Helping the Helpless Animals

Spring is here, and it’s a time of year when many baby animals are emerging from their winter hiding place. Some of those babies may be a little different.

Recently, Antler Ridge Sanctuary in New Jersey rescued a litter of eastern gray squirrels, but one of those squirrels had a pure white coat. The rare white fur means that the squirrel has a form of albinism.

A white coat with red eyes mIMG_0833 (1)eans that the animal is an albino. Some animals are leucistic;
these white-coated animals have their natural colored eyes but their lack of color makes them stand out from the other animals of the same species. Other animals are piebald; they have patches of albino white mixed with patches of their natural color.

The lack of color puts these special babies at risk. In a world of browns, greens, and greys the pure white is very hard to disguise from predators. Often albino animals, especially small prey animals such as squirrels are targeted by larger animals and don’t make it in the wild for very long.

Of course not all white animals have albinism, for example arctic animals such as polar bears and arctic foxes are white to blend with their surroundings.

However, without the help of rescuers many albino animals would have been lost in the wild, some of these animals are rehabilitated and then live out their days in zoos or aquariums.

To learn more read about the albino squirrel read the article here!

And…find out more about animal rehabilitators and the work zookeepers and aquarist in these books by author Jennifer Keats Curtis with the help of organizations around the country.

AnimalHelpersRehab_187Animal Helpers: Wildlife Rehabilitators

Like humans, animals can get sick or hurt. People see doctors. Pets have veterinarians. What happens to wild animals when they are injured, become ill, or are orphaned? Often, wildlife rehabilitators are called to their rescue. This photographic journal takes readers “behind the scenes” at four different wildlife rehabilitation centers. Fall in love with these animals as they are nursed back to health and released back to the wild when possible. This is the first of a photographic series introducing the different ways and the many people who care for a wide variety of animals.

AH_Zoos_187Animal Helpers: Zoos

Zoos are amazing places to see and learn about the many native and exotic of animals that inhabit this world. Some animals are plentiful while others are threatened or in danger of extinction. Zookeepers not only feed and care for these animals, they may also be helping to conserve and protect whole species through breeding and “head start” programs. Follow the extraordinary duties of these unusual animal helpers in this behind-the-scenes photographic journal.

AH_Aquariums_187Animal Helpers: Aquariums

Where else could you stay dry while visiting aquatic animals from around the world? Only in an aquarium can you visit and learn about all these different local and exotic animals. Aquarium staff care for and teach about these animals, as well as work to conserve and protect threatened and endangered species. Follow this behind-the-scenes photographic journal as it leads you into the wondrous world of aquariums and the animal helpers who work there.


Care Farm Wins Martha Young Award

We wanted to pass along some wonderful news to all of you this afternoon. A care farm, Sanctuary One at Double Oak Farm, featured in Jennifer Keats Curtis’s Animal Helpers: Sanctuaries has been awarded the 2013 Martha Young Award! The award is presented by the Cow Creek Umpqua Indian Foundation (CCUIF) with the mission of assisting youth education and development, strengthening families, and adding to the quality of life for the people of Southwest Oregon. In addition, the sanctuary was chosen to receive a $2,000 grant towards improving access for visitors with disabilities. We would like to give our full-hearted congratulations to  such a worthy recipient. If you would like to learn more about the Martha Young Award and CCUIF as well as  other exciting news from Sanctuary One, you can check out the following article or visit the News and Events page on their website at

Sanctuary One July Newsletter

Animal Helpers: Sanctuaries also includes wonderful photographs and stories of animals whose lives  have been saved thanks to Sanctuary One. Look for Jennifer’s third book in the Animal Helper Series, Animal Helpers: Zoos,  to be released early September 2013.

Jennifer CurtisAH-Sanctuaries_187

One Smart Pig!

In Animal Helpers: Sanctuaries you meet Lisa the pig, a 700 pound loveable animal that just got too big to stay with her owners. Sanctuary One’s newest resident pig Jigsaw is just as loveable and very smart. Just watch how well mannered this pig is:



Sanctuary One provides the community with a place to connect with nature and meet animals that children or adults may not have the opportunity to meet otherwise. They are very passionate and we hope you enjoy the video, and meeting them in the book Animal Helpers: Sanctuaries.
The Animal Helpers series by Jennifer Keats Cutis is a great way to introduce children to the challenges and rewards that a career helping animals entails. Each book in the series features work of special organizations and caretakers like Sanctuary One. These organizations are able to use the book as a fundraiser; it is expensive, and requires a lot of work to care for a farm of formerly homeless animals.
We at Sylvan Dell are happy to feature the great work of not only Sanctuary One, but also the other Animal Helpers. If you, or your children are interested in caring for animals there are organizations all across the country that need support and volunteers!

Lisa the Pig Finds A Home a Sanctuary One

The family of Animal Helpers is growing. The second installment Animal Helpers: Sanctuaries is due to hit bookstores later this month, and once again author Jennifer Keats Curtis introduces us to passionate animal caretakers at five sanctuaries.

Sanctuary One is a care farm, which is a working farm that brings people, animals and nature together in a unique therapeutic environment. One special resident is Lisa the pig, at 700 pounds Lisa’s former owners were unable to continue to care for her. She is now a permanent resident a Sanctuary One, and just in time for Valentine’s Day you can watch this love story unfold below.

Caring for Lisa and all the other animals at Sanctuary One is very costly; they will be selling Animal Helpers: Sanctuaries as a fundraiser. Please visit their website to learn more about Sanctuary One.