One thing I love is seeing the looks on kids & adults faces when I present the animals to them, It’s like I just made their day. I also enjoy getting the opportunity to make these children and adults aware of how important it is to save the natural habitats of these animals and that they are not meant to live in homes and in cages + tanks. It sure is great to get home at the end of the day knowing that I did my part in making a difference and not just put smiles on people’s faces but knowledge that could help stop the gradual disappearance of some of the animals we share this planet with.
We appreciate all the help we can get to achieve our mission be it financial or volunteering, come be a part of our dream!
It has been said by a few people over the years, by animal activists and even wrangler’s that “Gary, is a business man and is only in the animal business for the money”. Well, that is so far from the truth, if that was the case after 23 years in business I still have little more money than I started with, I still live in my zoo, and am still driving old beater vehicles or donated ones. I still buy my clothes at value village with the exception of my Hat, and I still struggle to make ends meet.
If anyone wants to know where the money I do make goes they are more than welcome to go over the receipts from my spending and see that the money goes towards food and vitamins for the animals & upkeep of the facilities and paying what little staff I have. Then they may think differently. Over the past 23 years I’ve had a total of 2 weeks real vacation time, I guess I must really love animals & the work I do.
I hope when my book comes out this June things might improve for me financially, but knowing me any amount of money I do make, large or small, will still go to the animals and education.
To anyone out there who is thinking of getting into the animal business to get rich, you may want to reconsider.
Prior to my visit to Victoria I was really uncertain what to expect but spent several days filling out all the required documents on each animal that was under the C.A.S act along with photos of each animal, habitats, doors & locks. To say the least the reception I received for my cooperation was very cold and discouraging and when I offered to sit with them to discuss how I may help to find some alternative solutions they said they did not have time to listen and good-bye.
I was also told by another government employee that the ban of all exotic animals (fish-birds-hamsters etc…) is looming in the future; however I have a really hard time believing that will ever pass.
As I have said before, I certainly believe in stricter regulations, but not when it comes to banning all exotic pets right across the board.
It was recently said by Peter Fricker of V.H.S that is not right that exotic animals should be kept in captivity as they are restrained from movement in cages & aquariums. This he was saying as his dog was puling like crazy on his leash to have his freedom. Believing that they are under stress living in captivity and should be put down, their stress is far less in captivity than in the wild & their life expectancy is far greater as they do not have to worry about predators.
I do agree they should be left in the wild if we leave any natural wild habitats for them to live in. The animals we have here were rescued and possibly doomed under the hands of inexperienced people or worse, subjected to just plain cruelty. What kind of thinking is it to kill an animal that is in captivity by no choice of its own, I am pretty sure the animal would choose a life in captivity over death.
If activists want to make a difference then they should focus their work on saving their habitats, it would be much better to have animals flourishing in the wild than to have the last of their species in zoos.
I believe these animals that we have saved and introduced to countless children all over the lower mainland can make a difference to influence these kids to grow up to work in the field of animals as it did with me and If one kid out of my life’s work is to grows up to be responsible for saving an animal that is on the path to extinction than it was worth it.
I believe words, pictures, books & film do not have the same effect as the real thing. Look at pictures of the Rockies and tell me it is better than seeing them in real life. I don’t think so!
Posted in Cinemazoo
Well, this is my first blog. But I have to admit it’s not one I enjoy writing; however, it is something I feel I need to do.
Monday March 21, 2011 the first day of spring I had the difficult decision to have Jag my dog and sidekick of 14 years put to sleep. Jag was a German Shepard, conceived in Germany from a champion schutzhund sire and born in Winnipeg Manitoba. When I got Jag he was 8 weeks old and I never once had to bring him to the vet, What a dog!. He loved people and all the animals around the zoo. Jag never gave me one day of trouble, and most people who met him fell in love with his winning personality. Jags best friend (other than myself of course) was a teacup Chihuahua named Sisi, one lick from Jags tongue would soak Sisi!
We had many fun adventures together from hiking in the forests to working on many TV series and feature films, commercials & ads to labels for K-9 vitamins. He was also quite the model in front of any camera.
Jag was always there for me to keep me going through all the hard times and hurdles I faced while trying to keep the zoo going. I will always cherish our memories we shared and will miss him very much, he was the epitome of unconditional love & loyalty.
Farewell my friend,