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  • Writer's pictureAaron Bartlett

Preparing for launch: halfway there! 🚀

Time to show the world what we're made of.

Never have I felt more full of vigor, and electricity. We're out here, and we're strapping up. It's time to double-down efforts and rally the community together to help us accomplish this huge goal. There's no stopping now.

Poster for build-a-sanctuary!

I'm writing to you in the late of the evening...

My sweat just wiped off my brow, I ran home with 5 dogs on my side. I must have walked 15 today on my own. These dogs need walks, or they get antsy and annoying. It's just a normal part of the job. With still over 50 dogs on this location, (which is why we are expanding into a second location) we have extremely busy days here.

At the moment it's just me and two other volunteers: we're holding it down. But even just the 3 of us manage pretty well.

It makes it hard to do the more "manager" stuff, the "nonprofit stuff":

  1. Posting on social media as much as daily to raise awareness and funding.

  2. Responding to emails, thanking the donators, fulfilling sponsorship updates.

  3. Organizing a constant in-and-out flow of new volunteers every 2 weeks.

  4. Managing the entire pack, and the volunteers daily.

Let's stop it there...I could go on, of course.

But that's the end of my ranting; that's just the truth of it. Actively I seek improving my own system and actively delegating all the tasks I can to others.

I've spent a long time (2+ years) taking care of these dogs single-handedly, and that's changing. New help is coming in. I've actively posted, interviewed, and arranged for 2 new employees to join us by the intended start date of the new Sanctuary: June 20th. This will not be an easy task but let's see how we do.


How does the new land look?

Let me show you.

How it started:

Checking out the site:

How it's going:

2 weeks later!

But there is still so much more land to clear!

Yup...plenty more to do!


How is the fundraiser going?

We're past halfway!


So. To put it simply, we have much more to do.

I'm definitely feeling a weight under the pressure of moving a part of the Sanctuary elsewhere quickly. I'm still running and managing a Sanctuary full-time while trying to build a second one!

Sheesh! there something on my head?

Man, things sure don't get boring around here...


Thank you to Free Cerveza!

Aaron & the new workers eating at Free Cerveza

(Those quesadillas were amazing!!!)

This is the very hostel that the New Sanctuary is right behind...

who happen to be our biggest supporters in the town of Santa Cruz. They are providing us discount luxury-meals to feed us (workers and volunteers alike.) They have been so generous and courteous to our cause despite knowing the challenge of us moving nearby in a somewhat challenging circumstance, but show us full support! They believe in the power, and the ultimate good, of making a Dog Sanctuary if it's done correctly.

They also donated a ton of construction-grade bamboo! Yes!

Construction-grade bamboo.

And we're just getting started!


What else is new?

Oh well ya know, a little bit of drama...

There are some loud voices in the town asking us to not set up a Sanctuary there.

Oh jeez, here we go again...😅😭

So, I'm already getting "curious visitors" from the town showing up to the worksite where we're clearing the land.

"Hey just wanted to check out whats going this where the new Sanctuary will be? How do you know 25 dogs won't be so loud they'll keep us all up at night? Don't you have a permit? Is this just a way to get a bunch of dogs out of where they're complaining and stuff them over here?"

So, we will be talking with a many neighbors as we can (thankfully there are only so many in this somewhat removed area) and console that our dogs are well trained, and do not bark non-stop or very much at all at night. Ofcourse this is a natural concern as it's part of why we were being asked to do this in the first place. So it's a very fair question.


Okay, less talky, more build-y.

If you haven't noticed I have not been doing a lot of updating since we started the new fundraiser, except save for instagram which I try to keep pretty updated. I haven't taken the time to send more emails, which was my plan, but a part of me just doesn't wish to overload our followers with information and never spam. We just wish to talk you when it feels easy, when we can take a seat and there's no dogs barking or needing attention. In our current setup, it's not that easy. It's good we're ready to change...

Let's make this new spot happen...

This is not a photo of me, but it does look like me

...and let's not forget who we do this for.

The annoying townspeople might not know why we do this, but I will never lose sight of it...


It's time to push!

Everything is going according-to-plan thus-far. As life always does, it slows you down a little and prevents you from going as fast as you want sometimes. That's normal.

I'm not trying to think about the "dangers", but just stay in the present moment. Slowly moving each rock, digging each hole, moving each piece of bamboo. I am staying centered and grounded. Keeping my feet and hands clean. Washing my hair (can you believe it?) 😂

All we can do now is continue to build, and ask for your help to actually make it to our goal.

We've raised $4.8k out of our goal of $8000 USD.

We can only make it there with your help.

All funding is to be used for the New Sanctuary, and costs of creating it.

At the end of the building terms we will post a full expense report showing all costs and how funding will be and currently is being used to pay the workers to get this land ready. It will help buy all the materials:

  • concrete

  • lamina

  • wood

  • nails, screws, tools

  • labor

  • staffing with new employees who begin working there

  • dog food

If any funding is leftover (unlikely!) then we can use it to improve Sanctuary A. We are still halfway-through building the concrete property which had to halt-construction for this...situation we are having. It's ridiculous to move so fast, so many dogs, but I cannot take chances like that with our babies. They are akin to my family. They are my loved ones.


Can you help us reach our goal?

We're still $3,183.33 USD short of our goal. Thankfully we have raised enough to move with perpituity, but will need to continue the fundraiser to goal-point to actually make this Sanctuary stand.

Thankfully we have the physical help and availability to source all materials needed. We will just be starting to buy it all next week. This is when the costs are going to rack-up and we will be going into the "fundraised pool" to start buying all this stuff. Then it's go-time, and we'll be posting all of our progress along the way.


So, if you can help at this time reach this anticipated goal-point, we will reward all of these dogs with a new Sanctuary-space they deserve. The townspeople of both Tzununa and Santa Cruz deserve, and a happy size and manageable which all the neighbors deserve.

Here's the fundraiser form one last time.


Lastly, THANK YOU!

Thank you to everyone who already donated to our "Emergency Pop-Up Shelter Fundraiser."

32 incredible people have done so so far, and you know who you are.

You support us in being able to live in this wild place, with this incredible purpose.

We stand against forces powerful and old to make such a great change.

And we do it together.

Libertad para los perros.

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