WolfStone Ranch Animal Sanctuary Seeking New Members to Form Spiritual Retreat Center for Pets (and their People)

by Jessica Karraker
Community Forming


Do you adore animals? Do you revere Mother Nature? Do you long to be a part of a community devoted to making our world a safer, healthier, kinder and gentler, more loving home for ALL animals (remembering that humans, too, are animals)? Do you crave connection with others who really care about truly living in a Sacred Way? Do you consider yourself deeply spiritual, but maybe not at all religious? Do you believe that the Sacred can be found within each and every one of us, and within every animal, and in all of creation… as well as Beyond?

Hi, I’m Jessica Karraker, and in 2010 I founded WolfStone Ranch … in response to a Calling from the Sacred Within. My heart was broken by all the animal suffering I saw all around me and Love compelled me to do something about it!  Since then, I’ve turned WolfStone Ranch into a licensed nonprofit animal shelter that has so far saved the lives of over 260 dogs and cats.  And now I want to form an Intentional Community with Kindred Spirits as passionate and committed as I, to help me expand WolfStone Ranch into a SPIRITUAL RETREAT CENTER FOR PETS (and their people)!

So let’s start with the nuts and bolts of my vision for an expanded WolfStone Ranch…
WolfStone Ranch’s official Mission Statement:
Building a Spiritually-Based, Activist Community Around the Ethos of Compassionate Treatment of All Animals
Creating an Environment that Supports Healing for All Living Beings
Canine & Feline Rescue, Rehabilitation and Adoption Within Our Own Growing Community
WolfStone Ranch’s overall goal is to become a spiritually-based, activist community dedicated to making the rural Midwest a more compassionate place for all the animals who live here (remembering that people, too, are animals)… through (1) community-building workshops as a form of activism AND (2) through our own unique kind of community drum circle as another form of activism AND (3) through creating a spiritual retreat for pets (and their people). All while continuing to rescue, rehabilitate and place the animals we rescue.
My website outlines in plenty of detail my Vision for WolfStone Ranch, so check out wolfstoneranch.org.  And please note that I believe DIVERSITY is crucial to the success of the new WolfStone Ranch.  Therefore, I am enthusiastically seeking people of all ages, races, ethnicities, genders, sexual identities… and religions that do not practice torture or sacrifice of animals.  (Therefore, being at least a VEGETARIAN will be required.) So… If you are African American or Latino or Native American or Asian (etc.) … If you are LGBTQ (etc.)… if you are Jewish or Buddhist or Hindu or Muslim or Christian (etc.)… Even if you are agnostic or atheist but are comfortable in a spiritual setting… IF YOU RESONATE WITH MY VISION for WolfStone Ranch, then you will be welcome here!
FYI… I was raised here in Southeast Missouri, but I always felt like an outsider… being more of a free spirit, I felt constricted by convention and tradition. I’m 65 now, but as a teenager in the late 1960’s, I longed to be a UC-Berkeley student activist protesting the Viet Nam war… yeah, I was and still consider myself a Peace-and-Love Activist Hippie! However, I ended up spending my 30’s in Los Angeles as a lead singer in a Contemporary Classical/Avant Garde musical ensemble that toured the US, Europe and Japan. After that… and a profound spiritual reawakening… I turned to writing prayer songs for personal healing, social and eco-justice. Based on the principle of COMPASSION, I consider myself politically very liberal and inclusive. I am “addicted” to National Public Radio (news that is totally trustworthy) and you could say that Eckhart Tolle is my main “guru”. Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Pete Seeger and Jane Goodall are among my many inspirational heroes.
As for the rest of the current WolfStone Community, I have over half a dozen supporters, most of whom live out-of-state, who are “just” donors… but they are the lifeblood for the animals living here (temporarily or permanently) at WolfStone Ranch!

I also have a handful of people scattered across the country who have found my Fellowship For Intentional Community ads (either online or in print) and who are very interested… (at this point, we’re staying in touch, waiting to see what else develops…)

Locally, I also have a couple of people who would love to be seriously involved, once things have been developed to the point where they can make the leap to changing their current life situations!  However, at this time, I don’t have any volunteers to help me with animal care… let alone anyone to help me to begin to manifest the new expanded vision… that is, the community-building experience(s), the community drum circle and the spiritual retreat for pets (and their people).  However, I’m supposed to talk to someone I know this coming week (second week in October) about getting the drum circle started…  I think that’s going to be my best LOCAL outreach program (I’ll tell you the problem I’ve had with conventional appeals)… And I’ll update this online ad when there’s news to report about any progress…

WolfStone Ranch is currently located on a pretty, little 5-acre property about 10 miles outside of a prosperous small town (pop. 16,000) that is about 90 minutes southeast of St. Louis. As we grow our WolfStone community of kindred spirits and develop our mission programs beyond rescue alone, I anticipate that we will need to keep this property for interfacing with the LOCAL public for animal adoptions and training classes, and (human) community-building events. But once we’re ready to create the spiritual retreat… we will then need to purchase (through pooling resources and fundraising) a much larger property (100+ acres?) that is quieter and more secluded. But obviously, this part of my vision is subject to change, as we form our community and work out the details to how we manifest WolfStone Ranch’s vision and mission statement.
FOUNDATION: Vision vs. Manifestation
I do not mean to equate myself with Steve Jobs, but I would like to use him (and Apple) as an analogy. I see myself as the “Steve Jobs of WolfStone Ranch” in that I am the founding visionary. But a vision is nothing unless and until it is manifested and for that, I need my “Steve Wozniak” (IT wizard) and my “Tim Cook” (CEO with business acumen)… that is, I’ve gone as far with WolfStone Ranch as I can go on my own… I now need the people to help me manifest my vision. At the same time, I want to acknowledge that my vision of COMMUNITY means that I want to create an organization that allows others in the community an opportunity to help create the vision going forward into the future.

HOWEVER… here’s one way that I can imagine this process might begin to unfold now, as we are in the early stages of forming the expanded WolfStone Community… I would like to find one person with passion and experience in community drum circles, someone who happens to really like the twist I’ve put on the concept, someone who would like to help me develop this “program” of WolfStone Ranch, maybe even eventually take over running it.
And then ditto for each of the other “programs” of WolfStone Ranch…. That is, I’d like to find a different person with passion and experience in community-building programs, maybe even someone who has experience with the FCE “community-building experiences” I specifically want to us to produce, along with other types we may decide to add to our program. And then I’d like to find someone else who’s really into being an activist for social, animal and eco-justice… and then find someone else with a passion and background in spiritual retreats… and then, of course, find someone else who’s into what started this whole thing, animal rescue and rehabilitation and placement!
But then again, I’m sure there are other ways to get from A to Z, from vision to manifestation, and I’ll be eager to hear about them (if you have such ideas)!

PLEASE NOTE… At this time, I cannot even offer you room & board. There’s simply not enough room in this tiny cottage stuffed with rescued animals. I’m just able to support myself with “outside” jobs… and my current donors just cover the animals’ expenses. I can, of course, help you find a place to live and work… and maybe some of you can rent a place together… until we’re able to raise the funds to purchase property on which we can build our community housing, as well as the animal-friendly cabins and other retreat buildings. But we can start immediately to create income through WolfStone Ranch at our current location by growing not only a big organic garden to feed ourselves, but also some cash crops. Or again, perhaps YOU have ideas for how to create income with the current WolfStone Ranch property?

Contact Jessica Karraker, Executive Director, WolfStone Ranch (573) 756-1367