On Friday March 29, 2015 at 2:15 am, Fur and Feather lost its founder and driving force, Laurie Beauchamp.
Born May 12, 1954, Laurie grew up in the mountains of Alpine, California surrounded by animals – especially horses. She did dressage and three-day eventing and even married the love of her life, Brad Beauchamp, on horseback.
Brad and Laurie ran their own hunter/jumper horse training business, Fast Lane Farm, in Lakeside, California. Laurie continued her work observing animals and viewing the human/animal relationship as one of equal spirits. She did her best to help people understand their horses’ needs and work with them from a place of love and compassion. The success of her approach could be seen in the many ribbons her students took home from local shows, but even more so in the close bonds they forged with their horses.
In addition to her adult students, there were a fair amount of girls at the farm, growing up immersed in the principles of mutual love and respect between humans and animals.
During these years, Laurie was an animal rescuer and pet matchmaker, taking in dogs and cats that needed a helping hand and using her extensive network to find them homes. When she and Brad moved to Pie Town, New Mexico in the early ’90s, it was natural for her to take an interest in the many stray and feral animals in Catron County.
Laurie made her usual people connections as well, serving a term as mayor of Pie Town, joining a group of women, The Crazy Girls, that met regularly. In the years before widespread internet, she kept in touch with her Fast Lane Farm “girls” with a rotating group letter. Laurie always signed her contribution with “Love and light.”
As Laurie and Brad took more and more animals under their wing and many fostering relationships with hard to adopt animals were becoming permanent, they transformed their New Mexico farm into Fur and Feather Animal Assistance. With the minimal resources at hand, the task would have seemed impossible to most. But Laurie’s determination and big heart made the right support appear.
Donations of time, money, materials, and expertise came, and Laurie was able to build a true animal sanctuary. Fur and Feather is a place where each individual’s history and needs are taken into account. We have spayed and neutered more than 1,500 animals and matched hundreds of them with loving families.
More than a “no kill” shelter, Fur and Feather has become a forever home where animals who are older, disabled, or otherwise hard to adopt can live out their years in a beautiful setting with people and animals who truly know and love them. This has particularly been a Godsend for lost and abandoned animals and those whose people have died.
Facilities include several dog runs where “family groups” live and play, roomy kennels for individuals that need alone time or a warm place to bed down at night, an out-of-this world cat barn with outside space, cozy beds, and plenty of ledges and tunnels to explore. Dogs and cats who’ve proven to be 100% peaceful share the run of the 90-acre facility with a handful of rescued horses, donkeys, and chickens.
In providing lifelong support for these animals, Laurie’s vision included loving hospice care and marked, tended graves for each resident in one of the most beautiful spots on the farm.
Her animals, in turn, supported her as she battled with cancer, giving her the inspiration to outlive predicted timelines and surrounding her as she spent more and more time resting.
While Laurie is no longer with us physically, she is still our guiding light. Fur and Feather will continue to give every animal a chance, and the best way to honor her legacy is to support that vision in whatever way you can here at furandfeather.org.
Laurie is survived by her husband Brad, sister Linda, and parents Henry and Joanne.
Fur and Feather Animal Assistance is a permanent residential facility for dogs and cats designed for comfort, well-being, and CARE FOR LIFE. Our no-kill sanctuary is located in rural western New Mexico.
Established in the fall of 2003 our mission is rescuing lost, abandoned, or unwanted animals in Catron County and the surrounding New Mexico communities.
Fur and Feather provides a loving and stable environment at our sanctuary for these animals to live in. We care for each animal through the adoption process or through old age. Fur and Feather has provided homes to pets whose owners can no longer take care of them due to illness, death in the family, or financial crisis. We are also part of a network of shelters that provides a safe haven for the pets of victims of domestic violence. Our residents include disabled and elderly dogs, plus many healthy, abandoned and relinquished dogs of all sizes, types, and personalities.
Every dog and cat that passes through our hands is spayed or neutered. To date we’ve been able to spay or neuter over 1,500 pets.
OUR MISSION: To alleviate animal suffering by providing sanctuary from abuse, neglect, and homelessness; to end the killing of healthy animals as a method of population control; to teach that animals are intrinsically valuable, worthy of respect, compassion and care. Fur and Feather Animal Assistance, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.