News from Gallastar

Don't give up! Have hope! In many ways this is one of the most important messages we send to children here at Gallastar. There is a place for everyone where they will be respected and loved for who they are - a place where they will be forever safe. Such places do exist!

Actions here speak loudly. The children see that we will do whatever is necessary to give the animals what they need and deserve. Whatever it takes, we will somehow find a way to help. They can see it in the liquid brown eyes of the 28 year old pony, Heaven, recovering nicely from a recent founder and the onset of Cushings disease. They can witness in in the rescue of four pigs from a foreclosed farm that literally had no other hope. For many children, this message that there are people who will never give up on you can be the life altering.

As these children learn to take control of their special horse, they learn to take control of their lives. They learn that patience and kindness are more powerful than a harsh hand and expediency - a message that can serve them for a lifetime. Although the therapy sessions are specifically tailored for each group's unique needs, our focus is on compassion, boundary, respect, and control. The relationship with the horse is the perfect model to demonstrate these principles. What we do here is so much more than talk in an office; we see to it that the metaphors are explicit and reviewed after each therapy session. By the end of the session or the week long camp, we make certain that the message has gotten through to each child. We leave nothing to chance.

Please consider helping us in the work that we do. If you would like to assist on this mission of combining the rescue of abused and neglected animals to teach compassion in action, heal the hearts of children in need, and assist children with disabilities reach their fullest potential, Gallastar is having two fundraisers: a book sale and an eBay auction of Beanie Buddies. Funds raised from the book sale will go to scholarships for our new program destined for children on the Autism Spectrum. All proceeds from the Beanie Buddies will go to assist four rescued animals featured elsewhere in this newsletter.

 

Buy a Wonderful Book and Help a Child at the Same Time!

We are now taking orders for the book, Horse Tales for the Soul, Volume 7. Gallastar will receive a percentage of each sale. This book is full of heartwarming stories that celebrate the unique bond between horses and their people. All of the proceeds will go to the Gallastar scholarship fund for children on the Autism Spectrum. The work that we did with these children will be featured in the next newsletter.

Gallastar will host a book signing and talk with some of the authors at Agnor Hurt Elementary School in Charlottesville on October 28th. Gallastar will make a presentation on the work that we do here and refreshments will be served.

Books can be ordered through the the paypal option on Gallastar website at www.gallastar.org or a check sent to Gallastar c/o Lorelei Pulliam, 722 Greenfield Mountain Farm, Afton, Va 22920. The cost is $25.00, which includes shipping.

Horse Tales for the Soul website

 

So Where Do the Teddy Bears Come In?

In order to fund the spays and medical bills of pigs from a foreclosed farm (see article below), we are putting a private collection of over one hundred, mint condition, with tags, Beanie Buddies for sale on eBay. Beanie Buddies are much larger than the Babies. Please spread the word to anyone who collects these cuties. They will be sold as one lot and can be sold individually for those with more time on their hands than we have or be used as gifts for years and years to come. Our success with this fund raising and animal sponsorships will literally determine the future for these animals. Click the link below to learn more about the Beanie Buddies or to place a bid. Every penny raised will go to help our four newest animals.

Beanie Buddies on eBay

 

Charlottesville Vegetarian Festival a Huge Success

As usual, our piggie was the hit of the festival and even ended up on the evening news in Charlottesville. Basic Necessities, a renowned restaurant in Nellysford, donated a nice gift certificate to go in our raffled gift basket that also included a Webkins pig.

Amongst all of the other booths and pet animal adoption groups, Holly stood as tall as any little pig could in testament to why we were all really there. At the end of the day when the rest of us were just about ready to go, a woman in a wheelchair was brought up to Holly and she gently put her feet up on the enclosure to share something known only to the two of them. It was the only time that she did this during the entire day. Her gentleness and beautiful soul left a lasting impression on each visitor. For many there is now a sweet face and liquid brown eyes to relate to when they hear of gestation crates and all of the other horrors of factory farming.

Everyone wanted to sign the petition to stop the selling of pigs at the local pet store and her appearance as a pet store survivor will certainly go a long way to further that cause.

A wave of hope sweeps over us as we reflect on the festival. So many people seemed to care and wanted to help. One dark eyed child touched us the most. We watched him take out what was obviously all of his own money and donate it to Holly and her pig friends. He was silent and stood back from the crowd, but something had touched his heart. Yes, our hope lies in the children. Hope for a world in which compassion and kindness are the expectation.

 

Update on the Three Little Pigs and One Big One!

Four pigs from a foreclosed farm were picked up Fredricksburg late in the evening on Friday, October 8th and arrived at Gallastar around midnight. After driving to North Carolina to attend a funeral on Saturday, Ron turned around and was once again up before daybreak for the trek to Knoxville with these pigs and a couple of others.

As fat as they were, two of the bigger pigs named Emma and Janie underwent spays without incident. Janie had a uterine tumor and we are awaiting word from the biopsy. The youngest and healthiest had complications and could not be spayed. The boar turned out not to be so big after all but had testicular cancer and underwent surgery on Friday. He too will be coming back to Gallastar to begin a new life. Whatever the ultimate outcome for him, he will not spend his last days in pain and misery alone in a tiny pen without adequate shelter, water, and food. Sometimes that is all that we can give and it breaks our hearts. He is getting the very best care available in this area of the country - thanks to Van Amstel and his staff at the University of Tennessee.

A simple neuter would have prevented so much suffering. Spaying and neutering of all cats, dogs, pigs, and rabbits is paramount to their health and the cornerstone of putting the brakes on overpopulation. UT is currently doing a study in tumors of the reproductive tract of pigs and we suspect it will uphold the current thinking that they are the rule rather than the exception for unspayed female pigs. As a No Kill facility, we cannot ethically fail to prevent/treat a disease as preventable/treatable as uterine tumors. On the economic side, they are far cheaper to prevent through a spay than to do tumor surgery on later or even to have diagnosed and the animal euthanized. As champions of all animals, we are dedicated to getting the message of spay/neuter - potbellied pigs too!!

For more information about our porcine friends at Gallastar and how you can help, see www.vaalliance4potbelliedpigs.org.

 

Gallastar Upcoming Events

October 27th: Hospice of the Piedmont will be having its annual Bereavement Camp for children and families. This annual event is something that everyone at Gallastar is honored to be a part of. Children share in the sunshine and beautiful fall weather in a time of healing and celebration of their lost loved ones. Sad faces begin to glow in the beautiful fall weather as they sit tall on horses rustling through the fallen leaves. The stories of the animals here touch their hearts as they learn how they too have overcome immense sadness and loss to once again live in peace and security. The closing ceremony down in our arena in which each child tells what the day has meant to them means more to us than we can begin to say. The little voices recount a special animal that touched their heart or cheered them up. No one can witness it with dry eyes.

October 28th: Book signing where you can meet the authors of Horse Tales for the Soul at Agnor Hurt Elementary School, 3201 Berkmar Drive, Charlottesville, Virginia.

November 17th: Reunion of the young ladies from the Sexual Assault Resource Center will join us for a Thanksgiving celebration of love and healing with their beloved horses here at Gallastar. These girls relate so deeply to the horses that now give back so much to the kids that need them. It is magical to watch the girls become confident and experience healing over the course of the week long camp. We are all so excited to see them again - especially their horses.

In This Issue:

Buy a Wonderful Book and Help a Child at the Same Time!
So Where Do the Teddy Bears Come In?
Charlottesville Vegetarian Festival a Huge Success
Update on the Three Little Pigs and One Big One!
Gallastar Upcoming Events
Thanks!


Thanks!

This newsletter is made possible through a donation by horsewoman and artist Betty DeMar Mueller and her dog Chaps in memory of a beloved horse, Natchez. Thank you!

Gallastar Equine Center 722 Greenfield Mountain Farms Afton VA 22920