Tag Archives: animal rescue

Rock n’ Brews Benefit for IHWN

RNBOV 1025- In Harmony with Nature share#This Thursday, December 3rd, pop by Rock n’ Brews in Oviedo for lunch, dinner, snacks, or just to knock back a pint after work.  They will donate 15% of your check to our friends at In Harmony With Nature (make sure to have the flyer with you!)

You can join some folks from our group and some volunteers from the refuge there for dinner at 5:30 – we’d love to meet you!

Rock n’ Brews Oviedo: Rock it for IHWN!

Thursday, Dec 3, 2015, 5:30 PM

4 Happy Humans Attending

Check out this Meetup →


And if you’d like to know more about the sanctuary, join us for the Picnic With Wolves event this Saturday, December 5th!  (picnic portion canceled, but join us for the tour!).




Last call to be part of saving the sanctuary!


Gavin, Volunteer with the Artist Heroes project

Gavin, Volunteer with the Artist Heroes project

Together we’ve been watching the challenges faced by local wolf and wolfdog sanctuary, In Harmony With Nature, as they faced the potential for losing their property over the past year following an illness of a benefactor and other difficulties.  You helped us share the story, raise funds, and work to make a paw-sitive difference for these amazing animals and local educational resource.  THANK YOU for your support!!

This refuge has been in a veritable Schrodinger’s Box for quite a while – and we will soon get to peek inside.  Your continued support over the next couple of weeks could mean the difference between a bright future for these animals – or an uncertain and potentially devastating one.

The property was lost at action to the bank – they outbid the individual who entered the auction to save the property.  Now, the property is with a company that will be selling it – and the sanctuary has the option to work with them.  There are many potential positive outcomes, but in a likely scenario In Harmony will need to have the cash to purchase the property.

If you haven’t pledged yet, or would consider making an additional pledge, please log in today.  Your contribution could make all the difference.


How does this benefit you and our greater community?  Come join our Picnic With Wolves on December 5th for a tour, or simply think about the potential for local youth to have a wolf and wolfdog tour or service project to learn about a unique aspect of responsible pet ownership and breeding; a group tour or service event for your social group, work group, or team; and most importantly the service to these animals that is unique, specialized, and in great demand.   There are scores of wolfdogs on waiting lists for rescues – and only a few specialized agencies able to care for them.  Let’s not lose this one, that is located in our local community and has the potential not only to impact the animals, but to provide a wonderful engagement opportunity for us all.

You can learn more about the refuge at IHWN.org.

Other Links:


Happy Earth Day!

 10th Annual Central Florida Earth Day this Saturday!

Update: 2015 Central Florida Earth Day was wonderful!  See you on April 23, 2016, at Lake Eola Park, 10 – 6, for another amazing event!

2014 BE. Orlando Central Florida Earth Day booth

2014 BE. Orlando Central Florida Earth Day booth

Central Florida Earth Day is one of the most wonderful vegetarian & vegan Earth Day festivals in the country – and we are honored to be part of it! Visit the Little Red Bus and give blood with us – and please stop by the BE. Orlando vendor tent (Tent 79 near Washington Street & the Community Market) to say hello! 🙂

Come out to Lake Eola this Saturday (4/25) from 10 – 6 for a wonderful day with hundreds of vendors, food, speakers, demonstrations, live music, and the famous Animal Haven section of local rescue agencies.  Please stop by the In Harmony With Nature tent, too.


This Earth Day, make a difference for a unique local sanctuary!


In Harmony With Nature provides specializes services to exotic animals including wolves and wolfdogs. Wolfdogs are bred to sell, and often are not successful in their homes, where their families may not be familiar with the special needs and behaviors that may be present in these animals.  Neglected, abandoned, and abused wolfdogs need experienced individuals qualified to work with them.  Re-homing is appropriate in some cases; however, permanent sanctuary is needed for some. There are a growing list of wolfdogs in need of rescue and very few options for them.  IHWN.org provides the care needed, as well as working to educate the public about responsible breeding and wolfdog ownership.

Visit IHWN.org today to learn more about what they do – and if you can, please make a contribution to help save this beautiful sanctuary.

Have a wonderful Earth Day!


Whatever you do to celebrate Earth Day – learn something new, attend an event, volunteer efforts and for the difference you make in the world!er, plant a tree, hug a tree, contribute to a cause, make a commitment to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – thank you for your efforts and the difference you make in the world!

BE inspired by kindness

Update: 4/17/15 – Happy Birthday, Bacco!  This local hero is “29” Today!!

It is amazing the kind, generous quiet heroes that surround us every day. When you have time, stop and take a moment to ask questions and learn about someone you see everyday but may not even know their name. And appreciate them – not everyone does. In fact, some people find the generous and take advantage of them. Read on to learn how that happened to Roberto (“Bacco”), and what we’re doing to help.

Highlight in the Publix newsletter where he works

Highlight in the Publix newsletter where he works

Roberto works at a Publix serving samples of meal ideas and smiles. He loves talking to people and is always jolly; his voice is immediately uplifting and comforting. Having said hello to him daily for years, i decided one day when he was not busy to pause for a conversation. I was amazed.

Bacco articleHe works at this Publix because this plaza is “home”. For many years, he owned and managed a family restaurant here, Bacco Italiano Ristorante. It won local and national awards from Zagat, Florida Trend, and Entertainment, and received positive reviews from Scott Joseph and Greg Pikulski. He was beloved by his customers and renowned both for his friendly demeanor and his amazing talent as a chef.

Soon after settling in, Roberto became a hero to local cats. He personally cares for the cats in the plaza parking lot and at his home – these cats have been part of his family for many years. He feeds them, conducts TNR (trap-neuter-release), and provides them care. He loves them, and buries them when they pass. When needed, he cares for their young and finds homes for them when he can.


tomlinquoteWhen he came to this country in 1988 he saw the cats as a social issue of injustice toward fellow beings, and wondered why people did not take care of these animals. He thought someone should do something – so he decided to do something, and continues his mission to this day. I don’t know if he heard Lily Tomlin’s quote*, but he lives its spirit. The cats are there because of our carelessness – we created this community of animals that need attention. He worries that he does not do enough, but he gives what he can. He funds and conducts this rescue mission himself. He saw a need for compassion and intervention, and so he works to fill that need.

In his retirement, he says, he wants to live in peace with his cats and his garden.

He lives in a small home where he has rooms that he rents out. For a long time, he rented to two young college students who became like family to him. When they graduated and moved away, he decided to look for another roommate. Unfortunately, bad things do happen to good people – and one day last month while Roberto was at work, the new roommate not only stole everything – including the refrigerator – but also injured one of the cats.

Crushed (and very angry that someone hurt a cat), and despite the police doing their best, the individual has not been caught. With a deductible higher than the loss, replacement of the belongings is not feasible. He will slowly rebuild and continues to love and care for his cats and his garden. He has not lost his sense of peace. Even through this difficulty, his positive attitude and uplifting spirit have carried on.

He is right – there are so many animals that are abandoned, neglected, or abused because we humans do not care for them the way we should. We create out-of-control populations of unwanted animals and think that someone should do something. There are a few real heroes out there dedicating their lives to making a difference. They make the world a better place because they are in it and because their love and sense of duty guide them on their path. People who shine brightly and inspire others with their dedication to what they love. Roberto is one of those, and though he has only briefly and peripherally touched my life, he has made a lasting impression that inspires and gives hope.

Thank you, Roberto. You are one of the quiet heroes living in our midst, and we are grateful for the joy you bring to people and work you do for your feline friends.

*“I said “Somebody should do something about that. Then I realized, I am somebody.”

Meet Tommasino, the Smart A[lec] Cat!

Meet Tommasino, the Smart A[lec] Cat!

Picnic With Wolves!

IHWN_fasterIn Harmony With Nature is a place of peace, nature, and positive energy – and a great place to volunteer!  They provide specialized care to exotic animals including wolves and wolfdogs, provide re-homing when appropriate, and permanent sanctuary when needed.

Their property is still in danger of being auctioned.  Learn more about the auction and stay updated on the news at http://GoFundMe.com/InHarmony or follow them on the Facebook.

Picnic With Wolves

There is a picnic for volunteers and supporters on April 11th – learn more here:

eventbrite event logo

Central Florida Earth Fest – Blood Drive, BE. Vendor Tent, Book Drive


Donate blood with us at the 10th annual Central Florida Earth Day Festival on April 25th from 10-6!  This is the largest and longest-running Earth Day festival in Central Florida. The Bus will be taking donations from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.  Come enjoy the festival all day and if it fits your bloodletting schedule, please donate blood.

BE. Orlando will host a vendor tent and is hosting a PintClub blood drive!  Look for the Little Red Bus on Eola Dr & E. Washington and come by our tent inside the festival to say hello and learn more about volunteering with us – and drop off books for the book drive (see below).

Blood Drive Flyer – please share!

Make an appointment (saves you time and helps us plan!)

facebook_logoJoin our event on Facebook!

From the Central Florida Earth Day website:

Central Florida Earth Day is an exciting day of colorful and educational exhibits and activities! It will take place at beautiful Lake Eola Park in downtown Orlando on April 25, 2015 from 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. Admission is FREE! Earth Day is a family-friendly, dog-friendly, alcohol-free, and smoke-free event.

Enjoy Speakers, Food Preparation Demonstrations, Environmental Education, Humane Education, Earth Kids Zone, Food, Artist Corner, Animal Haven, Music on band and acoustic stages, Mind Body Spirit, lots of other Activities, and many Earth-friendly Sponsors and Vendors. There are so many fun and interesting things happening at Earth Day you will want to stay all day!

Book Drive supporting at-risk youth in our community!

The BE. Orlando vendor tent is a drop-off point for our Summer Reading Book Drive!!  Bring a new or gently-used book (levels K-12) to support the Heart of Florida United Way’s summer literacy initiatives.  Learn more on our Book Drive page!

book drive BEOrlando graphic

A little batty.

True animal rescue leaders are an amazing breed.  They dedicate their entire lives, all of their time, energy, and resources, to serve living beings that the rest of us create problems for.  Everything they have goes into the critters that need them.  They love and respect life on a level most of us will never achieve.  There are very few of them – much fewer than needed to provide resources for the animals that are abandoned, neglected, and abused, and wildlife endangered by our hubris and ignorance.  They are heroes.

I married into a German family, but aside from some colorful street language gleaned at toe-stubbings and other suddenly humanizing moments, the only word that stuck is fledermaus.  In childhood, Grandpa would take me to the edge of the big woods and toss up sand and small stones, and the bats would swarm around us like that scene from Batman.  Maybe it wasn’t quite that dramatic – but it seemed that way to a little girl, and it was awesome and inspired a lifelong love of bats.

Laurbats4a and Tom Finn established and manage a local non-profit, Fly By Night.  Two individuals bonded in passion for making a difference, they ARE our local bat conservation and are the only organization providing specialized, expert removal of bats from buildings.  They care for bats on their property, conduct research and field studies, provide consultations, build bat houses designed for bats’ needs based on their many years of experience, and work to educate people about the true nature of bats and their ecological importance.  Plus they are kind, generous, fun (yup, a little batty) people who live a life of purpose. They are an inspiration.

Whatever your talent or interest, you can make a difference and gain valuable experience.

There are wonderful and unique ways that volunteers could share their time and talents and provide a legacy of impact to this agency.  Not only with hands-on bat work like building houses and assisting with field work – but also business-oriented contributions such as managing the social media and website, assisting with marketing and PR, accounting, developing and implementing informative e-newsletters, and more.  If you’re good at public speaking and passionate about bat conservation, consider hosting talks at local schools – Laura and Tom will provide the information and materials you need, as well as train you.  There are many amazing opportunities to offer the talents and experience you have while gaining valuable experience that will impact your own future.

bats2Additionally, as time moves forward, succession planning and the future of the organization become a concern.  It isn’t just the continuity of a business, but a needed service to local wildlife and a treasure of expertise that guides and educates others who serve bats. For those with a passion for bats and a desire to build a career and life making a difference, you should not miss the opportunity to learn from these respected professionals who have given so much to our community – and maybe play an important role in ensuring this resource continues on to protect bats through our next generation.

Whether your grandfather was batman or you just have an interest in learning more about bats and bat professionals, visit Laura & Tom’s website.  Among the many resources there is a must-see batcam.  And if you are interested in learning more about how you can become involved, contact Laura and Tom directly at laura@flybynightinc.org.

bat article 2