Floss Blackburn moved her national animal rescue organization, Denkai Animal Sanctuary, to Yellow Jacket in October.
Founded in 2004, the sanctuary operated in Weld County until the move last fall. Blackburn grew up in the Cortez area and wanted to be close to family and help an area in need.
Denkai Animal Sanctuary is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that specializes in the care taking of large animals.
Denkai currently has six llamas, four horses, one horse in foster care, two goats and four donkeys.
“Here (in the new location) we are just scaled back to large animals for equine, farm animal, cruelty cases, neglect cases, owner surrender, abandonment – stuff like that is what we mostly handle,” Blackburn said.
Blackburn scaled back her national operation after selling Denkai’s 640 acres, vet clinic and adoption center in Weld County to focus on the roots of her organization.
Denkai hopes to include educational opportunities at the new location.
“We are going to incorporate gardening practices,” Blackburn said.
“We want to kind of fill a gap in the community with what those vegetable needs are and also tie in working with some of the youths in the area and those programs as well to make some of that happen.”
Blackburn plans to keep Denkai’s reach national with a focus on local needs.
“We definitely want to grow. With the growth, we are going to need people that are going to want to do various aspects, fundraising, training, running the animal end of things,” Blackburn said. “(We want) to bring in people that are interested in those different areas and willing to run with it and make it their own and do a good job with it.”
Mary Fuller has joined forces with Denkai upon its relocation to Yellow Jacket.
Fuller said that animal welfare has always been a passion for her. “I know Floss’ family, and I knew she was here, and we talked and thought this could work out pretty well,” Fuller said.
“I am going to be working on event organization, fundraising awareness and bringing in the education piece.”
Blackburn has been working in animal welfare for a long time. She was helping another organization with their dog adoption program when she became instrumental in rescuing a miniature horse.
After that rescue, Blackburn started Denkai, a combination of two of her sons’ names, in May 2004.
Corey Tunnell with Royal 6 Welding and Fabrication built all the fencing and continues to build for Denkai.
Denkai is still seeking contributions and volunteers to help at their new location.