Sanctuary: a place of refuge or safety

lion public domain image
Lion (Public Domain)

A suck story out of Elbert County, Colorado:  Lion’s Gate Sanctuary was apparently flooding due to the location of the property, leaving the 11 lions, tigers and bears who lived there in poor conditions.  The animals were reportedly elderly and frail.  The sanctuary owner submitted a request to county commissioners to allow for relocation of the sanctuary to another appropriately zoned property in the county.  When the county refused to approve the relocation, the owner had a veterinarian kill all 11 animals.  Suck #1.

The county commissioners say they denied the transfer for very excellent reasons, including that such a move would be hard on the old animals and maybe they wouldn’t survive the trip.  Also, the request was apparently thin on details.  So yeah, I guess those are both absolutes which leave no room for negotiation of any kind.  Suck #2.

The owner says she tried to find placement for the animals at other sanctuaries but there were no takers.  Then there’s this:

The news that Lion’s Gate had euthanized all its animals stunned Pat Craig, the founder and executive director of Colorado’s largest animal refuge, The Wildlife Sanctuary in Keenesberg.
“[T]hey have so few animals, they would easily be able to place every animal with another wildlife sanctuary,” Craig said.” “I can guarantee you that a lot of organizations would be glad to help.”

Hmm. Guarantee? A lot of organizations? But the owner says none? Whatever the truth is, that’s suck #3.

But wait, there’s more:

The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Department told Denver7 they were aware of the mass euthanasia and the burial of all 11 animals on the sanctuary grounds. But it said that though it was done before the department was informed, it found no regulations were broken.

Suck #4.

In this country, mass animal killings have been institutionalized by our municipal shelter system.  As in the sanctuary case, mass killings in shelters are largely unregulated and left to the discretion of directors.  Killing – wholly different from euthanasia to end the suffering of a medically hopeless animal – should not be optional, let alone unregulated.  There ought to be a law.

7 thoughts on “Sanctuary: a place of refuge or safety

  1. Thank you for your commentary! I had the same reaction when I read article a day or so ago. When “sanctuaries” and “rescues” think it’s okay for them to make life-and-death decisions without oversight of any kind, it’s time for stricter regulations and accountability!

  2. But that is just the problem .. this is not a “sanctuary” These animals were privately owned. There ought to be a law? wow there already hundreds of pages of “laws’ about the ownership of exotics most of them take away the right to own any of them thereby shrinking the gene pool and allowing for possible extinction of them. It is horribly sad that this happened but lets lay the blame where it belongs.. with the government .. these people asked for the move many times.. it was not just a quick decision.. it was the new “neighbors” can you say NIMBY who fought this here is a bit of your post “to allow for relocation of the sanctuary to another appropriately zoned property ” the zoning was fine the pressure came from the surrounding people who live near there..I think you have it backwards.. when we cannot make decisions about our own property ( our pets or livestock) we all lose.. including the animals.

  3. “When “sanctuaries” and “rescues” think it’s okay for them to make life-and-death decisions without oversight of any kind, it’s time for stricter regulations and accountability!.” you mean like this? the animals were seized from private ownership and since then have died, been killed, sickened , had poor care and moved from place to place .. all by the government .. be careful what you wish for

  4. agree mostly with suck 4 except the last line and the term “medically hopeless animals” who determines that? the government? you the owner, the vet? exactly who does say this animal is “hopeless” when it is my pet and my property ( yes sorry they are property and that is a benefit of both owner and animals) I make the decision and I want it to stay that way don’t you?

  5. This became a national story today when the Washington Post, which has a portion of the paper called Animalia that (obviously) covers animal issues, published the following:

    The Post’s piece, including their headline and the framing of the story, relied partly on work done by The Dodo, which normally publishes short feel-good snippets and videos, but last week did considerable interviewing about the sanctuary killings:

  6. I think what makes me the most angry is that there were other true “sanctuaries” who would have been able to take the animals. Those animals deserved so much better than they got.

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