Hope falls like rays of sun on the Critter Place sanctuary in Florida where husband and wife team Ted & Karen Koran rehabilitate dozens of cats, dogs, horses, pigs and birds. After decades of singular devotion to the animals, Karen and Ted now need help. Karen is recovering from stage 3 ovarian cancer and Ted has lost his job.
“It has been very difficult for us the last 4 years,” explains Ted Koran, an Air Force veteran who worked for 35 years as a heavy equipment operator but has been laid off a handful of times in the down economy. “In 2012, my wife was diagnosed with stage 3c ovarian cancer and was given one to three months to live.”
Miraculously, Karen, a petite woman who has suffered from debilitating epilsepy all her life, is still battling the cancer and is in remission.
“My layoffs were actually a God send as I was able to care for her and our animals through this ordeal. It has been two years now since her original diagnosis and after one relapse last year, she is again in remission. ”
Even on the days that Karen was too weak to walk, Ted carried the small animals to her lap and took her outdoors to receive healing nudges from the larger animals. As she struggled to stand, Karen flashed back to her experiences healing Ruby, a once-emaciated horse who had also faced a grim diagnosis. When they first rescued Ruby, Ted and Karen spent three days vigil beside her on the ground, through thunderstorms and all. After being tied up under the sun without food or water for weeks, Ruby was so sick that she could not stand and they’d take turns putting her head in their laps, crying as she suffered, until on the third day Ruby could stand again.
Ruby lived to be 33 years old and her journey is a daily reminder to Karen that even the weakest, frailest bodies can grow strong again.
“My greatest wish is that I get to care for the animals until I must say goodbye or until they must say goodbye to me,” Karen said while nuzzling a rescued dove against her cheek.
Though it absolutely pains Ted, who has started his own handy man business recently to make ends meet, he has had to swallow his pride and ask for help.
“Even though the unemployment rate appears to be going down construction has not picked up much here in Florida,” Ted explains. “What work is available is 100’s of miles away. I hope to get enough of my maintenance work so I can continue to care for Karen and the animals. We never asked for a dime in 23 years and supported our sanctuary 100% on our own.”
The sanctuary is in good condition but some repairs are needed and veterinary surgery should be done for one lovely dog with inverted eyelids.
“Truth be told, many of the old animal housing, shelters and barn are in need of repairs,” Ted said. “The barn is very sentimental and has served three groups of horses including the original occupant, Ruby. I can rebuild and repair all of the structures myself for about $1,000 total. Fencing is also in need of replacing and will run around $750. Our feed store has the fencing.”
Ted’s maintenance business covers the couple’s living expenses and donations consist of about 50% of the animals feed needs, but the mortgage payments are way behind and the bank is threatening to take the land. Last month we witnessed a similar case, where rescuer Paula Campbell was literally lying down in the mud trying to protect her animals as police forced her off the land. All 300 animals were taken away to various rescue centers and it was devastating for her. This doesnot have to be the fate of The Critter Place. Ted and Karen are exceptionally hard working and their needs are small.
Here’s What Is Needed Today to Save The Critter Place:
- $6,000 toward the late mortgage payments
- $1,700 for shelter repairs and fencing
- $1,200 for veterinary care
- If we EXCEED that goal, additional donations will go toward payments to eliminate the mortgage which is now at $37,000.
“With a ton of worries on my shoulders I always look for that tiny glimmer of hope to grasp onto so the weight is bearable,” Ted said. “So many have had it so much worse and we are so grateful to have survived this far.”
5 Ways to Donate Today
1) Single Gift Option:
Help The Critter Place animal sanctuary.
2) Monthly Donations:
Animal Sanctuary Survival Fund.
4) Donate by Mail
Please send a check to:
800 Main Street,
Suite 217, Holden, MA 01520