did veto this legislation. ”

You can read his veto letter here

Bayron had 7 weeks to recover from his gelding surgery & it was time to try him with other horses. Since he lived for 8 years as a stallion, most of that time isolated from other horses, we wanted to be cautious. Because he is so fearful that he is virtually “untouchable”, I ran about 300 feet of temporary electric fence from his area to where he was headed and then gently herded him over to his new home. I had set up some pipe corral panels so he could have his own pen for the first few days, from which he could meet & nuzzle the others over the corral. Warrior, who is 26 and lived his first 4 years as a stallion in the wild, seems to like Bayron a lot. On the first day I turned Bayron out, I shut Warrior, Penny & Red in so Bayron & Lucky could get acquainted first. Lucky is always quite a gentleman. That went well. When Penny & Red joined them, there was no real conflict and everyone settled down quickly. However, when Warrior was  turned out, he reverted back into his younger years and decided Bayron needed to be chased away.

Now, Warrior has a very bad knee and arrived here 2 and 1/2 years ago with a pronounced limp. Our vet even hinted at wanting to put him to sleep not too long ago. I thought he was doing well despite his age & old injuries. He gets supplements which reduce inflammation, a proper diet containing no processed feeds, no corn, soy, wheat or sugars, and he has 24/7 turnout on 3 acres. He used to have hoof issues, but between my hoof trimming and his natural lifestyle, his feet improved greatly and almost maintain themselves now. He gets no drugs. We strongly believe in “natural horse care”.

Here is testimony to how effective Warrior’s care has proved to be. The video was several days ago and everyone has calmed down. Bayron, who has DSLD (suspensory ligament disease) is on supplements to treat that. It is not curable.  You will be surprised to see how fast two “crippled” horses can run. Neither even ended up limping after all the running they did. Horse have a wonderful ability to work things out, given enough time and space.


Now that Bayron is losing his winter coat, he appears to be a roan.


Bayron late March

Bayron late March

We received the beautiful portrait of Carson from Susan Monty. It brings him back to life and I am very grateful to her for such a wonderful gift.


"Carson" by Susan Monty

“Carson” by Susan Monty


UPDATE APRIL 9 !  We have received $2030 towards hay, $2000 matched, for a total of $4030. That will buy a semi-load of new bermuda hay (just cut recently) or about 285 bales. Our 23 rescued horses & burros will have hay into late July. THANK YOU to all who donated and shared. We cannot do it alone.

The HAY FUNDS DRIVE IS ON with matching donations!
WE NOW HAVE $2000 pledged in matching funds! So, let’s begin the hay drive & try to bring in $2000 which will be matched, giving us enough for a semi-load. Thank you! Your donation will be doubled! Donations are tax deductible.

UPDATE 4/5  We have $1178 in donations towards the $2000 we need. THANK YOU!

All donations are always greatly appreciated.

Our weather is very warm already, with afternoon temperatures in the 80’s. The horses are shedding and a few already ask to be hosed off while I am filling the water tanks.






What your donations accomplish:

Journey’s End Ranch Animal Sanctuary is housed on Cathy’s 24 acres at no cost to the sanctuary. She also pays the utilities. Therefore, all donations go directly to the animals’ care, with the exception of some office supplies and a very small amount of advertising. Cathy does not get paid for the work she does, caring for the animals alone with very little outside help,  despite serious health challenges. Cathy does much of the vetting and the hoof trimming, too.

$30.00 will feed the numerous wild quail, doves, rabbits and ravens we feed for a month.

$20.00 will feed Rambeau, the Barbados sheep, for a month. It will also buy a new hoof rasp for the horse’s hoof trimming, which Cathy does herself.
$15 will buy a 50# sack of the hay pellets that Knickers and Warrior require, as they are old & missing teeth.

$15.00 also buys a 100# bale of hay. We use 2.5-3 bales a day to feed 10 burros and 13 horses.

$30.00 buys a bucket of the vitamin mineral supplement the equines get and will last 3 weeks.

$40.00 will supply a burro with hay for a month.

$80.00 buys enough hay to feed a horse for a month.

$125.00 will cover a ranch call when we need the vet to come (not very often, as good management is the best medicine). We do need our vet for a yearly inspection to keep our rescue license.

150.00 will cover the cost of a dental for one equine.

*If you want an inspirational story suitable for children, Poco says he has more books available.*


Wishing everyone a very Happy Easter!


Cathy & the Gang


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November 6 th


Poco makes the newspaper!

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Poco makes the newspaper!
“Animal sanctuary rescues crippled burro in Havasu

20 inches of a deformed hoof was removed”

By BRANDON MESSICK Today’s News-Herald
Every time Terry Watt saw the lone burro, she snapped a picture.

He was far away the first time, alone in the Havasu wildlife refuge. Watt has friends who are involved in issues surrounding the region’s wild, roaming burros and horses, and she knew that burros rarely travel outside of a herd.

The burro was one of hundreds of the region’s wild donkeys, direct descendants of the beasts of burden that were used to build the Old West. But this beast of burden was carrying one burden that was too heavy to bear.
Its right-rear hoof appeared to have overgrown, causing the creature to hobble and strain with every step.

“I saw him again a few more times after that,” Watt said. “I’d see him with others when they passed through, but he couldn’t keep up, and he’d get left behind. They’re herd animals. They really need to be with other burros.”

Watt contacted some of her friends online and asked if they had ever seen anything like it. She eventually received a reply from the Bureau of Land Management. Representatives came from the BLM to see the burro, and decided that he needed to be captured and taken care of, Watt said.

Cathy Ritlaw, of the Journey’s End Ranch Animal Sanctuary in Kingman, offered to take the burro in. Ritlaw is no stranger to burros, and uses 12 acres to care for other wild burros and horses that she’s rescued over the years.

As the lone burro watched from a distance, Watt and her daughter spread hay on the ground to lure it into the area before a bait-trap was set up. “The burro had a fine time eating that hay for a few days,” Watt said. “His tracks were easy to spot in the sand; he had a big drag-mark wherever he walked.”

After two attempts, Watt, her daughter, and a BLM-representative caught several burros, with the target among them. The other burros were released, and the burro was loaded into a livestock trailer.

“He acted very wild when he was first caught,” Ritlaw said. “But he calmed down once he was away from the other burros. It seemed like he somehow understood that people aren’t so bad.”

According to Watt, they stopped the trailer at her residence so that she could have a look at the burro. “This poor guy’s hoof was deformed and growing backwards into a big, long, heavy spiral. The burro was very calm and friendly, and let me pet his nose. He wasn’t upset about any of this. ”

They took the animal to a veterinarian in Kingman, where the burro was sedated and given a tetanus shot. Then, 20 inches of deformed hoof were removed from his foot.

“The vet said that this didn’t look like an injury, but more like a birth defect that he’s had to live with his whole life,” Watt said.

The burro, determined to be approximately 12 years old, had lived with the unrestrained growth of its hoof since it was born. Ritlaw took the creature in, keeping it in a small pen at first. As calm as the animal was, she gave it a quarter-acre of land to itself a day later. Ritlaw named the burro “Poco,” the Spanish word for “small.”

“He’s a little-bitty guy,” Ritlaw said. “He’s about 100 pounds smaller than average, but he’s a survivor. He’s probably had to fight for everything he’s had in life.”

Because of his deformity, Poco was unable to travel far for water or foraging.

“Everyone I’ve talked to is amazed that this guy survived for so long. Now, for the first time in his life, he probably feels safe.”

Poco is still underweight, but Ritlaw intends to release him into the larger fields in her sanctuary to be among her other burros when he’s strong enough, where he will be fed and sheltered for the rest of his life. He will have to be gelded, she said, and she intends to have X-rays performed on the burro’s foot.

Ritlaw said that Poco will never walk normally, but she is looking into the possibility of prosthesis.


We will have Poco’s foot  X rayed when he is gelded soon. If he is in pain, there are several options. One is a brace and another is to have the joint fused. If he seems fairly comfortable, we will leave things as they are, keep that hoof from growing too long again and continue to give him a safer, happier life than he has probably ever known. For now, he is eating like crazy, playing with Pepito and getting a chance to lie down and rest without fear of predators.

Poco Nov. 5

Poco Nov. 5


Poco & Pepito sharing breakfast Nov. 6


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