Archive for the ‘Thanks’ Category

Walking with Jamie and Burrito

Saturday, October 21st, 2017

The day after the success of Giving Day for Apes was a beautiful fall day at the sanctuary. I joke that the chimpanzees are truly Pacific Northwest chimps because they seem to love cool overcast days the most.

Whenever I go up to the chimp house, I expect that I will go on a walk with Jamie – it’s what she likes to do. On this day, Burrito was even more eager to walk than Jamie! In fact, as the video reveals, the three of us did three rounds around the hill, with some meandering in between for those two.

I know that Burrito had no idea we were promoting his story and people were donating in his honor, but it was fitting that he was in such a great, enthusiastic, full-of-life, mood.

Thank you again for everyone who donated and helped exceed our goal!

Enjoy your walk with Burrito and Jamie!



Happy Birthday, Vicki!

Wednesday, October 11th, 2017

We are sending birthday wishes to a very special person today.

Happy Birthday to Vicki Fagerlee, one of our favorite visitors, from all the chimps (and your loving family)!

Thanks to Vicki’s (human) family, Jim, Kim, and family for sponsoring the day in her honor!


May you take some time to rest, like Annie:


play, like Burrito:


spend some time with a loved one, like Foxie and Jamie:

Foxie doll on back


enjoy a treat (or three), like Jody:

jody shoulders


have an adventure, like Missy:

Missy tightrope walking


and end your day as comfortably as you began it, like Negra:

Animal Sanctuary Caregiver Day

Friday, June 9th, 2017

Caregivers are the heart and soul of every animal sanctuary. To recognize their vital contribution to the well being of thousands of rescued animals around the world, the North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance has teamed up with the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries to create a day in their honor. Today, we are proud to celebrate the first annual Animal Sanctuary Caregiver Day!

Here at CSNW, it’s impossible to overstate the love, dedication, and commitment that our caregivers demonstrate every day. Every moment of playfulness we share on this blog, every picture of contentment you see, is the product of thousands of hours of hard work by CSNW’s caregiver crew.

The staff and volunteer caregivers clean for five hours a day, seven days a week. It is a never-ending job.

They prepare the chimps’ many meals, forages, and food puzzles each day.

They invest countless hours in training so that they can help serve those meals safely.

They wash and fold 70 or more blankets a day so the chimps can build fresh, clean nests.

They plant gardens and tend to them throughout the summer so that they chimps will have the freshest produce possible.

They throw parties for the chimps to keep life exciting and interesting.

They spend countless hours building trust and developing friendships.

They tend to wounds and ensure that medications are administered daily.

They engage in hundreds of hours of positive reinforcement training so that the chimps learn to cooperate with physical exams.

They walk for miles around Young’s Hill in the blazing sun and the pouring rain to keep Jamie and her friends company.

They work weekends and holidays because the chimps never take a day off from needing our care. And when Jamie insists on staying out all night and walking in the moonlight, they are there too – even when they might rather be home in bed.

Caring for chimpanzees is hard work. It’s physically demanding and, at times, emotionally draining. But it can also be unbelievably rewarding. We are lucky to be surrounded and supported by people who find fulfillment in working hard for the benefit of others; people who measure success by the amount of good they can do for the animals who so desperately need our help.

To Elizabeth, Katelyn, and Anna, who dedicate their lives to the Cle Elum Seven, to the dozens of selfless volunteers and interns who give up their free time to serve these deserving chimpanzees, and to sanctuary caregivers around the world: Thank you for all you do and Happy Animal Sanctuary Caregiver Day!



Thank you, Keri!

Saturday, May 27th, 2017

We’re sad to announce that caregiver and master-of-all-things-enrichment, Keri Heniff, is stepping down from her role as a part-time staff member at CSNW. The good news, however, is that she’s not really going anywhere – Keri will continue to make the long drive from Leavenworth to care for the Cle Elum Seven as a volunteer. We’ll just see her a little less often.

Keri has been a true friend to the chimps and an indispensable member of the team here at CSNW. So even though we’re not really losing her, I hope you’ll join me in taking this moment to thank her for her hard work, her dedication, and her devotion to the chimps.

And by the way, Keri, Jamie has made it clear that the boots will fit the same whether you are a staff member or a volunteer and she expects the same number of walks when you are here.

We’re looking forward to introducing you to CSNW’s newest staff member, Kelsi, in June when she completes her cross-continental journey from Quebec.

HOOT! Sponsors: Merritt and John Atwood

Wednesday, May 10th, 2017

This is the seventh in our series of blog posts celebrating sponsors of the HOOT! 2017 Spring Fling gala.

Past posts celebrated Poppoff, Inc., Martha Faulkner Real Estate, Darwin’s Natural Pet Products, Jennifer and David Roers, Tracy Headley, and Pam Lehnert & Marc Warner.


Today is in honor of HOOT! sponsors Merritt and John Atwood.


Merritt shared how she learned about the sanctuary and why she supports the chimps.


“I first heard of CSNW in 2010 when I saw an article in the Seattle Times  (I think). Always an animal lover, I wanted to help.  What a great mission: to care for chimpanzees who had been caged up for years and used for biomedical research.”

And she has been a loyal donor ever since!

Merritt spends much of her time helping animals. She was a long time volunteer at the Humane Society in Bellevue, WA. Then, after moving to Whidbey Island, she became a supporter of Whidbey Animals’ Improvement Foundation (WAIF). She is now in the 9th year on their board and is as committed as ever to bettering the lives of animals.

Merritt hasn’t visited Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest in person, but she follows along on social media, as I know most of you out there do too.

When presented with one of the most challenging questions there is: Who is your favorite chimpanzee?, her response was: “It’s really hard to say which chimpanzee is my favorite.  Maybe Burrito for holding his own with all the ladies,  and looking as though he is enjoying himself immensely!”

Based on the video posted yesterday of Burrito playing with Foxie, I would say the assessment of his enjoyment is pretty accurate.

In true animal-lover form, rather than sending me a photo of herself and John, Merritt shared photos of her beloved companion animals.


This is sweet Nelson, who came from WAIF and passed away last year:


And this is Henrietta, who the Atwoods brought to their home in 2009 from Seattle Purebred Dog Rescue. She is about 12 years old now:

I have absolutely loved doing these HOOT! sponsor posts. It’s uplifting to me to share information about caring people and to be able to thank them for their generosity in this way, and I’ve learned new things about each of them in the process.

Big thanks to Merritt and John for your support of the Cle Elum Seven chimpanzees and for all that you have done for animals in your local communities – you have made a tangible difference in so many ways.


The 2017 HOOT! Spring Fling is just a few days away! There’s still time to support the event with your donation, and there are just a few seats left if you’ve been procrastinating buying tickets. Anyone can also preview auction items and put in absentee bids on three items right here.

hoot logo

HOOT! Sponsors: Poppoff, Inc.

Monday, May 8th, 2017

Today is in honor of HOOT! sponsor Poppoff, Inc.

This is the sixth in our series of blog posts celebrating sponsors of the HOOT! 2017 Spring Fling gala.

Past posts celebrated Martha Faulkner Real Estate, Darwin’s Natural Pet Products, Jennifer and David Roers, Tracy Headley, and Pam Lehnert & Marc Warner.


Poppoff Logo

Poppoff, Inc. is a family-owned concrete contracting business based in Washington, though they work all over the world.


Gay Dorsey, wife to Mike Poppoff, was the first to become aware of the chimpanzee sanctuary. She learned about the chimps when former executive director Sarah read her fashion blog “Not Quite Palm Springs” and decided Jamie should be featured because of her wardrobe of cowboy boots, scarves, and tutus (yes, Jamie used to wear tutus quite a bit – we are happy that her fashion sense has evolved since those days).

Gay had no idea that there were chimpanzee living so close to her Yakima-area home, and when Sarah invited the Poppoff family for a visit, Gay fell in love with the chimpanzees immediately. Her favorite chimp is Missy because she’s fun-loving and friendly.

Missy with sunflowers

Gay later served as a dedicated board member for the sanctuary, which she described as being, “an eye-opening, educational opportunity.”

Not long after that initial introduction and visit, the Poppoff’s graciously offered their professional services to help with the construction of the greenhouse “human area” when we converted the chimps’ original outdoor space into a greenhouse.


greenhouse construction


Here is Matt Poppoff (right), who now helps to run the company, demonstrating his dedication to the sanctuary by working on a cold day:

matt working


When Matt first visited the sanctuary he thought it was so cool that there were retired lab chimps in his own “backyard” of Cle Elum, then he gained even greater respect for Jamie because Jaime spit on Matt’s sister Julie during a visit – rising Jamie to the rank of Matt’s favorite chimpanzee of the group (a spot previously held by Burrito because Matt lives with three women and gives props to Burrito for living with six!)


A few years later, Mike (Poppoff Sr.) and Matt arranged for a Poppoff, Inc. crew to install sidewalks at the chimp house. The staff and volunteers were incredibly excited about these sidewalks, and we are still so thankful for them. I personally have been known to go into a zen-like trance when shoveling or sweeping the sidewalks – something that is just not possible when dealing with dirt pathways.

The main purpose of the sidewalks was not so much to bring me personal peace and mindfulness, but to allow us to be able to wheel a stretcher carrying an immobilized chimpanzee from the building to the back of the trailer, where our current veterinary clinic is located. We’ve done this three times now for necessary medical procedures, and the sidewalks have made all of the difference in the world.



When I asked Mike, Gay, and Matt why the have chosen to support the sanctuary and the HOOT! event, this is what they had to say:


Gay: “We love supporting the sanctuary because we know how you & J.B. manage the donations to stretch as far as possible. We know our donations will be wisely and well spent with the well-being of our chimps being the first and only priority, and we are so excited to see the expansion of the sanctuary!
Matt: “We we always do and it’s an amazing cause even if we cannot attend the event.


Mike: “You have given these chimps much better lives than they had for decades. It is so neat to see them grow and become much happier at the Sanctuary. This is all because of you and your staff’s unwavering dedication to do what is right for the chimps. I know that every dollar that we donate to CSNW is used wisely and is not wasted on things that are not needed. You guys spend the money you receive very wisely. I don’t know how you do it all with such a small budget. CSNW is not a money crunching machine like many non profits are. And it’s nice that you are soooooo appreciative to every donor that helps. We are very glad to be able to help out.”


And that made me cry a little.


Thank you, Gay, Mike, Matt, Amber, Julie, and everyone at Poppoff, Inc. for all of your past support, including your Chimpanzee Champion level HOOT! 2017 sponsorship. We are over-the-moon grateful for all you’ve done for the sanctuary and the chimpanzees here.


Speaking of HOOT! – there are three items available online for absentee bidding that are part of the auction items available at the gala event next week.


Anyone anywhere can now place their highest bid on these three things right now:





HOOT! Sponsor: Martha Faulkner Real Estate

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017

Today is the fifth in a series of blog posts celebrating sponsors of the HOOT! 2017 Spring Fling gala.

Past posts celebrated Darwin’s Natural Pet Products, Jennifer and David Roers, Tracy Headley, and Pam Lehnert & Marc Warner.

Today is all about Martha Faulkner who uses her real estate business to support the causes that she cares most about.



All of Martha’s pets have been adopted from Homeward Pet. Photo by Julie Austin Photography for Pet Connection Magazine.


Martha started as a donor and supporter and is now also on our board of directors.


In her own words, here is how and why Martha is connected to Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest.

I first become involved with CSNW after a friend referred me to their blog.  We had been discussing my interest in expanding my giving plan for my business (  I am a Real Estate Broker with RSVP Real Estate, and I donate 10% of my commission to the animal rescue/sanctuary of my clients’ choice. I spotlight 6 different local animal organizations.  After reading the blog and the plight of the Cle Elum Seven I knew this was the type of organization and cause I wanted to support. I went to the HOOT! gala 3 years ago and was hooked.  I had a blast and got to know more about the sanctuary and a bit about each of the chimps and their stories of recovery at the sanctuary after years of maltreatment in medical laboratories. 

My interest and commitment to CSNW is reinforced by all the great work done by Diana and J.B. and the wonderful staff and volunteers. As a member of the board of directors I am able to see firsthand all the effort and work that goes in providing a home for the Cle Elum 7 to heal.  I’m also motivated by all the advocacy to support the plight of the chimpanzee’s throughout the world.


When asked what motivated Martha to support HOOT! 2017, she said:


Besides the fact that this is truly a terrific event, I gladly participate in any opportunity to support the Chimps and the continued success of Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest.


martha ad


And who is Martha’s favorite chimpanzee?

I love them all, but Negra really pulls at my heartstrings. She has come so far in the safe and loving care of the sanctuary.


negra with pine cone


Thank you, Martha, for all you do for Negra and her family and for other animals. You are an inspiration to others who are looking for ways to support the causes they believe in.

If anyone in the state of Washington is looking to buy or sell their home, please do get in touch with Martha. She works all over western Washington, but if you’re on the east side of the state, she can refer you to another fabulous broker.

HOOT! Sponsors: Darwin’s Natural Pet Products

Wednesday, April 26th, 2017

I am so  happy to be sharing information about HOOT! sponsors so everyone can learn the different ways that people have discovered the sanctuary and why they have decided to contribute their financial support to seven chimpanzees living in Cle Elum.

Today is the fourth in a series of blog posts celebrating sponsors of the HOOT! 2017 Spring Fling gala.


Past posts celebrated Jennifer and David Roers, Tracy Headley, and Pam Lehnert & Marc Warner.


Today, with so much gratitude, we celebrate the extreme generosity of Darwin’s Natural Pet Products.

The format for this post is a letter from Darwin’s founder Gary Tashjian:

At Darwin’s Natural Pet Products, we’ve built our business around supporting the connection between people and animals. We’ve always been inspired by the quote from Mohandas Gandhi that “the greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” 
That’s why I was so excited to discover Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest’s booth at the University Street Fair in Seattle a few summers ago. Chimps (and all primates, for that matter) have a special relationship with humans, and the way we have allowed them to be treated is, I believe, inconsistent with our values. I was happy to find an organization here in the Northwest with people who not only felt the way that I did about this issue, but dedicated themselves to doing something about it. I knew that Darwin’s needed to support their efforts in some way.
After visiting the sanctuary and learning that the chimps’ diet consists primarily of fresh vegetables, I realized that Darwin’s had a unique opportunity to help support the sanctuary’s efforts, as we use fresh vegetables in our dog food recipes as well.
We reached out to Charlie’s Produce, who we work with to supply the vegetables that we use for our dog food, and asked them if they could help. Charlie’s was very supportive of our efforts, and together we put together a program that enabled us to provide an array of fresh vegetables to the chimps, at no cost to the Sanctuary.

fresh produce
We are very happy to be able to do our part to help these chimps enjoy a healthy diet, and to live out the rest of their lives in a safe and nurturing environment. Darwin’s is proud to be a supporter of the sanctuary’s efforts.

Gary Tashjian
Darwin’s Natural Pet Products


Big thanks to Gary and Darwin’s (and Charlie’s Produce) for the literal ton of produce for the chimps over the years and for being a Chimpanzee Champion Sponsor of HOOT! 2017!




Burrito sends his thanks too!

8th Annual Love a Chimpanzee Day

Sunday, April 23rd, 2017

We love made-up holidays around here (holiday = party for the chimps). For the last 8 years, the chimps’ good friend Monica Best has sponsored April 23rd as Love a Chimpanzee Day. (It also happens to be Monica’s birthday!) Unless you’ve followed our blog for awhile, you probably haven’t heard of Love a Chimpanzee Day; that’s because it didn’t exist until Monica dreamed it up.

To celebrate CSNW’s 8th Annual Love a Chimpanzee Day, we decided to throw a luau party, because there’s never a bad time to throw a luau party for chimps you love. The chimps enjoyed a feast of bananas, oranges, fruit smoothie, and pineapple coconut water for breakfast in the greenhouse.



(Burrito was especially happy to see former volunteer caregiver Stephanie, who stopped by for a visit!)





(Annie really had lounging down to an art today…)

Thanks as always to Monica for conceiving of and sponsoring this delightful holiday (and happy birthday)!

HOOT! Sponsors Jennifer & David Roers

Wednesday, April 19th, 2017

Today is the third in a series of blog post celebrating sponsors of the HOOT! 2017 Spring Fling gala.

Past posts celebrated Tracy Headley and Pam Lehnert & Marc Warner.

Today is all about Jen and Dave Roers!


You may recognize the names Jennifer and David Roers because they have made challenge donations to the gala for the past few years, which have helped inspire others to give. Their Chimpanzee Champion+ sponsorship donation this year is also a challenge to encourage others to donate towards the event. So please do learn more about individual and corporate sponsorship levels!

I sent a few questions to Jen and Dave about how they became involved in Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest and why they are supporters.

Here is Jen’s answer:

Dave and I first became aware of Chimpanzee Sanctuary NW when Dave saw a flyer at work.  Once we learned about the chimpanzees, we were hooked!  To see the Cle Elum Seven change and progress from their arrival to today is amazing.  The chimps have so much resilience and can teach humans a little something about compassion and forgiveness.  We’re also inspired by the passionate and enduring efforts of the humanimals at the sanctuary. CSNW draws the best of humanity whether it be staff, volunteers, or supporters.  It’s an honor to be a small part of it.

I work for and Dave volunteers at Pasado’s Safe Haven, where we work to end animal cruelty.  Pasado’s has a unique relationship with CSNW as a couple of the chimps’ caregivers work at Pasado’s!  These folks are truly special.  Dave and I recently went on the Ester the Wonder Pig Cruise and volunteered at a donkey sanctuary in Aruba (that’s where they were in the photo abovve).  It was one of the highlights of the entire trip.  It’s pretty obvious that caring for and protecting animals has become the focus of our lives.  In addition, we are the proud humans of 3 beautiful cats.

Here are some fun photos of them at Pasado’s:

Big thanks to Jennifer and David for all you have done to make change and progress possible for chimpanzees and other animals. You make my world a better place, and I’m looking forward to celebrating with you on May 13th at HOOT!

Last summer, when Negra ventured further out onto Young’s Hill than she’s gone before, that was due to the support of you both, and all of the Negra fans out there.