9th February 2018
2018 is going to be a year of HUGE change for us. It will be the fifth anniversary of Grace’s Rest coming into being and the time has come to make some drastic changes to further our goals and make a difference to animals around the world.
Since opening back in 2013 with your help Grace’s Rest has rescued over 400 animals. As the saying goes this changed their world…but it didn’t change THE world. That is our goal.
The most dramatic change will be to the rescue aspect of Grace’s Rest. Regular readers and followers will know that I (the boss) had surgery a few weeks ago. I have been struggling with my health for many many years and it has now come to a head. I will likely have to have major surgery later this year and lots of ongoing treatment. Before you all get scared it’s not terminal but there is no definite cure. I may get worse over time but it is too early to tell.
I have been told by two independent medical professionals that I should not work with animals any more but I hope to carry on for as long as possible. Even so it is with a heavy heart that I have to announce that as of April we will not be able to take in any more rescue cases. I hope that this will not be a permanent arrangement but we will have to wait and see what the planned treatment does for me.
We will be working closely with other sanctuaries up and down the country to make sure that exotic ex-pets we cannot take in receive the care they deserve. We will also still be here to offer advice and guidance as we are now.
You have given us and the animals such fantastic support over the last five years. It has meant that every single one of those 400+ animals was given the chance of a new life. Words cannot express how grateful I, and they, are for your help. I want to thank you so much and hope you will stay with us on the next exciting stage of our journey to help even more animals.
New animals will still likely make their way to us from time to time so there will still be plenty of critters for you to support BUT there will also be THOUSANDS more animals in the wild to support now along with the animals staying with us for the rest of their lives.
This is not a sad occasion.
It’s a positive step that will see change for the better for animals threatened with extinction around the world. This is cause for celebration and YOU can be part of it!
My partner once came up with a fantastic analogy – what is the point of bailing out a sinking boat if you are going to ignore the leak? The boat will still sink eventually and all of your efforts will have been for nothing. The same can be said for animals in danger.
It’s all well and good to save the ones in immediate need and of course we as compassionate and animal-loving people we should protect them. But, what about the bigger picture? What about the fact that entire species are facing extinction all over the world?
Deforestation. Climate change. Pollution. Traditional medicines. Bush meat. Urban development. Poaching. And of course the international exotic pet trade. All of these things are driving animals to extinction. We cannot stand by and watch this happen.
In her New Year message last month Dr Jane Goodall said,
“…it is not too late to turn things around, if we all do our part.”
That is exactly what we are going to do! Through my scientific research and your support we are going to save animals around the world.
As of April this year we will have a new name and a new, bigger, purpose.
We will be more focussed on outreach and educating the public on the threats wildlife face.
We will raise funds not just for ourselves but for other ethical animal good causes and science projects that are protecting wildlife.
With your help we can CHANGE THE WORLD for animals and offer them a brighter future. But we can only do it with your continued support.
More announcements will be coming soon as will the reveal of our new name. Maybe we could run a competition?
Supported by Ladbrook Insurance, a specialist animal charity insurance provider.
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Meet the Owner-Operator, Clare Barnard BSc.(Hons)
Clare is a research scientist and PhD candidate at the University of Lincoln where she is studying wildlife conservation and the direct impact of the exotic pet trade on wild animal populations. She will be working from the Laboratory of Evolutionary Ecology of Adaptations. Clare has also been honoured to become part of the Global Amphibian Biodiversity research team.
Clare has almost 20 years professional experience in the husbandry of exotic animals a specialism in the genetics of British herpetofauna. She has worked with wild Adders (Vipera berus) and endangered Natterjack Toads (Epidalea calamita) under Natural England license conditions. Clare has worked as a zookeeper and within private collections including her own. She lives in rural North Warwickshire, on-site at Grace's Rest, with a whole host of animals!