Monday, March 04, 2024 |
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Ann Goody displays the Outstanding Sanctuary Award Three Ring Ranch Exotic Animal Sanctuary recently received. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)
Ann Goody show artifacts at the Three Ring Ranch educational center. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)
Flamingos roam at the Three Ring Ranch. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)
Above left: Ann Goody displays the Outstanding Sanctuary Award Three Ring Ranch Exotic Animal Sanctuary recently received. Above: Zoe the Zebra. (Photos by Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)
Ann Goody feeds an ostrich at Three Ring Ranch. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)
Frederica the spider monkey will turn 54 in January when she will hit the record for the oldest recorded Geoffroy’s spider monkey in captivity. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)
A ring tail lemur (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)
Ann Goody gives Sheena, a capuchin monkey, a treat at Three Ring Ranch. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)
Three Ring Ranch Exotic Animal Sanctuary perched above Kailua Bay is getting ready to mark 25 years with the exciting announcement of receiving a prestigious award.
The Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries recently presented to Three Ring its annual Outstanding Sanctuary Award to recognize excellence in humane and responsible animal care; professionalism and ethics; organizational sustainability; public engagement; and contributions to, and leadership within, the sanctuary field. Hawaii’s only accredited animal sanctuary was selected from more than 200 GFAS-certified sanctuaries worldwide for this honor.
Ann Goody and her husband, Dr. Norm Goody did not set out to start a sanctuary in 1998.
“I had a great condo on Alii Drive and was executive director for a large home health company. Then I met Norm. We fell in love, but he hated my condo,” Ann explained. “He knew my background with animals, having had them in Big Bear Lake in California. He convinced me to get rid of the condo and get a place where I could get a horse and dogs again. We started hunting for bare land. We got the lot in Keolani and started building a home. Then, since we were building a home together we decided we should get married.”
In 1997, they tied the knot and had a wonderful wedding reception. The morning after, while putting away the coolers and emptying things on the driveway, Ann was hit in the face by a freak lightning strike.
“Luckily, it broke apart. Had it stayed together, it would have vaporized my head,” she said. “Part of it went to a palm tree, turning it into a tiki torch, part went to a power pole, running up the transformer and took out two water pumping stations.”
Goody said the strike took out large sections of her brain, leaving her expressively aphagic.
“I struggle to find words. The best way to describe it is I am traumatically autistic. I don’t think they way I used to,” she said. “I am very lucky to be alive.”
Goody endured the physical, mental and psychological aftermath of the trauma.
“I tried to push through it, but would end up collapsing. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks I wasn’t the Ann I used to be. I would look in the mirror and see myself, remembering who I used to be but then I saw myself now and they were so far apart that I didn’t want to be on the planet anymore. I was over it,” she recalled. “Norm, being the wonderful guy he is supported me through all of this. One day he asked what he could do to help. I love to travel and I know I meant to say let’s go to Paris, but what came out of my mouth was zebra. That’s the way it all started.”
After hearing his wife’s “wish,” Norm remembered reading about the Molokai Safari Park had closed and animals were dying of starvation. He got the name of the attorney that was handling the park closure and told Ann “if you want a zebra, call him.”
“I remember being confused. He said that I told him I wanted a zebra,” she said. “I said well that would be cool. Because I don’t remember wanting a zebra.”
She ended up talking to the attorney who told her if she got the proper permits she could have any of the animals she wanted.
After obtaining her permits, Ann began bringing animals to the sanctuary in Kona, starting with a zebra and followed by others from the closed Molokai park.
“In doing that, they literally saved my life and I saved theirs,” she recalled.
As word spread about the sanctuary they started getting animals from all over the state.
“Gradually, as we became known for dealing with geriatric and psychotic animals, they have come from all over the mainland too,” she said.
Today, the 5-acre sanctuary is home to 135 animal and is Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries accredited and a member of the American Sanctuary Association.
”Accreditation means you meet a different standard. There are standards for all the different species. We are very unusual for a sanctuary because we have avian, reptile, mammal, hoof stock, native species,” she said. “Most places are single species or single family. We have to adhere to all the rules and guidelines for each species.”
Goody said the ranch is 100% volunteer run with no paid staff and relies entirely on donations.
Every morning volunteers clean each cage and scrub every water vessel, in addition to tending to all the animals.
“It takes a team. We are seven days a week,” she said. “We lost a lot of volunteers during COVID. We are trying to build back up the team again. People who love animals and are fit and healthy and over the age of 17.”
Goody also holds educational programs including an eight to 12 week after school mentor program for keiki age 11 and older and a summer residential program for pre-vet and veterinary students.
“The award is a real honor. It means a lot to us. A big pat on the back,” she said.
For more information about the ranch and volunteer opportunities, visit threeringranch.org
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