Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, May 4, 2013

MVNews this week:  Page 11



 Mountain Views News Saturday, May 4, 2013 



MALCOLM #A4567989 

Happy Tails

by Chris Leclerc

Meet a charming and classy guy, Malcolm 
(A4567989)! Malcolm is a fantastic eight 
year old tan and black neutered male 
Catalan Sheepdog/Terrier mix who was 
found in Baldwin Park and brought to 
the Baldwin Park Shelter on April 24th. 
Weighing thirty-eight pounds, Malcolm 
walks well on the leash and seems to be 
housetrained. He is friendly and playful 
with people and with other dogs, and 
we think he would be wonderful with 
kids. Docile and cooperative, this boy 
has a good attitude towards the world 
in general. Malcolm will be the perfect 
indoor pet for an individual or family 
living in a private home or a large 
apartment or condo. To watch a video 
of Malcolm please visit this link: www.

To meet Malcolm in person, please see him at the Baldwin Park Shelter, located at 4275 N. Elton, 
Baldwin Park, CA 91706 (Phone: 626-430-2378 or 626-962-3577). He is currently available now. 
For any inquiries about Malcolm, please reference his animal ID number: A4567989. The shelter 
is open seven days a week, 12 pm-7 pm Monday-Thursday and 10am-5pm Friday-Sunday. This is 
a high-intake shelter with a great need for adoptions. For more information about Malcolm or the 
adoption process, contact United Hope for Animals Volunteer Adoption Coordinator Samantha at To learn more about United Hope for Animals’ partnership with the 
Baldwin Park Shelter through its Shelter Support Program, as well as the many dogs of all breeds, 
ages, and sizes available for adoption in local shelters, visit

Last week I had the privilege of catching up 
with a friend and fellow animal advocate, Serena 
Burnett, co-founder and director of Animazonia 
Wildlife Foundation, and as always I came away 
very much inspired by her heart-felt dedication 
to helping exotic animals in need. It had been a 
while since I’d last seen Serena at the Animazonia 
fund-raiser last September, so I was anxious to 
hear about what’s been happening with their 
awesome organization recently. I was pleased to 
find out that they are still going strong and have 
continued in their mission to provide a forever-
refuge to big cats and other exotic animals. I 
first met Serena a few years ago at a yard sale 
here in Sierra Madre while I was going about 
my usual Saturday morning routine of seeking 
out potential pickings around town. Much to 
my delight I found several great pieces of jewelry 
at that sale, but more importantly I met a great 
group of very kind and cool people that share my 
intense compassion for animals, and I made it a 
point to keep in touch.

 Animazonia Wildlife Foundation got its 
start in 1987, inspired by co-founder and artist 
Charles Thompson (who has since passed away). 
They adopted their first big cat and embarked 
on a long-term crusade to create a home with 
proper habitats where more animals could live 
out their lives peacefully and humanely. From the 
beginning, they operated solely by the support of 
their intimate group of founding members until 
the year 2000, when an attorney volunteered 
her time to assist them through the lengthy and 
complicated process of becoming a non-profit 
organization. They then began operating as a 
501(3)c non-profit and have been doing so ever 
since. Today, Animazonia is a vibrant organization 
supported by a die-hard dedicated Board of 
Directors including professional paralegals, 
musicians, writers, business owners, therapists 
and artists, all of whom work together and 
volunteer their skills, time and creative energies 
to keep Animazonia Wildlife Foundation in 
operation. Each member plays an integral part in 
day-to-day operations, and no money is paid in 
salaries or honorarium, which means a majority 
of all contributions go directly to the benefit of 
the animals.

 A major part of this dedicated group’s mission 
is to educate the public about the importance 
of providing a sanctuary for wild animals, and 
keeping the public informed on current proposed 
legislation designed to prevent the inappropriate 
breeding, neglect and/or abuse of exotic animals 
in our country. Exotic big cats and other animals 
end up in sanctuaries for a variety of reasons, not 
the least of which is breeding by people who think 
they will be able to raise them as pets. Ultimately, 
when they realize how big and strong the animals 
become as adults, they find themselves unable to 
control them, so they call the authorities or try 
to find someone else who will take them off their 
hands. Other common scenarios include the 
animal becoming ill, and/or escaping from the 
owner, and then, if they’re lucky, to be captured 
by authorities and eventually placed in a refuge. 
Tragically, some are gunned down by fearful 
humans before the authorities have a chance to 
capture them and some are brought to sanctuaries 
after spending years in a zoo or being used for 
entertainment and just need a place where they 
can retire with respect and proper care.

 I had the opportunity to visit the Animazonia 
sanctuary in rural Riverside a couple of years 
ago, and found it to be a virtual Garden of Eden! 
Hidden neatly and surrounded by lots of open 
natural wilderness, their property includes a 
small lake, a quaint cottage and a collection 
of fenced-in big cat habitat areas, all nestled 
between a grove of gigantic eucalyptus trees and 
meandering California oaks. Among their more 
recent projects, Animazonia added a new type of 
species to their serene sanctuary. A month ago, 
they took in several hives of bees that would have 
otherwise most likely been exterminated, and 
they are very excited at the prospect of having 
fresh honey to sell, as another means of helping 
pay their expenses. They are also planning a 
bee-keeping class on May 26th for those who are 
interested in learning about the craft. The folks at 
Animazonia truly amaze me with all the energy 
& creativity they put into keeping their sanctuary 
alive and thriving!

 How can you help Animazonia continue with 
the great work they do? Well, first of all next 
Friday & Saturday, May 10-11 from 8:00am-
4:00pm they are having their annual yard sale 
at 33 Sierra Place in Sierra Madre, and they are 
asking for donations. For more details and to 
arrange for pickup, contact Serena at 818-802-
9484. Also, be sure and come to the sale and 
check out all the great treasures. I guarantee you 
will not go away empty handed, and you will be 
pleased to meet all the ladies who work so hard 
for the sake of animals.

 Also, Animazonia will be holding their 
annual wine & chocolate tasting fund-raiser on 
September 21st (details to be announced). The 
one I attended with them last year was a blast. I 
can’t wait to see what great ideas they will come 
up with for this year’s event. Another way you can 
play an important part in helping Animazonia is 
to visit their website at and 
make a donation, or offer your assistance with any 
skills you might have to help meet their specific 
needs. The main goal at the moment is bringing 
new cats that need a lifetime sanctuary into the 
facility. Their fundraising efforts are currently 
geared towards being monetarily prepared to 
support those new cats for a period of 1 to 3 
years, and to also further upgrade the enclosures 
with new feeding doors and other accoutrements 
in case those new cats are rescued from the wild 
and are not used to human contact. I encourage 
everyone who can, to get involved and start 
making a difference for the better on behalf of the 
animals. There are many ways you can help, but 
whichever way you choose to support this worthy 
organization, I promise you will be glad you did. 
I know I am!