Let me start off by Introducing myself. My name is Gena Walck and my main inspiration for stepping out in faith & starting this refuge, Is my little Capuchin boy... Isaac.
I have always been captivated by animals, especially horses & primates.
I have been around animals my whole life!!
Working with them every opportunity possible, studying & researching them and soaking up every ounce of information and experience I could get.
I carried home every critter I found as a young girl.
I grew up around dogs, cats, birds, various farm animals and my favorite, "Uncle Wayne's" cougars & bobcats!!
I have always been amazed by exotics..especially primates and big cats.
As I grew up I saw less of Uncle Wayne and with us residing in the suburbs my chances of being around exotics were slim.
I drew my focus on my other passion, Horses.
Coming from a family with very little money, the odds of me being owned by a horse were slim to none,
but to make a long story short, a 7th grade field trip to a riding stable appeared to be answer to one of my many prayers.
The owner of the stable Miss Debbie, said she found a natural talent in me with horses, especially for being "young & novice".
Miss Debbie shared her thoughts with my father, which lead to a weekend job leading trail rides & mucking stalls in return for "Horsey time" for me.
I ended up working off my first horse "Orion" a 22 yr old, 16h TB/QH cross.
1 year later I bought a 1.5 yr old Quarter Horse "Speed'o-Reed"
he trained me & I gentled him. Together..we taught each other for the first time.
From there...I never looked back!
I could go on forever about the road traveled,
but in a nut shell, I went through some pretty devastating times as a child into my late teens.
One thing that never changed, was animals were always my saving grace & still are.
I mean my Heavenly Father never left my side, but there were times when I couldn't feel his presence, and he gave me hope, love & healing through animals.
I have helped save many animals lives, but as I look back
in all reality it was truly they who were saving me.
All the times I thought these animals being brought to me & taken in by me, were finding refuge in me,
yet Truly...I was the one finding refuge in them.
I think my parents always thought I would grow out of it.
In fact I'm sure that quite often they prayed I would, lol.
I Never did!
I Never will! :)
I believe with all my heart, soul & all within me...that I am right where God wants me to be.
Well, at least headed on the right track. Hey! I'm trying anyway.
I believe God created animals first for good reason.
He intended them to be for our enjoyment..
for us to care for and look after them.
He didn't make them what we consider "Wild"!!
It was "we" humans that messed up the perfect plan.
God knew that we would find much enjoyment in them.
He designed them with an unconditional love, loyalty and dedication that most humans can only hope for!
Our sin is what made them anything less then perfect.
There are many of us who have been hurt by humans in various ways, leaving painful scars & open wounds, that only an animal can mend or help begin the healing process.
I am one of them!!
I have seen first hand what a simple nudge of an animal can do,
that even the best therapist couldn't begin to scratch the surface.
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That feeling when a wild mustang, shy & timid, approaches you & places their nose in the palm of your hand for the very first time...
When a shy or mistreated primate slowly comes over, sits down next to you, and offers to groom you....
Witnessing a human who's been struggling with trust, love & life, then begins smiling & laughing for the first time in months due to the presence of an animal..
When a person suffering with a disability, is in the company of an animal that makes them feel whole & as though they suffer nothing at all...
THIS my friends, is what I am all about!
This, is what "Heaven Help Us" is all about!!
I have obtained my Florida class I, II & III permits for several years in order that I may offer refuge to many Exotics & captive wildlife.
I Continue to read, research, and learn all I can about every animal I can.
I have volunteered at various types of rescues & ranches, Shelters and sanctuaries.
I grab any opportunity I can to learn, experience, and fill myself with knowledge and understanding about various animals.
I love them all and I feel you NEVER STOP LEARNING!!
(Well except spiders..lol)
Loving them all has made it very hard to select and focus on one specific thing at the refuge. So I haven't... lol
I feel my strengths are with the horses & primates..but I do rather well with the birds too..lol
I guess because these are the areas I have had the most experience.
In the horse world I have been very captivated by the Mustangs & the Draft horses.
As for Primates...I'm captivated by & love them all.
My plan as things unfold, is to make this website more animal specific.
I tend to focus a lot on the primates..because I feel they are the most misunderstood and there is not a lot of info out there on them in "private ownership"!
I also feel the people out there that share their lives with primates live in fear due to Terrorist organizations like PETA who do all they can in their power to take animals out of the life of humans!
I know so much more could be learned in hearing the experience others have.
This is just the beginning...
I Pray..."Lord Bless me on this Journey..."