Coronavirus fears prompts animal sanctuary to seek donations to protect the animals

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A Warren County animal sanctuary is seeking donations from the public to ensure all its animals will remain fed if the coronavirus outbreak gets worse.

Tamala Lester, founding director of the Barnyard Sanctuary in Columbia says that she wants to purchase items the nonprofit farm will need now while she can still have those items delivered. She is raising money to buy those items.

The 15-acre farm houses nearly 600 rescued animals. Lester says that she wants to make sure that they are protected.

“I didn’t rescue them from a fate worse than death…and bring them here for them to die of starvation,” Lester says.

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Lester says she relies on weekly deliveries to keep the animals fed. If that were to be disrupted by the coronavirus, they wouldn't have enough supplies to properly care for the animals.

"If we do nothing and we get to the point where the borders are closed or the feed is sold out or whatever and we can't get it, and the prices go through the ceiling, we can't feed the animals and we wouldn't survive that,” she says.

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Lester says that she wants to raise enough money to purchase and store four months of supplies. She says that the outbreak has already had an impact on her monthly donors.

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“In the last week, 5% of them have called up and canceled,” she says. “I was asking them why. It’s the unease, the uncertainly of what’s going to happen and they want to have all their money available.”

The money raised will go towards hay, medicine and specific feds for the animals.

“We’re not going to give them ‘Brand A’ one day and ‘Brand B’ the next day because it upsets their digestive systems,” she says.

The fundraising goal is about $51,000. Lester says if they raise all of the money, some of the funds will go toward buying a storage shed to put on their property, so they don't have to take the items off-site. More information can be found on the sanctuary’s website.

For more information, click here.

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