Thursday, November 18, 2010

$4100 Raised for HartSong Ranch and Animal Sanctuary at Cowgirls Care! 1st Annual FunRaiser!

Donna Nelson & Chrystie Davis, representing Cowgirls Care, donating the $4100 check to Jim & Kathy Hart of HartSong Ranch & Animal Sanctuary

Our first FunRaiser, benefiting HartSong Ranch and Animal Sanctuary, was a success! With the help of what seemed like a zillion people, Cowgirls Care! donated just over $4100 to HartSong Ranch and Animal Sanctuary.

We want to thank everyone who volunteered, helped out, participated, and joined in on the fun. This money will help the horses at HartSong receive the dental care they need.

To recap:
Sheriff "Foothill" Phil arrests Paul and puts him in the "chicken coop jail". Looks like Paul didn't purchase his Get Out of Jail card.
Sheriff “Foothill” Phil made a number of arrests and managed to put some people in jail, at least those who didn’t purchase a “Get Out of Jail Card” first.

Rubber Duckies raced twice, as it was a popular event.

Rubber Duckies warming up prior to race time.
Tom Mayes, of Integrated Equine
Therapies, demonstrated how he

And they're off!!!
works with horses to help them heal.Lots of food; perfectly cooked tri-tip, salad, bread, yummy appetizers, plus cupcake cakes in the shape of boots.

Auction and drawing prizes were top notch, including 2 round trip airfare tickets to many USA cities, bed and breakfast vacations, custom-made leather chaps, an amazing horse shoe lamp, photography, art and more.

Plus, last but not least, the music of The Old West Trio.

It was a great event and we look forward to planning more events to raise money for equine rescue programs.

Thank you again, to everyone who helped out. We really could not have done it without you and we appreciate it from the bottom of our horsey-hearts!

Please click Cowgirls Care Program to download a PDF of the event program, which includes all who helped out.
Tom and Yolanda Mayes of Integrated E
quine Therapies

Friday, August 13, 2010

Woodrow's Last Day at HartSong Ranch Animal Sanctuary

Saturday, August 31st was a pretty typical day on the ranch, until 5:30 in the afternoon rolled around. Something was up!

It was feeding time and Woodrow wasn't standing in the chow line. I recall not feeling "too" alarmed because a couple of hours earlier, I caught a glimpse of him wandering through the barnyard on his way to the water trough for his 3:30pm drink, something he did everyday, just like clock work. He was right on time and nothing about his demeanor triggered concern. Jim hopped on the tractor and headed down the gravel road toward the front gate while myself, Summer, HartSong's caretaker, Aiden, her 5 year old son and Paul, the foreman, searched the pastures and ravines. About 10 minutes later, Jim delivered the horrible news that Woodrow was dead, found lying on his right side near one of the many large out-croppings of blackberry bushes that follow the canal. We were all in disbelief until we actually saw him. It was true. Woodrow was gone.

Many have speculated as to "what" caused Woodrow to die. In that there wasn't a mark on him, some type of attack by a mountain lion or a bear was ruled out of the equation. We are all aware that lions and bears live in the area, but we've never sighted one within the gates of HartSong. Woodrow wasn't wet either, indicating that he did not encounter some kind of life threatening struggle in the canal. Some say he could have been bitten by a rattlesnake, but when I stop to consider the size and brawn of Woodrow, I think it highly unlikely a rattler would have brought him down. Some think he might have ingested something poisonous, but what? No hazardous chemicals are left lying about and no poisonous plants or vegetation grows on the sanctuary grounds. I remember learning in nursing school that often times, in humans and animals alike, if there's one challenging condition, like Woodrow's blindness, there's the chance of another, un-detected and lurking beneath. Perhaps Woodrow had a heart condition. Perhaps he had a stroke. The truth of the matter is, we'll never know exactly what happened to Woodrow. Somehow, I wish I could know what caused him to fall.

We buried him that night up on Old Horse Hill. His famous pink, 36 C Cup Bra hangs permanently on the big, metal gate that opens into the barn. We will continue to speak of Woodrow...his life, his challenges and his accomplishments during our tours, ensuring that "his message" lives on. He taught us many things and by far the most important of all was that he himself, his spirit, his playfulness and his intelligence reinforced the revelation that all farm animals...cows, pigs, chickens, goats and sheep, are highly sensitive, feeling, emotional creatures, all deserving of respect and compassionate consideration while on this earth, even a little, blind, lost baby cow named Woodrow. Everyone that met Woodrow or came to know his story, got his message, loud and clear. Job well done, Woodrow. Rest in peace.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

HartSong Ranch Animal Sanctuary - Woodrow’s 36-C Cup Bra

Saturday of last week, about 5:30 in the afternoon, HartSong’s caretaker, Summer Honeyman, called to tell me she couldn’t find Woodrow, our 9 month old, totally blind, Black Angus calf. This was unsettling news indeed because it was after all, feeding time and Woodrow is ALWAYS in the barnyard at feeding time. He never misses a meal! After about thirty minutes of searching, Summer found him, happily munching on a grassy pasture with HartSong’s 10 other happy cows. Normally, this discovery would not have been a big deal except for the fact that this particular pasture is located all the way on the other side of the ranch meaning that in order for Woodrow to get himself over there, he had to bravely cross the canal, now running very fast and deep, navigate his way entirely around the pond, cross the dam and climb the big hill that leads up to the east barn. WOW!!! He had never done that before!!! Way to go, Woodrow!!! He wasn’t the slightest bit interested to follow us back to the west side and in that he had once before survived a night away from the safety of the west barn, we decided to let him spend another night with the rest of the herd.

Early the next morning, I very much regretted the decision when I spied Woodrow, slowly staggering up the gravel road headed for the west barn. From a distance, I could tell something was wrong because his head was cocked in a funny sort of way and he appeared to have difficulty with his balance, almost walking as if drunk. When I got up close to him, I saw the blood and immediately saw the problem. The outer casing of his left horn was completely gone, revealing a pointed mass of bleeding, inflamed tissue. Apparently sometime during the night, Woodrow collided with something so violently that the force of the encounter severed the outer casing of his horn. The left side of his face was covered in blood and he was obviously in a lot of pain. He needed immediate help so I pulled out my cell phone, called the vet and two hours later, Jim, myself and Woodrow pulled up to the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital in Davis, CA.

After a 5 minute examination by Dr. Vengai Mavangira, a food animal vet from Zimbabwe, it was decided the only way to eliminate Woodrow’s pain was to remove his horns entirely. For those of you that might not know, the meat or interior of the horn is a highly sensitive mass, packed with nerves and blood vessels and when broken, the pain can be excruciating and sometimes, the wound can kill a cow if not treated promptly. Without hesitation, we gave the go ahead and 45 minutes later, Woodrow was hornless, leaving him with two gaping holes(each about the size of a quarter) where his horns used to be. Dr. Mavangira pointed out that peering into the hole revealed his sinus cavity, a “pink, fleshy void” just a bit bigger than a softball. How bizarre. I had no idea. Medical protocol following a de-horning procedure is to “not” bandage the wounds as covering up the holes would encourage the accumulation of moisture and moisture breeds bacteria so to eliminate the chance of infection, the standard operating procedure is to leave the cauterized holes open to the air. Concerned, I asked Dr. Mavangira, “what about the flies?” He replied, “Well, they can be a big problem so I suggest the following two options. Number 1, spray the holes daily with fly spray and keep your fingers crossed the flies don’t find Woodrow’s sinus cavities suitable environments in which to lay their eggs or, number 2, try to finagle some type of covering, perhaps out of fly mask material, to cover the holes while allowing for adequate ventilation.” Not wanting to spray pesticide directly onto a fresh, open wound, Jim and I decided the best course of action would be to design some type of covering. Our first attempt was to cut up one of the horse’s fly masks but we couldn’t get it to fit. The Velcro closure was in the wrong place and the material was too rigid. Then, we tried to fashion a kind of “plug” to place over the holes but we couldn’t figure out how to securely attach the “plug” to his head.

Distressed, I went in search of Woodrow and found him standing in the canal, tossing his head from side to side, trying to rid himself of the flies that were, as predicted, crawling in and out of the holes in his head. I stood there for a long while evaluating the situation …hmmmmm….two bumps that need to be covered… and then it dawned on me….what about a bra?

As luck would have it, a week earlier, I picked up a truck load of donations for our annual barn sale and I remembered seeing a suitcase full of bras. Even though my husband thought me “completely off my rocker”, I went digging and found a brand new, baby pink, padded, 36-C cup bra. I cut away the padded inner lining to ensure ventilation, put his ears through the arm bands, tied them together under his neck and connected the back clasp to the arm bands. Well, I’ll be darned, it fit perfectly. Go figure!!! Only a “woman rancher” could have thought this one up!!! Later that week, I emailed Dr. Mavangira a few photos of Woodrow modeling his new head gear. He replied and I quote, “Well….I must say that I am at a loss for words. This is GREAT! These pictures will make it to my lectures and of course, I will give you the credit.”
I’m thrilled to let you know that Woodrow has been sashaying around the sanctuary in his “pink bra” for over a week now.

Unfortunately, he will have to wear “the pink 36-C cup bra” for the next month until his horn holes close up. I’m quite certain he doesn’t much appreciate the fact that he’s outfitted with a “pink bra”, but he sure likes all the attention. Over the Holiday weekend, we had quite a few visitors to the sanctuary. One woman, before she was even out of her car, hollered at me, “why is there a black cow standing in the canal with a pink bra on his head?” So, I told her…..
HartSong Ranch Animal Sanctuary is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Animal Welfare Organization
supported entirely by private contributions
3900 Blue Heron Way • Greenwood, CA 95635 • Email

Monday, May 17, 2010

HartSong Ranch Animal Sanctuary Needs Your Help - Urgent!

We here at HartSong Ranch Animal Sanctuary do not make it a habit of sending out urgent pleas for help but we have no other options in such a short amount of time. We would really appreciate you cross posting this and sharing it on your page as well as others.

These are the latest two horses to get dumped at the Enumclaw Sales Pavillion in Washinton. It is just heartbreaking.

The chestnut is blind and completely depends on the bay to be his eyes - it's horrific to think of them as a feed lot and possibly seperated. They have until next weekend before they will be shipped to slaughter and because of their large size they are priced at $450.00 each.

Katie Merwick with Second Chance Ranch in Washington called me to see if we could offer them a home. We are very interested yet sadly, cannot afford to feed two more mouths and we need fencing materials to build them a paddock area. There is nothing worse than a blind horse standing in a stall. If however, we are able to secure sponsorships for their care or at least donations to help us with the transition, we would then place the call to save them. These two horses only have until Friday of this week before they are loaded onto a slaughter truck bound for Mexico (they stab horses to death in Mexico!). Time is of the essense and their time is running out.

The blind chestnut has already had a horrific accident at the auction house having been bumped into and falling into a 10' water trough. We must get them out asap. Please help!

Donations can be made on our website at:

Please call us at (530) 887-1263 if you can help!
Katie Merwick with the Second Chance Ranch in Washington can be reached at (425) 443-4638
Kristi Lynn is coordinating these efforts and can be reached at (206) 228-0377


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

HartSong Ranch Animal Sanctuary

Sony Pulitzer Project: Report. A documentary demonstrating a world without judgment featuring HartSong Ranch and music from Rob Carona. The inspiring (and sometimes heart-wrenching) events they face in their selfless efforts to care for disabled animals. Kathy & Jim Hart share the beauty and lessons of compassion through these majestic creatures with the people of their community.

Monday, March 8, 2010

HartSong Ranch Animal Sanctuary

HartSong Ranch: A sanctuary for blind and disabled animals in Greenwood, CA. 15 of the most beautiful acres in the Eldorado foothills. And some of the most caring people you'll ever meet.