Good news from the lockdown at our sanctuary. We are making it work and the animals love it!

Problem: California is under a mandatory corona virus stay at home order, but we have to care for our animals. So how do we do both?

Mandatory corona virus stay at home order

April, 2020

Dear Partner,

For decades I’ve had a standing order, in case of emergency, that we would NEVER have less than 2-months inventory of food and supplies for our animals when the trucks roll up the driveway to restock us. That way we would aways have a 4-6 months supply of everything when we are full.

And I have stowed a water filter system that operates by hand should we lose power for months after the “big” earthquake. We can keep our animals watered from our huge pond producing upwards of 120-gallons an hour.

As I write this we are under a mandatory “stay at home order” from the Governor of California . . . !

Knowing that the corona virus was hitting, and that it would become an epidemic in this country, and that a national likely was possible . . . I made a plan . . . .

First, all staff was admitted by security only after their temperatures were taken at the gates and proven to be normal. Anyone with an elevated temp would be sent home. Thankfully nobody has had a temp.

Then I offered our employees a “lockdown deal.” Anyone staying on our properties in a government lockdown would get double-time for their work plus $100-a-night for staying over. But if they left the property they would not be allowed back in. This was a bribe!

About one-third of our staff “volunteered” to stay. Then it hit!

So now the rest of the staff is not allowed to come to work and endanger the lockdown staff. And even though we are exempt from the state order by being an “essential service,”this is my order! We have to remain as safe as possible to care for all our animals.

At the sanctuary we have an outside “shopper” standing in line at the stores and leaving the groceries outside our gates. And though we told everyone to bring a month’s supply of food with them, they can have fresh produce and other food as long as the stores remain open.

We don’t know how long this order will last, but I expect the most dangerous time for us will be when the order is lifted due to a failing economy.

I think that weighing the collateral damage of the virus against the economy and the country’s failing . . . the government will accept the collateral damage . . . the loss of lives.

But we have a plan for when the isolation orders are lifted too. Our staff will wear masks when they come into contact with other workers. Otherwise they will stay at least 6-feet apart. They will wear gloves and disinfect all surface areas constantly. Social distancing is still the key.

March 2020 newsletterWe will change our operations so fewer people are coming and going. And all vendors and delivery people will have to wear gloves and masks at our sanctuary.

We will get through this, but I have to tell you, worrying about all our animals is stressful and I am thankful that I have partners like you who support this mission financially . . .  and who keep our animals alive.

For the animals,

Leo Grillo, founder


We need your emergency help!

Our animals are happy with all the extra company, especially the cats! But we are paying our staff double wages, and it’s also costing us $1600 a night to pay them to remain holed up at our sanctuary during this “stay at home” order.

We are still getting our mail, and we have staff living at the office to handle your gifts and phone calls. So please send your MOST generous gift now. Or if you prefer not to use the mail, you can go on our web site and DONATE there by Paypal or credit card.  Please be generous as we are all in this together and we are committed to keeping our animals safe no matter what.

Yes, Leo, I want to help our animals get through this corona virus emergency. Here’s my life-saving gift of…

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