Letter from the Director...

I am writing this letter today in order to give you an update on our progress to save Meatball the Black Bear – as well as our efforts to repeal a wildlife department regulation that is blocking his rescue. 


First, let me thank you so much for all the work you have put forth on Meatball’s behalf, as he doesn’t deserve to be stuck living in a tiny concrete and steel cage.  Also, let me thank you for the efforts you have put forth in helping to repeal the Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) Regulation that is currently preventing us from rescuing him!


In the previous emergency communication we sent you, I briefly outlined the issue surrounding Meatball’s history as a troublesome wild bear roaming the neighborhoods of Los Angeles of California… and how California’s Fish & Game Department had no choice but to capture and ask us to take him in.


I also explained how CPW suddenly blocked his rescue - due to an odd regulation they created back in 2005 - and asked you to help us in contacting a number of people who could help right this terrible wrong.  The contact list we provided including everyone from the Governor and Attorney General of Colorado - to all of the Colorado Parks &Wildlife Commissioners. 


Thankfully, tens of thousands of you responded and quickly jumped into action!  In fact, the energy that sprang forth was absolutely staggering!


Thousands of passionate hearts and hands immediately hit their keyboards - flooding cyberspace with a virtual tidal wave of emails that completely choked the inboxes of government officials!  Others chose to pick up their telephones and collectively jam the phone company lines leading to government officials’ homes and offices!   And many, many more planted themselves firmly at their kitchen tables in order to dispatch countless impassioned letters to the point of crushing recipients’ mail and Post Office boxes!


Amazing!  Totally amazing! Your efforts worked!  As a result of overwhelmingly crippling their communication systems with emails, phone calls and letters… they yielded! 


But they didn’t give in easily.  In the beginning it was clear these public officials thought they could appease supporters with boiler-plate responses.  Their initial replies were padded with thinly veiled excuses and sketchy diversionary rigmarole.


But it wasn’t long before they realized that wasn’t going to work… and quickly shifted their efforts toward twisting California’s arm into saying they were no longer going to send Meatball here.  Yet, it didn’t matter, as everyone was now focused on the fact they were doing whatever they could to avoid addressing the real issue – THE REGULATION!!!


The regulation that stopped Meatball’s rescue was the real issue, and they knew it.  Rather than address why they created such a bizarre regulation… or why they had only applied it to Sanctuaries and not to other types of wildlife facilities… they kept trying to find ways to placate people with wildlife behavior clichés and more bear education swill.                Continued on next page….

Your compassionate resolve and steadfast pursuit of what was right and fair for Meatball - as well as all the other wild animals that would be drastically affected by this terrible regulation - paid off!  The Attorney General’s office finally conceded and began to ask people to file something called a “citizen’s petition.” 


The petition process is designed to be a way for the general public to address a regulatory issue with the Wildlife Commission.  Once accepted, a petition is normally scheduled to be heard at the next regularly scheduled Wildlife Commission Meeting.


In this case, the Commission received 4 separate petitions that were filed by avid supporters who wanted to make sure the regulation was reviewed – and ultimately repealed.  Once received, these petitions were put on the November 8th & 9th Wildlife Commission Meeting agenda.  Now the real challenge begins!


We have to make sure the energy we’ve created and the ground we gained is not lost.  This one meeting represents everything we have done to give Meatball the dignity he deserves - and to repeal the regulation!  If we do not show up to this meeting with the same energy and certitude we’ve shown so far – the animals’ may lose everything!


We have come this far and have done everything on their behalf, and now it is time to finish what we started!  This meeting represents a critical juncture in our fight to restore our Sanctuary’s ability to help wild animals in need… and for us to send a message to those government officials that feel they can blatantly disregard the welfare of animals.


The meetings on November 8th & 9th are open to the public and will be held in Yuma, Colorado. Yuma is a small town located about two and a half hours northeast of Denver, Colorado.  The petitions will be heard together on one of the two days – but as of the date of this letter - the Wildlife Commission agenda and specific timeline had not been set. 


If at all possible, we need you to join us at this meeting in order to demonstrate how serious this issue is to each and every animal-loving person in Colorado.  You’ve heard of the “March on Washington”… well, this is going to be the “March on Yuma”!  Hundreds if not thousands of concerned supporters will be converging on the Commission Meeting to show they will not accept anything less than a full repeal of this animal-harming regulation!


This means those of you who are committed to being there will have to check either the Sanctuary’s web site to get the exact day and time – or call us to get the details of the meeting.  However, we will also be running charter buses from the Sanctuary to Yuma the day of the meeting - so you are welcome to ride on one of our special “wildlife express” buses (reservations are needed - but there is no charge).  I hope you are able to join us for this monumental event – as I would be proud to have you be there by my side!




Pat Craig

Executive Director

Below is a flyer for the event.  Please click here for a printable PDF