Animal sanctuary avoids closure, needs help

PERRIS, Calif. It's lunchtime at the /*Meadowbrook Animal Sanctuary Haven*/. Renee Duncan says all of the animals she's feeding are like family.

"They all have brains, hearts, veins, feelings, nerves, so you treat them as such," said Duncan.

In fact, every horse, dog, turkey, goat and emu at the sanctuary is a rescue.

"Without her they would all be slaughtered because she finds homes for the ones she can," said sanctuary volunteer Dee Garrett.

And those she can't find homes for, stay at the sanctuary. But keeping them there has been a struggle. Years ago, Duncan was told she had Stage IV throat cancer.

"And when she got sick, she wasn't able to keep it up, and so she's been putting all her resources into the animals, and just trying to keep body and soul together, basically," said Garrett.

That meant moving all the animals away while she fought off foreclosure. A big donation saved the place, but this holiday season there's still a long way to go.

"We've got all my horses still at the neighbors', and we have the pasture we have to level, pens to move, our barn is laying there in pieces to put back up, you know we have a lot of work," said Duncan.

As you might imagine, it costs a lot to feed all of these animals -- between the veggies, the hay and all the other feed, the tab runs close to $7000 a month.

"We do need help," said Duncan.

But for Duncan, struggle is nothing new. And she's staying positive.

"You know it's better than it was before, we were getting the boot and now we're home," said Duncan.

She's confident she'll get the help she and these animals need to stay open, so lunchtime at the Meadowbrook Animal Sanctuary Haven can continue for many years to come.

How to donate to or volunteer at the sanctuary:

The sanctuary needs volunteers that can level the corral area and do general "grunt" work. Any help is appreciated.

Since the sanctuary is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, all donations, be they in cash or materials, vehicles, (the sanctuary needs a pickup truck), are tax deductible.

Dee Garrett: (951) 733-7573
Web site:
Donations can be sent to:
18285 Collier Ave., Ste. K
Lake Elsinore, CA 92530

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