“Currently, she is the only animal at the sanctuary that has typing capabilities. She can be emailed at [email protected], and can also help answer questions about other animals here,” laughs Wendy Ogunsemore of Pasado’s Safe Haven, which homes round 250 rescued animals and is positioned close to Seattle, Washington.
One of the letters obtained at Pasado’s Safe Haven
Dickerson Park Zoo in Springfield, Missouri, too had an identical programme earlier than it reopened in May. With the pandemic conserving guests at bay, animal organisations comparable to Pasado’s Safe Haven, Indraloka Animal Sanctuary (Dalton, Pennsylvania) and Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop & Farm (Olathe, Kansas) are encouraging folks all around the world, particularly youngsters, to write letters to their resident animals.
At Indraloka, the cuddly pig siblings Duncan and Nugget laze on a mattress of hay, answering a string of questions in letters from curious youngsters, learn out by their workers. In a video on their social media pages, Duncan grunts within the affirmative when requested if he enjoys taking part in within the mud. And then chews thoughtfully on hay, when questioned about his favorite character from Barney & Friends.
“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we had to cancel having any visitors at the sanctuary. Our animals miss the interaction, as do the people, so we came up with the pen pal programme in April, to offer a way for people to stay connected to their animal friends during this time,” says Wendy.
Pasado’s receives round 80 to 100 letters every week, usually from youngsters aged between three to 13 years. “We have also received letters from people of numerous ages and locations across the world. The animals are so excited,” she says.
The non-profit organisation began in 1997 and is called after a beloved donkey that was tortured to demise by three teenage boys. It is on a mission to finish animal cruelty and hosts rescue canines and cats, in addition to farm animals together with cows, donkeys, llamas, alpacas, goats, pigs, turkeys, rooster and geese.
Ashley, the rooster, studying a fan mail at Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop & Farm
The youngsters now write to the animals on a first-name foundation. To introduce you to just a few, there are Journey and Tonka (cows), Woody and Rocky (goats), Charlie and Elmo (pigs), Nemo and Draco (geese). “Kids usually ask questions about the animal’s day, their favourite things (such as types of snacks) and often share a little about what they might have in common (such as playing in the sunshine),” says Wendy.
At Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop & Farm ([email protected]), a number of the letters make the workforce smile. While some youngsters ship drawings, others have questions, like do the animals drink espresso. Other questions embody: “Are you lonely like me?”; “Do you have anyone coming to see you?”; and “Do you have enough to eat?”
“Every letter written to the animals receives a response with a guest pass enclosed. Parents of the children who received replies from the animals wrote to us to say how much the kids enjoyed receiving mail,” says Kathleen Puls of Mahaffie Stagecoach & Farm.
This easy train of exchanging letters has taught a variety of classes. “We learned the value of staying connected during a difficult time. Even a simple hand-written note brings about joy and healing to the composers and recipients. We learned how unusual it is for modern children to have someone in their lives willing to write to them,” says Kathleen.
The lockdown has been a complicated interval for a lot of. Children had been attempting to grapple with this modification and missed mates and academics, and so they didn’t know the way to fill their time at dwelling. “The animals “spoke” to the youngsters on their degree and we hope the children picked up on the actual fact somebody was empathising with their tough state of affairs. We additionally hope the children had been in a position to really feel compassion for the animals,” says Kathleen.
Echoing the identical sentiments as Kathleen, is Indra Lahiri, who in 2005 began Indraloka Animal Sanctuary, now a 100-acre property that is dwelling to 300 animals of 15 totally different species together with cows, pigs, goats, sheep, horses, chickens, turkeys, geese, geese, peafowl, guinea fowl, quail, cats, an alpaca, and a canine. “In addition, children also pick up skills such as reading and writing, storytelling, and facts about specific species,” says Indra.
Everyone wants a buddy
Their pen pal programme started in 2018. “We had lots of children that visit as part of our Hopeful Heroes Initiative (that provides learning opportunities for marginalised children and youth), and their families do not have vehicles or the ability to get the children to the sanctuary as often as the children (and the animals) would like,” explains Indra.
This 12 months, when colleges had been made digital on account of the pandemic, Indraloka determined to open this programme up to youngsters anyplace on this planet. Once folks enroll (at Indraloka.org), they’re given the choice of weekly emails or of exhausting copy letters, she provides.
Right now, Indraloka is averaging at round 35 letters every week from youngsters within the age group of three to 12. The jolly residents right here have lovable names like Snuffleupagus (shaggy cow), Bapu and Madalitsa (goats) and Moksha (purple and white cow). Says Indra, “Though most of the requests are for horse and pigs, the team tries to spread it out so that no one animal gets more letters than the others.”
Any alternative to join youngsters with animals is a constructive one, opines Kathleen: “Animals do not put pressure on children to behave a certain way. They are not judgemental or eager to correct the children. They are just kind, calm, and loving. The kids and animals soak up the mutual friendship.”