Friday, October 23, 2009

How to Help the HartSong Ranch Animal Sanctuary

One would think a blind horse very uncomfortable with anything but all 4 feet on the ground, but not Ciara. I snapped this photo when she was just 10 months old. Ciara is, without a doubt, the happiest little blind filly in the whole wide world. Way to go, girl!

How to Help

HartSong Ranch Animal Sanctuary is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Animal Welfare Organization
All contributions are 100% tax-deductible. Donations, unless otherwise specified, deposit into the general fund and are used for medical care, food, shelter and farrier services.
In support of our charitable mission, there are many ways to help the disabled animals at the sanctuary:

Make a donation at any Wells Fargo branch to the HartSong Ranch Donations account.
Mail your donation to:HartSong Ranch Animal Sanctuary3900 Blue Heron WayGreenwood, CA 95635

Join The Friends of Ciara ClubDue to the out-pouring of love and interest in this beautiful filly, we decided to form The Friends of Ciara Club. Your support helps the sanctuary provide the special care she requires. She has much to learn about the world in the coming years. We graciously invite you to become a “Friend of Ciara” and support her journey. Membership is just $25. You will receive a hand written thank you, a portrait photograph of Ciara and quarterly email updates, complete with photos and/or video clips documenting her accomplishments and antics.

Attend one of our volunteer days to work on special projects or work with the animals. Please call us at 530-887-1263 or email Jim Hart. We will put your name on the volunteer list and notify you of upcoming volunteer days.

Our Wish List -

If interested in donating via Gift Certificate, please call Carolynne at Cool Feed and Ranch Supply, 530-887-0200 in Cool, CA.

FEED AlfalfaAlfalfa pelletsPurina Equine Senior Wheat BranRice BranBeet PulpFlax Seed Meal
SUPPLEMENTS Dynamite Plus Vitamin/MineralAni-flex joint supportMSMProbios (Probiotics) MISCELLANEOUS Fly Masks (Average horse)Fly sheets (small, medium and large)Muck forksMuck CartsWood Shavings (pine/fur)
TREATS CarrotsApplesPeaches (Ciara LOVES Peaches)

Please be assured that HartSong Ranch will never share or sell your proprietary information with any other individuals or organizations.

Thank you!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

HartSong Ranch - Raindance - Saving a Starved Horse

Beautiful Raindance

Raindance lived with the same family until she was 29 years old. She was the family horse. One day, for reason’s unknown, her long time owner’s put her in a stall with a bit of food and water, drove away and abandoned her. When authorities found her, she was 400 pounds under weight and unable to stand. Animal Control officer’s decided the best course of action was euthanasia. Fortunately, a kind-hearted neighbor lady, familiar with horses and aware of Raindance’s history, stepped up and asked if she could try to save her life instead of putting her down. They agreed to let her try.
About a month later, I met Raindance for the first time, a day I shall never forget. She displayed no emotion what-so-ever…didn’t raise her head…didn’t move her eyes…didn’t move away…didn’t do or acknowledge anything. She was defeated. We knew right then and there we had to bring her home to HartSong. Nursing a starved horse back to a healthy weight can be a very tricky endeavor. Knowing her digestive system needed time to reacquaint itself with the action of processing food and not wanting to overwhelm her already challenged state, we decided to eliminate all hay from her diet. Instead, 4 times a day and in very small amounts, she received a watered down mash of Purina Equine Senior, Purina Amplify, a bit of beet pulp, vitamins, minerals and probiotics. She savored every meal and sure enough, slowly but surely, her light began to shine.

"I can see you!"
Now 32 years old, Raindance is a healthy, energetic, beautiful Appaloosa mare, free to roam on 15 acres with her best buddy, Dandy, a 34 year old Quarter Horse. Raindance is a shining example of how good nutrition, good exercise and lots of good lovin’ can bring out the brilliant beauty and vibrant spirit of a once discarded and forgotten old horse. Shine on, Raindance! SHINE ON!!!

How to Help HartSong Ranch Animal Sanctuary is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Animal Welfare Organization. All contributions are 100% tax-deductible. Donations, unless otherwise specified, deposit into the general fund and are used for medical care, food, shelter and farrier services. In support of our charitable mission, there are many ways to help the disabled animals at the sanctuary: Donate online using your credit card. Access our secure donations page

Sunday, October 18, 2009

HartSong Ranch - Meet Miss Frizzle

Sweet "Frazzled" Frizzle

She is a “Frizzle” chicken by breed. Even so, we decided to call her “Frizzle”. How could we not? What name could be better? Before HartSong, she lived for 3 long years in a crowded, un-tended coop, spending most of her time hiding under just about anything, trying with all her might, to survive. As you can see, most of her feathers are gone, plucked out by the other hens in the coop that quite obviously, “did not like her”.

Frizzle on the move

She appears to have some sort of deformity in her feet, causing her to stagger occasionally, as if drunk. We find this little “hitch-in-her -giddy-up” quite charming even though I’m certain it’s the reason for her battle scars. Just the same, everyone at HartSong finds her adorable. One thing’s for sure, she’s a survivor. Only 6 days at the sanctuary and everyday, she is happier than the day before. I haven’t a clue as to when her feathers will return but already, her dignity is on the rise. Someday soon, her spirit will shine. After all, her name is ”Frizzle”…

About Rhythms of the Ranch HartSong Ranch grants permanent sanctuary to animals with disabilities. Most of our residents are blind. All require some kind of specialized care. Our mission is to provide a landscape of quiet and tranquility for the animals that live here – a sanctuary where they can enjoy nature, peace of mind and rejuvenated spirits.

We invite you to experience the joy in knowing them. Their stories are inspiring and their lives profoundly worthwhile.

Please feel free to visit our website.
If you wish to make a donation to HartSong Ranch, click here

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

HartSong Ranch - The Story of Dewey, a Wild Pup

Dewey, hiding in the blankets, his first day at HartSong Ranch

When my husband Jim and I moved to Northern California in 1997, we notified the various animals shelters and rescue organizations in the area of our interest in becoming foster parents for dogs. It didn’t take long until we had a house full of canines. Most of them came to us due to over crowded conditions in the shelters. We provided safe housing, lots of love and companionship and then one day, when the perfect forever family was found, off they would go to a new, happy life. But every once in awhile, one would come along that could never be put up for adoption. The sanctuary cases. The ones like Dewey.

Dewey, before his escape to the bushes

He was turned in to the Nevada County Animal shelter at about 8 weeks of age, severely dehydrated, dying of starvation and terrified, truly terrified of being around people…being handled by people…being confined…being touched. Dewey was not just a frightened little pup, he was a frightened little “wild” pup and he was very, very sick. We’re not certain what became of his Mother, but from the looks of him, he had been on his own for quite some time. A kind hearted couple at a Northern California camp ground noticed this starving little pup hiding in the bushes. After a few days, they were able to capture him in a large box, lured in by a bit of left over cat food. The following morning, they kindly delivered him to The Nevada County Animal Shelter. Christened Dewey, he was immediately admitted into ICU. Sammie’s Friends, a 501©(3)non-profit organization located in Grass Valley, provided the funds for Dewey’s 3 day stay in ICU. His condition improved, but only slightly. He still suffered from chronic diarrhea, dehydration and his fear of people caused him to remain in a very anxious state. Emotionally, he had a really long road ahead of him. No way could a dog like Dewey survive the adoption process. One of the shelter administrators, aware of our work with “special needs” dogs, decided to give us a call. This special little pup, she explained, didn’t need a foster home…this special little pup needed sanctuary. The next day we drove to Grass Valley and brought him back to HartSong. He was only 9 weeks old.

Dewey's hiding place-the Juniper bush
Terrified of being in or anywhere near the house, he found safe haven, much to my dismay, in a large Juniper bush in the front yard. For the next 12 months, that’s where he lived…in the Juniper bush. Twice a day, we would put his food bowl near the opening of his den and only when the coast was clear of humans, would he inch out of his hiding place to gobble down his food. About a year went by and then one very special day, there he was, standing in the middle of the yard, away from the bushes. Slowly but surely, he started to trust.

Dewey today-calm, comfortable and happy

2009 marks Dewey’s 4th year at HartSong.

He now spends his days romping and frolicking with the other dogs that live at the sanctuary. He has his favorite spot on the dog sofa and curls up with the rest of his buddies when it’s time for bed. Finally, he is one very happy dog. His major quirk? He is terrified of visitors. As soon as he spies a stranger, he immediately reverts to his old ways…back to the bushes. More than once I’ve been asked by concerned on-lookers, “what‘s wrong with that dog…is he OK?” So…just so you know, if you happen to visit the sanctuary and you notice a medium sized, brown-brindled dog, slinking from bush to bush, trembling, salivating and obviously very afraid, well that would be Dewey…the happiest little pup in the whole wide world.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The HartSong Project

AHA (Artists Helping Animals)

The HartSong Project is a collaborative endeavor by musicians/artists with a common voice; a voice of respect, compassion and concern for all animals.
The Project’s first release is the “Seeing is Believing” CD, a collection of original songs, written and performed by musicians, that in some way, shape or form, have some kind of musical connection with the foothills of Northern California.
In the spring of 2008, we put the word out that we were looking for players to help record a fund-raising CD.

Musicians from near and far stepped up to the plate, offering their time and talents in support of our mission at HartSong Ranch. I guess you could say, we are “singing for their (the animals) suppers.”
The anticipated CD release date is June 2010. In the mean time, we have posted “Sooner of Later,” an original composition by co-founders of HartSong Ranch, Jim and Kathy Hart. Please download and enjoy. We invite you to check back in for recording session photos, video clips and updates. (to be posted soon)

Proceeds from the sale of the “Seeing is Believing” CD will go directly toward feed, veterinary services, shelter and farrier services for the permanent residents that live at the sanctuary.
If you would like to contribute and/or participate in The HartSong Project, email Jim Hart.
Our sincere thanks to all whom have graciously contributed to this project.
Your generosity is greatly appreciated.
HartSong Studio

Sooner or Later - Music and Lyrics by Kathy Hart ©2005Kathy Hart – Bass/Vocals – Greenwood, CAJim Hart - Drums/Recording engineer – Greenwood, CAKelly Stephens - Guitar/Keyboard – Cool, CA
Sooner or Later - The inspiration for this song was our awareness to the plight of PMU* foals. It is a song
of sorrow, then hope, action and triumph.
Thank you for listening.
*PMU stands for pregnant mare urine. The urine is used in the production of Premarin and Prempro, both well-known hormone replacement therapies. The drug companies want to keep mares pregnant and so every year, the byproducts, their babies, which number in the thousands, are sent to slaughter in Canada. Please, for the sake of baby horses and their mothers, I urge women everywhere to educate themselves on other available forms of HRT.
It’s time to find another way!

Monday, July 27, 2009

HartSong Ranch ~ Hurray for The Dusty Divider's

The Dusty Divider’s 4-H Club paid a visit to HartSong on Saturday, January 31st, volunteering their time to help us out with some of the never ending project’s around the ranch. How cool is that!!! I’m certain a great day was had by all, even tho most of the time was spent moving ”something” from one spot to another. Armed with manure and pitch forks, the Dusty Divider’s spent the morning hours moving poop…a whole bunch of poop…from numerous pastures surrounding the old barn, all the way back to the manure pile(10 cows and 9 horses create an awful lot of patties and apples!!!). Ahhh!!!…such is life amongst the animals. Then, off to move “a whole bunch of big rocks” piled up by the caretakers cabin, all the way down to the dam on the south side of the pond. Hard work makes for big appetites…finally, lunch time! Then…you guessed it! Off to move “a whole bunch of downed branches” from the west side of the pond all the way over to the burn pile. Ahhh!!!…ranch life.

The day was also filled with laughter and lots of giggles. Some of HartSong’s residents had an adventurous time, as well. Chickita, the blind chicken, Lacey, the blind goat and her brother Nigel, all joined us on the east side of the property. Chickita(she’s one smart chicken) hitched a ride on the shoulders of Brandon Biersteker while Lacey and Nigel followed along.
The Biale family, however, provided the animal highlight of the day.

Showgirl Chickens~ZaZa & Obama

They brought along and introduced us to ZaZa and Obama, Showgirl Chickens, which are crosses between Silkes and Naked Necks. These very special chicks have black skin, featherless necks and five toes(most chickens have 4 toes). Incredibly cute! I want one…maybe two…OK, maybe three!

“I’m so pretty, I’m so pretty…”

Around 3 o’clock, we started to wrap things up for the day and said our good-byes to the Dusty Divider’s. What a great group of hard working, young people. Lily, Rachael, Natalia, Simone and all the parents…thank you for giving so generously of yourselves to HartSong. How wonderfully rewarding to spend the day in the presence of young people that make such a difference in their community. Awesome Job!!!

Chickita Cruisin’
At days’ end, Nigel, Lacey and sweet Chickita somehow managed to finagle a ride in the truck back to the west barn. Chickita made the entire trip roosted on the doorframe of Big Blue…and some people think animals are stupid…go figure!!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

HartSong Ranch ~ More Than Blind Horses

Most folks know HartSong as a facility that offers permanent sanctuary to blind horses, but we also offer sanctuary to many other barnyard critters.

Lacey, the little blind goat

Lacey is a 2 year old Nigerian Dwarf goat. Born blind, she came to live at HartSong at 8 months of age. Oh, how we worried about her at first…how would she get around?…would she fall into the canal?…would she get lost? Well, have no fear for her brother and designated tour guide, Nigel, is here too!!! Most days Lacey can be found lounging in the pastures with our merry band of blind horses, but every now and then, she gets what we call “the goots”, just a- flippin’ and a-hoppin’ and a-springin’ all over the place. And all the while, she never bumps into anything! She is the happiest, little goat!!!

Spumoni, the beak-less chicken

Here you have it folks, a real life “chicken with lips”. Sweet Spumoni was the victim of a brutal dog attack. The pooch literally chewed her beak off. Unable to fend for herself, Spumoni was welcomed to the sanctuary in March of 2009. The good news, with proper care and a nutritous diet, her beak will grow back. But this is going to take some time. Maybe as much as a year. In all other regards, Spumoni is a normal, run-of-the-mill chicken. She struts around the barnyard everyday with her chicken buddy ”Flour”, takes dust baths and even lays eggs. For the moment, however, she has difficulty feeding herself(throw down 10 grapes and she might be able to gobble up 3). So, twice a day, we help her along by hand feeding her a mash of blended lentils, cheese, split peas and believe it or not, one raw egg, which she herself, graciously provides. Slowly but surely, her new beak is starting to grow. “Well, I’ll be darned”. Such a fascinating little bird.

Red, 1 minute old

Red was the first baby born at HartSong. 24 hours after his birth, we found him lying alone at the bottom of a ravine, barely alive. His mother, Jezabelle, developed mastitis, a painful infection of the udder that riddled her milk with bacteria. We hauled Red up to the barn, put him in a nice bed of soft shavings and called the vet. “Feed him” the vet said, and that’s exactly what we did, for 8 long months. At first, 4 bottles per day for two months, then three bottles, then two, then one and finally, none. Red was not happy, to say the least.

Red, slurping down his formula

Weaning him off the bottle was no easy task. He wanted his bottle more than anything in the whole wide world and would stand for hours in the barnyard Mooing and Mooing and Mooing…the most agonizing Moo you can imagine. We could hear him all over the ranch. “Where’s my milk”? “Why aren’t you feeding me”? Neighbor’s called with concerns and Jim and I found ourselves with a tremendous case of the guilts. Finally, after what seemed like forever, he gave up and accepted his fate to spend his days grazing in the pastures along side his mother and other cow companions.

Sweet, mischievous Red, all grown up

Today Red is a happy, emotionally balanced cow, one of HartSong’s nine organic lawnmowers, helping to keep our pastures clean, manicured and of course, very well fertilized. He is also a friend. A kind, sweet and gentle friend who just so happens to have a very mischievous personality. Whom ever coined the phrase, “curiosity of a cat”, never met Red!
We love that about him!!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

HartSong Ranch - Meet Bess

Meet the Animals

Amazing grace, how sweet the soundTo save a soul like meI once was lost but now I’m foundWas blind, but now I see…


We call her Big, Old Bessy Girl and believe me, she is all that and so much more. A mighty Appaloosa, approximately 28 years old and completely blind, Bess was a force to be reckoned with when she first came to live at the sanctuary and more than a couple of times, sent my husband diving into the dirt to escape the wrath of her powerful back legs. If we tried to approach her, she would swing her head violently from side to side as if to say, “Don’t you dare come any closer!” And for quite some time, we didn’t.

Blind horses cannot turn away and run from that which frightens them. Their only recourse is to face the fear head on. Bess’ approach was to puff up her massive chest, strike a pose and courageously stand her ground. As fearful as I was of her, I so admired her bravery. Not wanting to add to her anxiety, or ours, we decided the best course of action was to just leave her be. We would visit with her many times every day, but always from afar. If she happened to be standing near the fence line upon our approach, she would quickly move to the center of the paddock.

I was beginning to wonder if we would ever gain her trust and then one day, one very special day, she sauntered over to say “hello”. I will never forget the moment. I like to think it was as magical for her, as it was for us.
It is our policy that all horses at the sanctuary have a buddy, but try as we might; we could not
find a buddy for Bess. Her dominance over the other horses always lead to tense situations until one day, a tiny, malnourished, five week old blind filly named Ciara came to live at the sanctuary. It was “love at first sight” for these two blind horses. Theirs is truly a match made in heaven.
Today, Bess is calm, polite and very, very gentle. She has found her way, and she has found her purpose in Ciara. We are so happy for her.

Please check out HartSong Ranch. We are a non profit organization specializing in disabled animals. Most of our residents are blind. They survive because of your donations!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

HartSong Ranch - About the Sanctuary

Hartsong Ranch is located on 30 rolling acres in the beautiful Sierra Nevada foothill community of Greenwood, California. We are named HartSong Ranch for two reasons. First, our last name is Hart. Second, we are musicians, therefore, “song” in Hartsong. Jim is a drummer and I am a bassist/songwriter. Without question, the animals at the sanctuary inspire many of the melodies for the music we create. (Please check out the HartSong Project page.)

New arrivals to the sanctuary share two primary commonalities. They are disabled and… they are defeated. Remarkably, therein lies the inspiration. Early on, we learned these special animals are defeated, not by their disability, but rather their environmental circumstance. So we set out to change the circumstance. We put them back in nature and by doing so, gave them a choice. “Remain as you are, or find your way-you decide”? Guess what? They ALWAYS choose to find their way. ALWAYS! Watching them become masters of their surroundings is truly fascinating. Everyday, they navigate trees, rocks, hills, fences and watering holes. They go on long walks, stand in the sun, roll in the dirt, scratch on the trees, play, frolic and kick up their heels. They are healthy, appreciative and so happy to be alive. Therein, lies the reward.