Denkai New Mexico Animal Sanctuary

6/16/2021

A new animal shelter, Denkai Animal Sanctuary, will open this fall in Farmington; thrift shop open for donations. By Donna K. Hewett. Sponsored by Three Rivers Brewery and Distil Beer, Wine & Spirits

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After running the Denkai Animal Sanctuary in Cortez, Colorado for the past 20 years, Floss Blackburn decided to open Denkai New Mexico, because the majority of her rescues come from the Farmington and Shiprock area. You're watching the Local News Network brought to you by Three Rivers Brewery and Distil Beer Wine and Spirits. I'm Wendy Graham Settle. The new animal shelter will operate out of the old 11,000 square foot Halliburton building on the Bloomfield highway in Farmington. A retail thrift store is now open on the back of the property to help support the nonprofit's daily operations.

The vision for this facility is to create a new age sheltering environment for animals that is emotionally friendly for them, and also able to handle a hundred or more animals at a time, depending on what the architects come up with and whether that's feasible for what we're trying to do. We want quality care, we want emotionally friendly, we want caring staff. And the vision is to help animals from locally and throughout the four corners area, on the reservation, off the reservation. We also are working to set up a low-cost spay and neuter clinic and a full service veterinary clinic.

Like its parent organization in Cortez, Denkai New Mexico will be a quality of life no-kill shelter. Staff evaluate all rescues for rehabilitation and give them the time and comfort they need to recover. Animals that typically come from the reservation need major surgeries, costing anywhere from 1,000 to $5,000. Blackburn and her colleagues are hit with these cases weekly.

A lot of the animals that do come in have been severely abused, they've been used for target practice, they have been strangled, anything, legs broken just for fun, anything you can think of has been done to them. We've had animals come in that have suffered bestiality, it's just unending. So we have to be really conscious of evaluating each of those animals as an individual and finding the right fit for them when we do place them for adoption.

The new shelter will include small animal kennels and areas for horse and farm animal rescues. Funding to cover the cost of renovating the warehouse comes from individual contributions, fundraisers, grants and program income. Right now, Denkai is offering limited foster care and adoption services until it can finish remodeling its new location. Denkai New Mexico is recruiting volunteers to staff the store and shelter, as well as people who are interested in fostering animals.

We need vets, we need volunteers, we need people who can help us, who just won't expect a huge pay, we are not millionaires. So we just need people like us, who care and who can do the best that we can do with the little bit of funding we have. And then we need people who can help us fund for more, and we need people who just actually want to help and be here, and who want to put in extra time, on their own even, that's really what we all do. We all spend like 90% of our day working for the shelter, whether we're paid or not.

The initial phase of the animal sanctuary will open this fall. For more information, go to denkaisanctuary.org. Thanks for watching this edition of the Local News Network covering Farmington, New Mexico; and Durango, Cortez; and Telluride, Colorado. I'm Wendy Graham Settle.

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