From Farm... To Zoo... To Domestic and Exotic Animal Sanctuary
The GuZoo Animal Farm was founded for the people. To educate, delight and awe the public. But in short order, it fell upon the GuZoo to become a lasting future to individual animals in need of sanctuary (or as we often refer to it, “retirement homes). Orphaned bears, deer, foxes, coyotes, skunks, unwanted horses, donkeys, goats, sheep, llamas, cats, dogs, etc… all found their way to GuZoo. From the beginning, the Fish and Wildlife office would bring orphaned wildlife to the GuZoo. Often these were young animals, still needing milk. Mr. Gustafson couldn’t bring himself to turn away an animal in need and so applied his knowledge and resources to helping animals that came his way.
Taking in orphaned baby animals allowed Mr. Gustafson more opportunities to share baby animals with his visitors. It was a win-win situation. The animals received love and care (and ultimately life), and the public could come see and touch the babies and by doing so learn more about native species.
Being a farm, it was only natural for people to approach Mr. Gustafson to ask him to take in a donkey they could no longer keep, or help find homes for an unplanned litter of puppies. Word got out that if you couldn’t keep your barn yard animal, just phone the GuZoo. As the name of the GuZoo grew, so did the demand for space needed to provide adequate housing for unwanted domestic animals. The GuZoo was coaxed into expansion.
Chickens, rabbits, ducks, geese, goats, pigs, caged birds, guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, … you name it… all would be offered to the GuZoo. Demonstrating the need for more animal rescue facilities. Rarely was an animal turn down. Not all animals stay at the GuZoo however, many are re-homed when available homing opportunities presented themselves. But indeed, GuZoo houses, feeds and generally cares for them all in the meantime.
If Mr. Gustafson had his way, he wouldn’t charge an admission fee to view his zoo. He never opened the zoo as a means of income. But it was anticipated that animal care had costs. A small admission fee of $2 per person was instated upon the official opening of the GuZoo. But never was it projected that the GuZoo would become a half way house for so many animals. Animal care expenses increase yearly and GuZoo has been forced over the years to increase their admission charge. The zoo has never been government funded and to this day, can claim no government funding because the zoo is not municipal owned. Mr. Gustafson has become very resourceful when it comes to providing the necessary money to sustain the zoo. And the GuZoo lives on!