“…everyone deserves a place to heal, rest, and grow.”
-This Way, Charlie
In the book This Way, Charlie I used a blend of fact and fiction to create the story of the special friendship between a goat named Jack and a horse named Charlie, who meet at a caring animal sanctuary. The fictional “Open Bud Ranch” is inspired by the real-life Wild Heart Ranch in Claremore Oklahoma where the real Jack and Charlie became special companions. I’ve learned a lot about all kinds of animals and wildlife rescue from Wild Heart Ranch—and you can too!
Wild Heart Ranch, in Claremore, Oklahoma is a special place where wild animals who have been injured, orphaned, or are sick are given incredible care until they are ready to be released back into the wild, or in some cases brought to new homes. Wild Heart Ranch is run by its founder Annette King and her dedicated team. Animals come to them in different ways and for different reasons. Sometimes kids and families have come across a hurt or lost wildlife animal near their home or on a hike. Other times, local police, fire-persons, or animal control workers might find an animal who has been hurt, illegally kept as a pet, or abused—which means a human might not have been feeding it, treating it kindly, and might even have been hurting it. In the springtime, the team takes care of tons of baby animals of all kinds, like squirrels, possums, and raccoons.
To do this work, Annette and her team have to learn about all kinds of animals and what they need. hey also need a lot of help! You can help in lots of ways:
· Help animal rescue teams by learning about what to do and what not to do if you find an animal that looks like it might need help.
· Learn about recycling and using products in a way that causes less harm to wildlife.
· Raise and donate money to Wild Heart Ranch or other wildlife rehabilitation places to help them get food, medicine, and build shelters. If you buy one of Annette Kings books or other gifts on her website the money goes to helping them help animals!
· Tell other people about Wild Heart Ranch and what they do.
I became a recurring supporter of and visitor to their website and Facebook pages where Annette, Dan, Greg and her team generously share wonderful videos, photos, and information about the animals in their care. I highly suggest you virtually visit Wild Heart Ranch!
Main FB page: https://www.facebook.com/WildHeartRanch/
Kid Focused FB page: https://www.facebook.com/KIDS4theWILD/
For more about the real story behind Jack and Charlie check out:
· The original segment that grabbed my writer’s heart:
A facebook post by Annette King of the true story of Charlie and Jack at Wild Heart Ranch.
More about This Way, Charlie the book by Caron Levis & Charles Santoso here: