November 29, 2021

The holiday season is a wonderful time for us to reflect, be grateful and give thanks. This gives us an opportunity to see what we’ve accomplished and where we need to work harder. Ayla’s Acres No-Kill Animal Rescue faced new challenges this past year. Here are two stories that highlight 2021. We’ve had some beautiful experiences.

Animals That Especially Touched Our Hearts
One of the mama cats in our care gave birth to three kittens. Her name was Baby Face. She passed away following emergency surgery one week after the kittens were born. At the time, we had a mama cat at the sanctuary who had just finished nursing two kittens. We brought the three orphan babies to her to see if she would feed them. She immediately let the kittens nurse—washing them and caring for them. It was thrilling to watch. We called her Mama Angel. Happily, all three kittens and Mama Angel have been adopted!

Mama Angel Kittens

Ayla’s Acres worked on a number of dog abuse cases this year. One of them touched all of us in a profound way. Her name was Agatha. She had been beaten for many weeks. Recently, the neighbors watched as the owner beat her for 30 minutes straight. They decided to grab the dog and ran her to a vet in Jacksonville. She had severe bruises and lacerations. Bloody and bruised, Agatha sat stoically at the vet office. But her eyes and face were completely vacant.

We called Duval County police and animal control into the case. Agatha went to animal control, where her owner had six days to claim her back. We took her in when the vet called Ayla’s Acres after the six-day waiting period.

This 30-pound dog has no reason to trust or like humans…but she does. She is healing beautifully and has been adopted to a wonderful couple who adore her. They’ve named her MekaNani-meaning beautiful eyes in Hawaiian.

Out At the Madison County Sanctuary
We continue to care for 100 unadoptable animals at the Sanctuary. Many of these animals are senior, increasing the dollars spent on vet care. The sanctuary team works extremely hard keeping the animals comfortable and loved.

In the past year, we have completed nearly 15O cat and dog adoptions. We continue to help the St. Johns County community with Trap, Neuter, Release (TNR). Ayla’s Acres worked on trapping in Lincolnville, Vilano, Madeira and the Shores. Approximately, 50 cats have been trapped, neutered, and released by Ayla’s Acres in 2021. We currently have approximately 40 cats and dogs waiting for adoption. Finding more foster homes continues to be a challenge.

Ayla’s Acres Thriftique — A Great New Location
In April, Ayla’s Acres Thriftique moved to an 8,000 square foot location on Anastasia Island (413 Anastasia Blvd.), across the Bridge of Lions from the Historic St. Augustine neighborhoods. The shop looks wonderful! We are grateful for the larger space. The community has welcomed and supported us. Stop in and find some wonderful treasures while helping our animals.

Progress Continues on the Animal Resource Center
During the first quarter of 2021, the land slated for the Animal Resource Center was cleared. The County approved the special permit for the vet clinic and the kennels. They need additional information on a series of items but have not informed us what those items are. We continue to ask for information from the County Health Department. We are ready to move forward as soon as the County gives us our final building permit. The campus will house an adoption and education facility, as well as a no/low cost spay/neuter clinic.

Community Organizations: Ayla’s Acres’ Outreach and Engagement
Even with COVID 19 precautions still in effect, Ayla’s Acres had the privilege of working with a number of community organizations in 2021. In their 2022 calendar, the Junior Service League featured a number of Ayla’s Acres animals in photos with first responders. We had a ball working with the Junior Service League and the St Augustine Fire Department on this project.

Girl Scout Troop 1316 also contacted Ayla’s Acres regarding their community project due by September 2021. We had left space at the Thriftique to build a cat kennel and a dog kennel to enable cat and dog adoptions at the shop. These Girl Scouts, with help from some dedicated Scout parents, completely designed and built a cat kennel and the dog kennel at the shop! The spaces are adorable and truly functional.

Thanks For Your Help — We Hope You Will Continue
We continue to give thanks to our community. Your support and generosity enable Ayla’s Acres to continue its mission. Ayla’s Acres still NEEDS your help. We will continue to work hard to help homeless animals in our community. Please dig deep this year to enable us to continue the important programs we provide to the community.

Please join us in making a year-end contribution to Ayla’s Acres No-Kill Animal Rescue, Inc. of $100, $50, $25, $10 or whatever is comfortable for you. If you can do more, we hope you will. You can mail your contribution to the address below, donate by clicking the DONATE button at the top of the page or use the QR symbol below. You can honor friends, family and/or pets with a holiday gift made to Ayla’s Acres in their names. Just let us know and we’ll send a prompt acknowledgment of your donation.

On behalf of the Board of Directors, staff, and volunteers of Ayla’s Acres, we wish you and your loved ones a joyous Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah, a Happy Kwanzaa and a very Happy New Year. Again, thank you for all you do to make our work possible.

For the animals,

Paul Thompson
President, Board of Directors

To send a check, our mailing address is

Ayla's Acres Animal Rescue
P.O. Box 1634
St. Augustine, FL 32085

Or, click the donate button below to enter a credit card or use PayPal,
or use your phone to to scan the QR code to donate via credit card.

If you would like to print this letter, click here!