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Local primate sanctuary holds fundraiser to support rescued monkeys

Pong and Ping, Japanese snow macaques, were rescued by Mindy’s Memory Primate Sanctuary from a roadside zoo after it went bankrupt. Photo provided
Pong and Ping, Japanese snow macaques, were rescued by Mindy’s Memory Primate Sanctuary from a roadside zoo after it went bankrupt. Photo provided

By Darla Shelden
Contributing Writer

In order to save the lives of monkeys, often used in research, the 2nd Annual Mindy’s Memory Primate Sanctuary fundraiser will be held on Saturday, Feb. 23. The event will take place from noon – 2 p.m., at Expressions Community Fellowship Church, 4010 N. Youngs Blvd., in Oklahoma City.

Located in Newcastle, OK, Mindy’s Memory was founded to provide a healthy, safe, and humane environment for monkeys needing care and treatment. Many of the inhabitants are former pets. Others came from closing zoos, or were retired from research. The Sanctuary would like to help any monkey in need.

“Mindy Sue was the first rhesus macaque that I accepted,” said Founder and Executive Director, Linda Barclay. “She came from research, was sold to a broker, and brought to us. Mindy had severe health problems and the only way I could keep her hydrated was with electrolytes. The vet said that was the only thing that kept her going.”

“Mindy had a stroke after five years and passed away. That made me realize that these animals from research need a place to go to.”
Started in 1992 in Mindy’s memory, Barclay says the sanctuary was built “to give a chance at a freer life for those who find us.”

The Sanctuary’s goal is to educate the public and provide services to promote the humane treatment and care of monkeys. The facility also works to develop a positive relationship with universities who wish to retire monkeys to their care.

“Currently, we have 88 primates, four pot belly pigs, and three African spur thigh tortoises,” said Barclay.

Mindy’s Memory provides housing with indoor/outdoor enclosures, psychological enrichment, a daily diet consisting of fresh fruits and vegetables, and necessary medical care needed for the animals.

“The sanctuary has an annual budget of $170,000 a year,” said Barclay. “This is difficult to maintain some years, but it is essential that we have enough to pay for vet care and feed. We have three full time and one part time staff, utilities, up keep and repairs. There are mowers, weed eaters, and a tractor to keep in working repair, gasoline, oil parts, etc. We also have a van to use for donations that requires fuel and care.”

Last summer, former “Price is Right” host and animal advocate, Bob Barker made a significant monetary donation to Mindy’s Memory allowing Barclay the opportunity to take in five rhesus monkeys who were being retired from a California lab.

Barclay said, “Although it makes me sad to see these animals confined, it sure beats the small stainless steel cages they lived in for all their lives before arriving here. We furnish the most area for them that our land allows, and we have groups of up to five animals living together that were isolated before arriving. Our alternative is a good life for them.”

Kara McCullar, Sanctuary Vice President said, “I hope everyone is excited and ready to win some incredible prizes from Oklahoma City stores and local artists at the fundraising event.”

“Raffle tickets are $2 each or 12 for $20,” said McCullar. “Silent auction items will be paintings mainly of the monkeys by artists Jessica Godwin, Tamra Cook and Sally Phelps. We also have hair products donated from salons, gift cards from lots of businesses, and Fox and Hound on Memorial has donated a party for 10 package that includes wings, pizza, games of pool and more.”

Other contributors to the Mindy’s Memory event include Lush Cosmetics, Panera Bread, Blue 7, Half Price Books, Starbucks and many more.
In addition to much needed monetary donations, Barclay says items such as cleaning supplies. paper towels, dish detergent, mops, buckets, postage stamps are also greatly needed.

“We are always looking for people to volunteer at the sanctuary and I will have a sign up sheet at the event for anyone over the age of 18, who is interested,” said McCullar.

For more information, contact Kara McCullar at [email protected]

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