The Tulgey Wood Critter Refuge is dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and sanctuary of companion animals, and to demonstrating a way for our humanity to catch up with our technology and share the planet with all living things.
Where are we now with this?
Presently, we are a cat sanctuary with a watch dogs, guard geese, chickens, ducks, geese, a peacock, and 2 burros on a 40-acre property outside Inyokern, California in the Mojave Desert. (We're still in the RV camping phase, so don't get too excited about facilities yet.) Since 1996, alternative architecture has been explored for shelter. The facilities have been powered by a small solar photovoltaic array and wind turbine which were donated by the founder.
I have been working with the city shelter as I feel that the animals will be best served if we work the problem with the official city shelter, Ridgecrest Animal Shelter. The cause is not helped if all the shelters and rescues are duplicating each others' efforts. The cause is also diminished by creating the appearance of conflict between groups.
I help find sources for feed donations, and created and maintain the Ridgecrest Animal Shelter's Petfinder site. I research and write grants for the Indian Wells Valley Humane Society spay/neuter voucher programs and the mobile veterinary clinic. We help to find spay/neuter resources for the community, and advocate trap/neuter/return (TNR) for feral cats. And of course the Tulgey Wood takes in kitty overflow from the city shelter when requested as well as from the community at large.
When we build the facility we intend to explore alternative shelter and energy. This is not meant to be a diversion of our time and resources, but rather a saver of those. The critters need buildings for shelter. So why not advocate straw bale, rammed earth, round Deltec Homes, Earthships or reusing shipping containers? The critters need cool water for drinking and warm water for bathing, power for lights (so their caretakers can see what they are doing), power for washing their bedding and dishes, and refrigeration for medications, vaccines, and special diets. They need heat in the winter, and cooling in the summer. It's all in the choices we make to do the things that have to be done anyway. And for each of these choices, the alternative choice seems to pay for itself by reducing or eliminating certain operating costs involved in maintaining shelter facilities. Which means more funds will be available to help more animals. So why not?
Of course, our main focus will always be the care of homeless pets and changing their plight through education, outreach, and neuter, neuter, neuter. However, we think that the rest of it ties into the main purpose for this reason: if human existence is seen as "them or us," i.e., the environment and our fellow travelers on this big rock hurtling through the cosmos vs. humans, the former will always lose. Humans may not necessarily want to sacrifice the environment to expediency, but the alternative is not mainstream, not familiar, and not visible. Without the demonstration of a lifestyle that is comfortable and attainable yet does not compromise the future of this big, blue ball that we all call home, nothing will change for the better.
a space with a cluster of round buildings connected by breezeways that form a safe, huge courtyard where kitties can play. Imagine window seats set into thick walls, overlooking wildlife and native flora. Imagine one great room where there are overstuffed couches, bookshelves, and coffee tables with a few happy dogs lounging after a good morning run. Imagine sculpted cat-walks wandering up the walls of the room and cubby holes with kitties sleeping and playing. Imagine a bank of solar panels, wind turbines, and ponds for water collection, our guard-geese, and wildlife habitat. Imagine volunteers and visitors reading and chatting, having an espresso or a cup of tea whilst tickling the tummies of their new best friends before they take them home, some four-legged, furry friend to warm the foot of their bed and love them always.
if there were more good and caring homes waiting than pets available for adoption, and awaiting adoption here, or someplace like here, was the worst thing that would ever happen to a homeless pet.