**The Alpine animal sanctuary takes on several new animals in need of a forever home**

The Children’s Nature Retreat, a 20-acre animal sanctuary in Alpine, has accepted 18 new animals from various private parties who could no longer care for the animals, including two horses, two mini goats, five Lamancha goats, one potbelly mix pig, six chicken and two ducks.

All 18 animals arrived at the Retreat over the last two months from various circumstances. Boots, one of the two horses, was abandoned at a stable in Imperial beach by his owners. He can no longer be ridden because he was over-ridden when he was young. Three of his legs are not sound; however, after only a few weeks, he is thriving at the Retreat and making “friends” with his new pasture-mate, Cash, who came to the Retreat two weeks prior, due to his owners falling into financial/health issues.

To prepare for the new arrivals, the Retreat built a new pen for the mini cows and merged the mini-horses into a new enclosure. “It takes a lot of preparation to be able to accept and accommodate new animals,” explains Agnes Barrelet, executive director. “We always try to prepare for the best outcome and know that we are building a great life for them at the Retreat.”

The Retreat now has a total of 16 mini goats. One of them, Dolly, a 9-year-old Nigerian Dwarf goat, is undergoing cryotherapy and chemotherapy to treat cancer. Donations are being accepted to help fund Dolly’s veterinary visits, along with the veterinary care of March, one of the bunnies, who went under surgery to remove mammary cancer.

In addition to the veterinary bills, the cost to feed all the animals ranges from $10/month (Crackle, the quail) to over $500/month (Cheyenne, the bison); and everything in between. The revenues from guests visits alone are not sufficient. To make a donation, visit www.ChildrensNatureRetreat.org/Donate.

The Children’s Nature Retreat is home to more than 170 domesticated livestock and exotic animals from around the world – 22 different species and 60 distinct breeds. Many of the Retreat’s animals have been acquired from owners who could no longer keep or care for them, while some have been rescued from harsh living conditions. The Retreat is open to visits, Thursdays through Sundays from 10am to 5pm for self-guided tours, where you can feed the animals through or over the fence.

The Retreat’s COVID-19 safety measures include reservations by appointment only, now limiting to approximately 150 guests throughout the day. Guests are required to wear masks at the entrance if not vaccinated, and if they come within 6-feet of anyone outside of their family/household; visitors can roam the outdoor property on the self-guided tour without masks. Sanitizer is offered at the entrance, and bathrooms are open. Picnic tables are also open, set up at least 6-feet apart, and guests may sanitize the tables before they are used via a disinfectant station.

Single day admission is $38 for adults and $20 for kids (children under 2-years are free); seniors (60+) are $28. Alpine residents, military, first responders and veteran families receive a 10% discount (purchase tickets at the Retreat). Parking is complimentary.

For more information or to make a reservation, visit www.ChildrensNatureRetreat.org.

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The Children’s Nature Retreat Foundation is a 501 c3 non-profit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of children and their families. The Retreat, located on 20-acres in Alpine, Calif., is an animal sanctuary, where 170+ domesticated livestock and exotic animals – 22 different species and 60 distinct breeds – call home. Many of the animals have been acquired from owners who could no longer keep or care for them, while some have been rescued from harsh living conditions; these animals will now live out the rest of their lives in the serenity of the Retreat. For more information, visit https://childrensnatureretreat.org/ or call (619) 320-4942.