Animal sanctuary doing what it can to weather economic, natural storms

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By Crystal Nelson

While tough economic times have hurt many charities financially, Creative Acres has been dealing with additional challenges brought on by the states extreme weather. Over the last five years, the no-kill, free-roam animal sanctuary has been through a blizzard and a flood but it’s this year’s drought that has taken the greatest toll on the non-profit organization.
    “This year has been really hard because usually I’m stocked up for food in September and everything is done and I can begin my fundraising but this year I have just been spending my time in search (of funding),” Director Maxine Mager said, adding a lot of the usual grants have not come through because of the economy and four of them aren’t around any more.

    Mager said the drought has caused the cost of animal feed to triple, and in some instances, quadruple. She said chicken scratch that used to cost between $5 and $7, currently costs between $13 and $20 and that the sanctuary goes through approximately 40 to 50 bags a month. The grass hay that used to cost $5 a bale now costs $16 a bale and she estimates 400 bales will be needed to get the animals through the winter.
 “We’re never gonna close, people know my passion, but we definitely need the public’s support more than ever because we’re trying to play catch up,” she said.
    Creative Acres has a growing wish list of things it could use in order to “catch up” before winter. Mager said money is the best donation because it can be used to purchase feed, medicine and help with veterinary services, but that the sanctuary could also use supplies such as dog food, cat food, scoop-able litter, paper towels, and disposable gloves. In addition to supplies, the sanctuary could use volunteers and skilled workers who can help with various construction and roofing projects.
    Creative Acres is unique because more than 400 animals, of 100 different species are allowed to roam freely on approximately 40 acres of sanctuary property. Dogs, cats, chickens, ducks, sheep, miniature horses, emu, peacocks, guinea pigs, chinchillas, sugar gliders and parrots are just a few of the species who have found a home at the sanctuary.
    According to Mager, the sanctuary also does a lot of work with the military, children and individuals with special needs. Mager is also working to start a CLAW, or Central League of Animal Welfare, where lawyers and veterinarians can help in legal and medical matters as well as investigations.
    For more information about Creative Acres, visit its website at www.creativeacres.org or contact Maxine at 303-659-4792. Donations can be sent directly to Creative Acres at PO Box 1143, Brighton, CO 80601 or through giving first at www.givingfirst.org/creativeacres/overview.