PENDLETON,NY - In a season given to reflection and gratitude, perhaps humanity's compassion can be best gauged in how we treat those who cannot speak for themselves.
Animal sanctuaries across the planet provide haven for a variety of creatures that have often seen the worst man has to offer, but have been fortunate enough to land in the arms of those who reveal the best we can give.Sandi Pfohl is the Founder of Lakeview Animal Sanctuary.
"It's my calling and my job to help as many animals as I can. I'd like to have my nails done, never had them done, but if it comes to having something special for me, maybe buying a new pair of jeans or boots, and an animal may need to be de-wormed or have it's shots, the animal is much more important to me."
The Lakeview Animal Sanctuary in Pendleton has been a refuge since 1982. They are a non-profit, no-kill home for abused,abandoned or unwanted animals, and their job is not an easy one. The need is always growing, and Pfohl says there is no end in sight for the care they provide. " We'll always be needed, there will always be somebody out there, some animal out there that needs somebody or some kind care, animals are very trusting, we're the ones who make them skittish."
The residents in Pendleton vary widely from exotics to farm animals.Sandi tells 2 The Outdoors the sanctuary tries to adopt them all out, but many of them have special needs due to abuse or ailments in their past. " A lot of people who adopt an animal, they want the healthy, healthy ones that they can use and enjoy,they don't want to take in the blind one that has to have special care,or whose feet are bad who has to have special care and you can't ride it, and you can just enjoy it and walk it, so those animals are here forever."
The work at the sanctuary goes far beyond the essentials of every day life. A key to their mission is education. Many of the animals are ambassadors for their kind , travelling into the human community to teach important lessons. " Yesterday we did a daycare center," says Pfohl "And the kids are wonderful they love me, but my goal for them is to educate them with animals and to teach them kindness. I feel by being kind to animals you can learn to be kind to your same species."
Running an animal sanctuary is a massive labor of love; long hours, hard work and no profit. But Sandi and her crew of volunteers do their work with dedication and compassion in hope that the kindness they offer will inspire others to extend the same to the animal brethren who share our planet. " There's so much we can learn from observing animals, just their pecking order in the herd, and their kindness to their offspring." Pfohl concludes . " It's like Ruth Gordon said in "Harold and Maude", the problem with the world today is everyone thinks daisies are alike, but when you look at them closer they all look different. We're all different. Kindness to animals should be universal."
Lakeview Animal Sanctuary is in need of both donations and volunteers. If you'd like to help you can find more information on their website at www.lasanctuary.org.