Beth Roberts from Bristow Barnyard Animal Rescue in Bristow, Oklahoma, is saving the lives of animals in her community — but don’t let their name fool you. While they have rescued farm animals of all kinds — including steers, horses, goats, pigs, chickens, ducks, geese and rabbits — they also do rescue, rehabilitation and adoption of dogs and cats.
Nominated for a Healthy Pets Game Changer Award by Ethel S., Roberts has extensive experience working with veterinarians, helping with spay and neuter clinics, orthopedic surgery and other procedures. When she found herself back in Bristow, after spending a few years in California, she made sure she had her beloved rescued farm animals in tow — at the time, her crew consisted of a steer and a couple of mini horses.
She then reached out to the city pound to offer her services, but they weren’t interested — so Roberts decided to start a rescue of her own — and Bristow Barnyard Animal Rescue was born. “We do have over about 100 animals,” Roberts said. “Most of our farm animals are in sanctuary. They won’t leave. They’ll be here forever … Like I said, we have … all kinds of animals.”
A Lifesaving Solution in Rural Oklahoma
Bristow Barnyard Animal Rescue is the only one of its kind in the area, providing a service to not only help animals in need to today but also reduce problems with pet overpopulation later. Roberts explained:
“It’s really bad in our area. Rural Oklahoma you find dumped moms and dads and whole litters in horrible areas. And they come to you — they’re sick and need help. We got to focusing on what we could do to try to get that better, so we started running a monthly spay and neuter “train,” is what we called it, because there were so many cars involved.
We would take 50 animals that would come here to the rescue, spend the night. We would load them up the next day and truck them across the state to a low-cost spay and neuter clinic, drop them off, get them fixed, load them back, bring them back to the rescue, discharge them to people.
And we did this monthly, 50 animals a month, just trying to cut down on the unwanted population of the animals. And it was hard work. It was really rewarding, but it was killing us.”
Then, a wonderful donation from an estate provided the much-needed resources to allow them to build their own spay-and-neuter clinic at the rescue. Bristow Barnyard Animal Rescue has been able to continue to grow and save more animals in need due to the ongoing support they receive:
“We are so happy. We just had our opening day two days ago. We did 20 animals. We have a surgery team that comes in. And next month, we’re going to have two dates where they’re going to give me 30 slots, so we’re going to be able to fix 60 animals in one month … which is a phenomenal amount of babies that we are going to prevent.
So it’s just all coming full circle. And I have wonderful supporters like Ethel. She’s a wonderful lady that donates. When I reach out and say, ‘Hey, I need help,’ my people are right there with supplies or money donations … to help me continue to do what I do — as we’re nonprofit status now to be able to continue what we do here.”
Making a Difference in the Community
The fact that they’re making a difference is what Roberts loves most about the work that she’s doing. “When people come to me or they write me and say, ‘You’re such a blessing to this community, to Bristow, your family and everything that you do,’ there’s just nothing in our county,” she says, it makes her day.
“There’s stuff in the bigger cities like Tulsa or Oklahoma City, but there’s not anything in our area that’s a rescue, much less a low-cost spay and neuter clinic. I mean, there’s just nothing. Then people just nowadays can’t travel, they can’t take off work, so this is something that’s badly needed for our area,” Roberts said.
It’s because of individuals like Roberts and organizations like Bristow Barnyard Animal Rescue that real, lasting change occurs. The help that they’re providing to animals today will touch lives for generations to come, so that decades from now their community and even the state as a whole will be a better place for animals and the people who get to experience these animals.
Roberts believes, as do I, that it’s our duty to step in and help any creature in need that crosses our path, and this is something that she wants to share with the world:
“If you see something, if you see neglect, if you know that something’s not being cared for, speak up. Be the voice for those that can’t speak and reach out. I have a lot of people that reach out to me that are afraid to go to law enforcement or the sheriffs or deputies, city police … about cruelty case or welfare, a neglect case, and that’s what I tell them is call in.
You’ve got to speak up for these little animals that can’t speak for themselves … be the voice for those that can’t speak.”
If you’d like to reach out to Bristow Barnyard Animal Rescue, they’re functioning under a Facebook page called Bristow’s Furry Friends for the time being — until they can get their own page in order. There you can find a wish list of supplies and information about donations, which they depend on to continue providing their lifesaving services.