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Villa Chardonnay Sanctuary Expands to Save More Lives

Villa Chardonnay Equine and Animal Sanctuary has expanded and is offering new programs for the public and animals in need. The new sanctuary is over 25 acres in Temecula wine country, three times the size of their previous sanctuary. With the larger property comes the opportunity to help more animals and people in need. Also, there is a need for a new outdoor cattery, more shelters for the horses and new fundraising challenges. Villa Chardonnay has grown to be the largest equine and animal sanctuary in Southern California and has saved thousands of lives over the years.

Dogs, cats and horses, with a few goats and turkeys thrown in, Villa Chardonnay is home to many creatures.

Nearly all the animals at the sanctuary have special needs; from the seven month old Cayetano an Andalusian colt who suffers from a neurological disorder causing difficulty standing, to a cute little dog – Angelo Mio, who was rescued from Taiwan and suffers from osteomyelitis, a deep bone infection in each of her front legs, to several blind cats like Chloe, Valentine and Andy. Each of them thrive at the sanctuary dedicated to helping special needs animals. The sanctuary provides medical care, love and attention, and food for over 200 animals every day.

The new facility features many pastures, paddocks and two barns, one of which is being modified for the horses most in need of medical care. Even in the short time they have been at the new facility several horses have come their way including two young horses that were going to be shot by their owner because they were born with slight deformities. Many times the sanctuary helps people as much as horses, they also recently took in a horse from a woman with stage IV breast cancer who could no longer care for her horse and had nowhere to turn.

Named after Chardonnay, a beautiful Palomino, the first horse rescued thirteen years ago, Villa Chardonnay seems to fit right in while residing in the Temecula Valley known for its wines. “We are reaching out to the wine community hoping for some support for the sanctuary. Perhaps one of the wineries would donate a dollar for every bottle of Chardonnay sold! It would be fun and the community will be aware of the winery’s dedication to Temecula horses in need”, said Gardner. The average monthly expenses for feed, veterinary care and rescue efforts was $46,913 in 2015. The sanctuary is seeking to raise $10,640 for an outdoor cattery to expand the space for over 50 cats in their care. Up to $2,000 will be matched by Dr. Sharon McGilvery in honor of her mother, the amazing cat lady Sadie McGilvery. The expansion will allow an increase of 15 additional cats at the sanctuary.

The additional acreage can house many more horses, however feeding and providing excellent care is a financial challenge.

It is critical that we receive additional steady and ongoing donations. This could be by the way of annual corporate sponsorships, individual monthly sponsorships, creating a cause marketing partnership with a winery or other business. Nonprofits often have a major benefactor helping with their monthly and annual expenses, Villa Chardonnay does not have such a benefactor. With our extensive monthly expenses, we depend on small donations from individuals every month, which can be very inconsistent. Additionally, concerning is that this is an election year and that has historically taken its toll on all nonprofits. , said Monika Kerber, President and CEO.

The two co-founders, Monika Kerber and Louise Gardner put their money where their mouth is by making substantial donations every year to make sure ends meet.