Extreme Home Makeover: Forever Wild Animal Sanctuary

tiger-profileThe Extreme Home Makeover folks took as its project the dilapidated home and small animal cages of a wild animal sanctuary. Forever Wild Animal Sanctuary in California has been taking in unwanted and abused animals, mostly exotic large cats, from for several years. As they struggled to make ends meet, they couldn’t afford repairs on their own house.

The Extreme Makeover team recruited about a hundred volunteers. Sponsors supplied earthmoving and construction equipment. The family, parents Joel and Charmain Almquist and four daughters from teen to toddler, were sent on vacation to Costa Rica. The team demolished the house and built a new, larger home with solar panels on the roof. Each child’s bedroom was a personal space that reflected the child’s interests.  The house became a secure sanctuary and change of pace. The local community college and university offered four-year scholarships for each of the children.

While the family was away, the team took one of the tigers for surgery to cure its longstanding paw injuries from “de-clawing” and relieve it of constant pain.

They built a learning centre for educating the public. The learning centre will enable Forever Wild to bring in school tours. There are new terrariums for the exotic (venemous) snakes. It also has a food preparation area and large fridges, so that the family can prepare 300 lb of meat a day for their animals. Each animal had a new sign with its picture, name, and story.

They made larger cages with more space for the animals and an animal playground for the tigers. They wove cat beds from indestructible used fire hoses.

The builders and volunteers collected $50,000 for maintaining the learning centre.  It was a fitting reward for the years of hard work and caring put in by the Almquists.

7 Responses to “Extreme Home Makeover: Forever Wild Animal Sanctuary”

  1. Todd Dunning Says:

    Hi monado – I’m FW’s board member, and I want to thank you for a well-written article that really sums it up. It shows how many good people there are out there, and you just need to bring them together for a common cause.

  2. monado Says:

    I’m glad you like it. I am continually amazed at the basic goodness of people from every culture and horrified by their basic evil. In either case, we can have a far greater influence that we ever expected. Your story is the good side of things. May you keep up the good work for a long time to come. And if I could suggest a good object for your efforts, Katrina-damaged Louisiana would support an entire spin-off series. Best of luck!

  3. Echo Stafford Says:

    I tried to visit the place in Phelan,california-I llive about 3 hrs. drive away. It took me a few attempts to find the right road, dirt and bumpy, once I got there the learning center was closed and I happened to see the owner, he said that the mayor said that they could not open unless they paved the road which would cost 1 million dollars and they had to pay it themselves even though they would not be the sole users of the road, several other streets intersect it and other homes would have direct use of it besides them. I feel it is a huge burden for one family to carry besides not being able to do the work of the center to raise awareness of the big “cats” and income to help keep them. I don’t know the mayor’s side of the story. It seems that something needs to be done to follow up on this important outreach.

  4. kelly Says:

    i just recently watched your episode on the animal sanctuary which is odd i love extreme home makeover it was one of few episodes i must have missed. i love the humanity and the deep love you have for such beautiful and exotic animals. i agree people need to be educated how these animals are wild ,not meant to be in captivity. you have to be angels sent straight from heaven to protect and love those gourges creatures.god bless you and everybody who is there to take care of the animals.

  5. rose ann Says:

    went today, they still look like they could use ongoing help from the community,etc. by visiting and donating cash.enjoyed it very much.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: