Creatures & Caretakers
“Jim, you are all that they’ve got.”

 

Photographer, Documentary Journalist Alexandra Buxbaum is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this documentary photography.  From the project ‘A Place to Call Home – Animal Sanctuaries in Arizona’.  To see Alexandra’s body of work, click on any image.

 

 

 

A Place to Call Home revolves around 8 Arizona animal sanctuaries and their positive contributions to animal, environmental and community welfare. These organizations support a variety of domesticated and wild animals in the state and include sanctuaries from small independent groups to large well-funded associations.

This photo feature is as much about the animals who have wound up in a sanctuary – their backstories of exploitation and habitat loss – as it is about the caretakers who are dedicated to helping these animals live as naturally as possibly in the world we share.

Each of the sanctuaries in the group of 8 provides their own unique perspective, focus or specialty, and each supports different types of animals such as pigs, raptors, farm animals, horses, factory farm rescues. Plus, native wildlife that includes owls, wild cats, coyotes, skunk, javelina and many others.

 

 

As sanctuaries heavily rely on volunteer help with the day-to-day tasks, these images touch upon the selfless service these special individuals and organizations have chosen to dedicate themselves, their time and their hearts.

This is a very special group of people who believe dearly in this cause and want to do everything they can to help these animals that were victims of abuse, neglect, exploitation, habitat loss, or were destined to be slaughtered. They have heard the call to action, the call for help, and they’ve answered that call with their dedication and their service.

 

 

A Place to Call Home also addresses this fundamental question…do we as human beings have the unfettered, unrestricted right and authority over all other creatures on this planet and to control, manage and destroy habitats – and even the lives of everything in the path of our wants and needs?

 

 

Tierre Madre Horse & Human Sanctuary
Tierre Madre Horse and Human Sanctuary is located in Cave Creek, Arizona and provides a forever home for 27 neglected, abandoned or abused horses. Founded by former executive and one of the founders of USA Today, Jim Gath. Tierra Madre started out as a boarding facility that took in horses no one else wanted and soon there were more horses than boarders. At that point a friend said 5 words that changed everything, “Jim, you are all that they’ve got.” Those words made Jim realized this was his mission in life and founded the sanctuary in 2005. The number one priority is to give all their horses the happiest life they could ever imagine. People with emotional trauma and groups of young people with special needs and autism started out weekly as part of their curriculum. The horses Tierra Madre helped became healers themselves and fulfilled the mission the organization always envisioned; people helping horses to heal and then having those horses helping people to heal.

 

 

 

All images and text © Alexandra Buxbaum

 

 

 

 

See also:

Classic B&W Photos

By Alexandra Buxbaum

 

 

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