Reaching Out To Kaua‘i Animal Lovers

Sheila Young

Sheila Young is on a mission to help mistreated horses and hunting dogs. Coco Zickos photo

Sheila Young seeks community support for her nonprofit Kaua’i Rescue Reserve Ranch, which she created to help animals in need

Animals are Sheila Young’s best friends.

Her love for them inspires her to continue the ongoing development of her nonprofit, Kaua’i Rescue Reserve Ranch. The organization, working under the fiscal sponsorship of Rainbow Friends Animal Sanctuary on the Big Island, was created in an effort to assist horses and hunting dogs in need.

Though she is currently leasing land in Moloa’a, Young is still trying to raise enough funds to start bringing the island’s neglected and abused animals there for rehabilitation. It takes more than $350 a month just to feed one horse. It is that kind of money Young hopes to raise, and she plans to do whatever it takes to accomplish that goal.

“I want the community to take me seriously,” she says.

The entrepreneur is even relaunching her herbal skin care line for animals, Young’s Natural Pet Products, which helps heal ailments like rain rot and hot spots, in order to personally donate to her cause.

“They were the talk of the town,” says Young, whose products have reportedly helped heal many horses and dogs across the island.

This time, however, she will donate 50 percent of the proceeds from product sales to her project.

“The money that I get from that is a way to get the money that I need right now without waiting for someone to hand me a check,” she says.

Young also plans to place donation boxes “everywhere we can possibly put them.”

“I’m not fooling around,” she says.

With the proper funding, Young has a two-part solution to alleviate the island’s current lack of space for abused and neglected horses and hunting dogs.

Phase one of her project will provide an area for horses to heal and rehabilitate. After phase one is established, phase two will provide a safe haven for hunting dogs. A combination of the phases also will lead to an opportunity for keiki to interact with the animals and learn vocational skills.

“These programs will be designed to expand the local kids’ horizons by providing hands-on training in several different areas working with the animals,” says Young. “It gives them something to do besides running around the neighborhood going crazy doing drugs.”

Albeit the lack of funding, the animal lover says she has everything else in place including volunteers and even a television program, Animals in Paradise, set to be produced on-location.

“There are no limits if you have desire and passion,” Young says. “I need to prove that to the kids.”

Her passion for animals started as a child when she would turn to them for comfort.

“They’ve healed me through crisis,” she says, noting that animals heal us and make us laugh, and they deserve to be treated with respect and kindness.

“And if they are fed well, treated well, they will be better hunters, better partners and better family members,” she says.

When Young first moved to the island from California 22 years ago, she was appalled by the conditions of some of the hunting dogs, so she sought to improve the situation by providing her skin products to the community free of charge and returning dogs to their proper homes when she found them.

“These hunting dogs are the sweetest dogs I’ve ever met in my life,” she says.

Now she wants to make an even greater impact on their lives with the sanctuary. It’s an ambitious dream for Young, but one she is determined to make a reality.

“We are hoping our island’s community will seriously recognize the need for this project and help us with the connections that will bring in the funding needed to carry this project through to completion,” says Young.

“I’m tired of waiting. I’m so ready to go.”

For more information, call 634-1047 or email kauairrr@gmail.com.

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