Thursday, February 26, 2009

Amber Barrett's Speech

Hi there! Today, we are happy to bring you Amber's speech. Amber is Cam's sister and they both share a love of animals, nutured by their mom Leslie and aunt Jenn!

Amber's Speech

It’s like a fairy tale only it’s real!

The really cool thing is this fairy tale is located only 20 minutes away, in Manilla!

This fairy tale is called Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary.

Story Book Farm is a sanctuary for primates. My mom, aunt and brother volunteer there all the time, working with the animals. If you do not know what primates mean, the best way to tell you is, Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary has over 6 different types of monkeys, so you guessed it - primates means monkeys.

Some monkeys at Story Book Farm are: George, Suzie, Mr. Jenkins, Lexy, Nan, Pierre, Chelsea and the newest Julian, plus they have many more. These monkeys are at the sanctuary for a reason. Some of the reasons are, the monkeys were used for research testing. Some lived with humans and did not get treated very well and some were just old and not fun anymore for their owners.

There are so many different types of primates: like Pierre who is an Olive Baboon and 6 years old; Lexy, who is a Japanese Macaque and 4 years old; Mr. Jenkins who is a black handed spider monkey and 4.5 years old; and George and Suzie who are black spider monkeys. George is 37 and Suzie is 20.

Some people think that monkeys are cute and sweet, and they are, but they are not supposed to be pets or live in the zoo. They should be in the wild not in captivity, even if they do live longer in the zoo that’s just nature and how things are.

Story Book Farm is not just for monkeys. They have dogs, cats, horses, goats, a duck and a goose and other animals. They all have a special reason why they have come to live here and all of them will retire here for the rest of their lives. They have comfortable living spaces that are warm and they get fresh food and treats at suppertime everyday. My Mom and brother prepare the supper for them. It would include lots of fruits and vegetables, bread or cereal, nuts, and a sweet treat like cupcakes. Because some of them were not raised very well in their previous homes, it is okay to give them treats that they will enjoy. The owners of Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary, Sherri & Leonard give them toys and special things to play with to keep them occupied, since living here can be boring at times. For instance, they use fire hose for the monkeys to swing on, soccer balls and electronic toys so the monkeys can hear the sounds and press the buttons. Sometimes they are given their suppers in boxes or paper bags they have to rip open to keep things interesting for them.

Lexy carries around a baby doll and holds it to her like she would a real monkey baby. She seems to enjoy having something to take care of.

Chelsea really likes rubber boots for some reason and will bring it over to show you.

Sweet Pea enjoys grooming old fur coats, as if they were other monkey friends.

Mr. Jenkins is a very silly guy. He was used for a movie once. He was supposed to answer a phone in the movie but he didn’t want to and didn’t cooperate, so they got rid of him. This is how he ended up at the farm. You have to be careful when walking by Jenkins because if he can reach you, he may pull you or pinch you. He doesn’t do this to hurt you, just to play - but it can still hurt.

I have only been to the farm one time and I had a great time touring the barn and learning about each of their personalities. The rest I have learned from my Mom and brother who LOVE going every week. The farm is not open for the public because the animals are not supposed to be on this earth for human’s entertainment. They need to be respected. The monkeys are also not handled and cuddled like you might think. As cute as they are, they need to be treated like the animals they really are and not used for our purposes. They love their home and the workers. They get to be outside. They get to socialize with each other through their cages and their lives have been enriched since coming here. They have very different personalities and some can be mad or bothered at times, just like humans.

As much as we can all learn from this farm and the primates, I want people to know that they should not support the use of any monkeys as pets, in movies, products, roadside zoos, etc. All animals need to be respected and allowed to live their natural lives, not trained to live like humans.

...thanks Amber for sharing with your classmates, the stories of the monkeys...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Animal Cruelty - A speech by Cam Barrett

Today, we proudly share with our Story Book family, Cam's speech. I am sure you will be moved by his words and passion. Cam is 14 and in Grade 8. He lives and goes to school within City of Kawartha Lakes. Has always had a dog and several cats, has loved animals his whole life and hopes to pursue a career in the animal welfare field.

Animal Cruelty
by Cam Barrett

A dog suffocates to death with its mouth taped shut. A cat dies screaming in a microwave oven. A horse collapses as it is being dragged behind a farm wagon, and is savagely beaten with a slab of wood. A kitten is hurtled to the ground and its skull deliberately stepped on and crushed. Animals are suffering and often there is nothing authorities can do about it. These are some very disturbing and upsetting examples of cruelty to animals. These are some of the more extreme examples, and they are hard to believe - but this type of thing does happen as well as other cruelties to animals. Maybe you have even experienced something like this and wished that there was something that you could do about it.

Mr. Piggot and fellow class mates: animal cruelty laws should be stricter! All animals are defenseless to humans. There should be laws against buying exotic animals. There should be a lifetime ban on animal ownership for former animal abusers. The government should help us move towards achieving these goals. I am a firm believer in helping animals because they cannot help themselves. They are completely at our mercy. They need our help.

There should be laws on buying exotic animals. As of today, the jail time is only a maximum of 6 months no matter what offence to an animal. The fine, however, is even less sufficient. It is only a maximum fine of $2,000 and then the accused are let off the hook. We treat animals as if they are nothing like us, but really they are extremely close in our DNA profiles. The chimpanzee is our closest animal relative. We share 98.4% of our DNA according to the Fauna Foundation. How can we not want to help our closest relatives? …and our pets?

A relatively unknown fact is that you can buy exotic pets. Some wild animals are as easy to acquire, and occasionally as inexpensive, as common pets such as a pure bred dog or cat. But even truly exotic animals, including rare species are available. Did you have any idea that a cougar can be purchased for $1,200? These animals are taken from their comfortable habitat to be raised and taught to perform and model. Most of these animals pose an alarming threat to our health when introduced into society. In 1994, a 16 year old boy died from a broken neck caused by one of his uncle’s Siberian tigers living in his back yard. In 1999, a 71 year old women needed 409 stitches to close the gashes on and around her head from her neighbour’s Eurasian lynx. Judging by these astonishing facts and dreadful outcomes of owning exotic pets, wouldn’t you agree that there should be tougher laws against owning exotic animals?

There should be lifetime bans on ownership of an animal if you are convicted of animal abuse. When convicted, the abuser gets a maximum of 6 months in jail and afterwards is able to continue on mistreating animals. Do you think that if a killer had six months without murdering that they would stop afterwards? If an animal abuser abuses once there is no telling that they will stop. When humans get abused they are lucky enough to be able to get a restraining order but for animals they are in it by themselves, they have no voice. Once you have abused an animal, you no longer deserve the right to own another innocent animal.

We as a society should be asking the government to help us, in this crucial time of need. Throughout time there have always been animals in danger and not many welfare organizations receive any public funding. The government should provide more animal shelters and funding, to go towards animal protection. Did you know that animal cruelty laws have not changed since 1982? There are many different forms of animal cruelty -many are over looked by most individuals. Some forms are roadside zoos. These are sometimes visited and viewed as a tourist attraction but really they are like animal penitentiaries - they are taken from the wild to be a source of entertainment. We as a society need to look at these issues and make changes, making animals more of a priority.

Our past and present society seems to think because animals are defense less to us its OK to mistreat animals with little or no consequences. So next time you witness an act of cruelty stop and think… HOW WOULD YOU LIKE IT?
...thank you so much Cam for bringing these difficult issues to your class.
...we all thank you for being such a caring, wonderful friend to the monkeys and animals at the sanctuary.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Interview with Sherri Delaney on Animal Voices

Recently, Lauren Corman, interview Sherri Delaney on the program Animal Voices. Thanks Lauren for giving Sherri the opportunity to talk about the important work of the sanctuary, and the daily happenings and routine on the farm! Please visit and take a listen to:



Monday, February 9, 2009

Canadian Tire Money Drive - Now at $193.00!

Happy Monday everyone! Hope that you got out and enjoyed the spring-like weather. It has been a tough winter, especially on the farm - loads of snow and ice.

We are at 38% of our goal of $500.00 in Canadian Tire Money! It is amazing how those little bits and bobs have added up....We thank each person who has contributed to the drive including- Robert, Diane, Heidi, Christine and friends, Paul, Mark, Erika and staff, and Barbara. So, can you help us for the push of $307.00? We are thrilled that many teachers and students have taken this appeal to their schools and classrooms. Please email me at for an electronic copy of the flyer.

We wanted to thank some very extraordinary young people who have shown their commitment and compassion for our residents: Cam, Amber, Sam and Antonia. Whether coming up weekly (and sometimes a few times a week) or speaking out on behalf of the animals, these young people are making a huge difference in the lives of the monkeys. As volunteers, they help with the chores in the barn, preparing dinners, enrichment, and are always thinking about ways to help. I had the pleasure of working with Sam and Antonia (and Mom - Anne) yesterday, and am touched by their gentleness and caring - the shine in Antonia's eyes as she watched Koo-Koo sitting proudly on Coco Puff's eggs (Yes, Koo-Koo's new companion is a little girl (not a male, as Sherri was told) - surprise - so now we have two happy, laughing doves - Koo-Koo and Coco Puff and two tiny eggs. Sam thoughtfully sat at the kitchen table designing a "condo" for George and Suzie...

Recently, Cam and Amber, the son and daughter of Leslie, (an awesome volunteer) took the opportunity through speeches in their classes to raise awareness about Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary and about the issue of Animal Cruelty. Over the next posts, we will share their speeches with you and ask that you read them and carefully consider the thoughts and care contained in them. Thank you Amber and Cam!

Many young people have come to the farm, and it is touching and inspirational to see young ones take hold and allow kindness and compassion to shine in them and to share that with others. Thank you are the future and you keep us veterans fighting because we believe that tomorrow will be a better day because we see a glimpse of it in your hearts today...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Wheeeew! I have finally managed to steal away a bit of time so that I can update everyone on the activity here at the sanctuary......Hello!

All the the animals are getting through the winter just fine but I suspect the monkeys would rather be outside. The humans though, are a little tired of the snow, this human in particular!

Sweat Pea was a lucky girl a couple of weeks ago when Rachelle and Kim arrived with several bright coloured faux fur ladies vests that they had found on sale. We gave Pea the choice on which coloured vest she wanted....She picked the dark green one. However, she had a second thought when we put the red one back in the bag for another time......she had decided she wanted that one too! She spent hours grooming her new vest and sleeps with it to this day. What a nice treat for Sweet Pea. Thank-you.

Mickey has settled in beautifully! She is such a sweet little girl and I have to say what a pleasure it is to be with a well rounded happy primate. She had a good life before coming to the sanctuary and it shows! She came here to be with Pablo and Amigo. They are all very content now. Life for them is good.

We have a new Foster Friends program in the works. Its very exciting! Friends of the monkeys can become a Foster Friend to one of the monkeys living at the sanctuary. Becoming a Foster Friend intitles you to certain privledges, a Foster Friend certificate and information on the foster friend you are helping. We hope this new program not only helps the monkeys but helps people learn about the monkeys and the plight they face.

Meet our special friend.
Caitlin is our first Foster Friend. HELLO CAITLIN...and THANK-YOU! Caitlin was so amazed by the Lemurs, Razzle, Kye and Kizmit. Caitlin became a Foster Friend to Razzle after learning her story. We were thrilled. Several weeks went by after Caitlin became Razzle's friend and I recieved another call from Dave, he told me that Caitlin wanted something special for her birthday....she wanted to help the rest of the family, Kye and Kizmit. Caitlin became a Foster Friend to them too! Thanks for thinking of them Caitlin, you're very special. We appreciate your help and............................. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!