Whisper's Sanctuary began in 2005 as the dream of the late LTC (retired) Ross Romeo and Toni Leo. The couple found a lovely ranch in Southern Arizona after Ross' retirement. Determined to create a sanctuary for animals and humans, they begun their endeavor. Federal 501c3 nonprofit status was granted in 2006.
In 2007 a neighbor's home was purchased and converted into Whisper's Ranch B & B, a place where guests could find a peaceful retreat and spend time in therapeutic activities with the animals.
The Sanctuary's fundraising venue.
Realizing quickly that fundraising was imperative, a lemonaide and homemade scone stand called Sparky's Cantina was started in front of the property in summer months. Travelers going to Parker Canyon Lake often stopped to chat, purchase some bake goods, and hear about the animals. This outdoor table and tent operation grew to the Sparky's Cantina known today - a vegetarian, vegan and allergy-free food truck. Our ethical homemade foods promote animal welfare and educate the public that healthy foods can taste GREAT!
Sparky's Cantina frequents special events in Southern Arizona, and delivers fresh homemade foods and baked goods to the Sierra Vista Co-Op market twice weekly. We even started a new "brand" called Sweet Fiona, which specializes in vegan desserts! Income generated from food sales provides feed and medical care for the animals. Toni is the volunteer chef for Sparky's Cantina, and also the animal caretaker when we don't have help (which sadly is often).
Ford, Hershey & Faith, kill pen rescues.
As a sanctuary we are a lifetime home for animals in need. Currently the Sanctuary has almost 50 residents, including horses, donkeys, mules, a pony, goats, geese, chickens, a feral barn cat and a few dogs. Although we typically don't rescue animals, we did begin by rescuing a group of pregnant goats from an animal hoarder in 2005. To commemorate our 10th anniversary we rescued a group of 10 equines from the kill pens down south. Toni used her personal funds for their purchase. Some of these equines will be rehabbed and adopted out.
Amore, Daisy & Violet at Whisper's Sanctuary.
As one might expect, the cost to maintain the animals at the Sanctuary is very high. Since Ross' tragic passing in 2008, Toni has been left to do much of the work and fundraising to keep the Sanctuary going. She works a day job, volunteers as chef for Sparky's Cantina, volunteers as the Sanctuary Director, in addition to maintaining the B & B and doing animal care when help cannot be found.
Natural beauty, peace & tranquility, animals - the magic of Whisper's Sanctuary.
The Sanctuary would like to expand operations to include being able to offer additional therapeutic and educational programs. The animals have much to share and teach visitors across the lifespan, from children to seniors. In order to be able to offer these programs, we need your assistance to keep the animals fed. We have focused for years on meeting the basic needs of the animals that there is little time to do more. But with YOUR HELP that can change.
Help always greatly appreciated.
Please can you be a rainbow for us, a glimpse of HELP and HOPE? Whisper's Sanctuary really needs DONATIONS and VOLUNTEERS. Every dollar and every hour makes a huge difference. Our feed costs exceed $25K yearly, and we have always operated at a deficit. Helping us with basic expenses such as feed means we can offer more programs for the community to experience the magic of Whisper's Sanctuary.
Photo by Guy Atchley, KGUN-9 News, Tucson, AZ
Tax-deductible donations can be made to Whisper's Sanctuary in the following ways:
mail to 2160 E Fry Blvd, PMB 342, Sierra Vista, AZ 85635
paypal to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you so much for your kindness and generosity!