Spirit turns 25 this year, and we had an amazing event planned to celebrate his birthday at our Lompoc sanctuary. Because of the uncertainty caused by COVID-19, we have postponed the celebration that was scheduled for May 9 indefinitely and temporarily discontinued ticket sales. We will be contacting those who have purchased tickets directly.
The Spirit birthday benefit was to be the largest event on our 2020 calendar. The bulk of our programs begin in June, and all other events have a ticket limit of 35 or fewer. Most, like our photo safaris, host a maximum of 12 participants. We’ll be closely following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and state and county health officials and adjusting events to maximize the safety of visitors and staff.
As an example of modifications being made to our programs, our pre-tour talks will now be held outside to allow for social distancing. We’ll also be urging be reminding visitors by email in advance of planned events to please stay home if they believe they are ill or have been in contact with someone who has been. We’ll be happy to reschedule any missed visits for a later date.
Our programs are central to our mission of educating the public about the challenges faced by America’s wild horses and burros, and the income they provide helps us provide care for the well over 500 wild horses and burros at our sanctuary locations. Needless to say, the loss of a benefit event and the possible cancelation of any programs would have a big impact. We will continue to increase ways to bring Return to Freedom and the sanctuary to you through our blog, videos and streaming modalities!