Like all children growing up, I loved animals, and I have never outgrown that love. It’s easy to like things when you are a kid, but as you get older, the little piles of things that aren’t liked get bigger and there are more of them. But it seems that even the most grumpy people can be brought to smiles and some good feelings when there’s some animals around.
At our home in Malibu, I have two horses, a dog, and three burros who live with us! They are a great joy in our lives. I know that most of you care for and love animals just as we do. Thank you for that. This letter is especially for you.
For many years, I had heard there is a somewhat secret place called the Wildlife Waystation, hidden in the Angeles National Forest, which cares for exotic animals that come to them from medical testing labs, circuses, roadside zoos, or from people thinking they’d make great pets but later abandoned them. I wanted to see for myself, but I heard that it was not open to the public and that I could visit only by invitation. Very recently, I was talking to one of my customers about animals, and the subject of the Wildlife Waystation came up. As it turned out, my customer knew someone there on their board and, with a little persuasion, I managed to get an invitation to go out there for a visit.
So, about two weeks ago, I, my parents, my daughter, and some friends drove over, and we were thrilled about what we saw and experienced – so much so that I’m writing this letter to all of you. When I arrived, I didn’t know what to expect. We visited the many extremely well-cared for animals for well over an hour and saw chimpanzees, lions, tigers, grizzly bears, zebras, camels, and many hundreds of other exotic species . . . almost all arriving at the Waystation from very bad experiences with humans. Each animal we saw animal had a sad story – but now a happy ending.
After our tour, we sat down to a terrific lunch prepared just for us. We had lots of conversation with the Waystation founder, Martine Colette. She told us that the Waystation has been there for 40 years and has been “home” for more than 76,000 exotic animals. It was the first such facility anywhere in America when she started it. I had lots of questions. Amongst them was costs! I asked her: “How much does this all cost and how can you afford to do all this?
She told us that to keep all the animals healthy and happy and meet all the governments’ strict regulations, it costs millions each year. I was amazed by the enormous costs needed to care for the animals.
We also found out that the Waystation has been mostly closed to visitors for twelve years because it doesn’t have money needed to meet very strict regulations to be open to visitors. Not being able to have visitors for the past 12 years has made it very difficult for the Waystation to raise the money they need keep operating.
So, I decided – I am going to help raise money to help the Waystation meet all the requirements so that this terrific place can re-open to visitors. That’s about $250,000. It shouldn’t be “LA’s best kept secret”; it has to be very well-known, and be one more thing that every Los Angeles citizen can be proud to be a part of. When visitors are again able to visit and tour through the grounds and see the animals, I’m confident they’ll attract the money they need to do even a better job than they currently do for these beautiful animals.
That’s why I’m writing to you now. Here’s their website where you can learn about all their beautiful animals: http://wildlifewaystation.org/animals.htm
Now, one more thing: I’d like to know if my emails and blog postings are being of benefit or not. Should you visit the site and give something, if you could write “Avi sent me”, I’d appreciate that. When you do this, the Waystation will know that your gift should go towards re-opening the Waystation and that you are one of Mulholland Security’s friends. Thanks to all of you. Happy Holidays !!”