A Peek Into the Home of Mazolu Sanctuary’s Endearing Residents

Two of Mazolus cats in the tack room.

Anjani Anamthoji

Two of Mazolu’s cats in the tack room.

Nestled off to the side of Main Street lies the loving community of Mazolu Animal Sanctuary, consisting of an affectionate caretaker and local college professor, Jessica Waterhouse, her many enchanting four-legged friends, and a slew of dedicated volunteers. As you walk around the sanctuary meeting Spice the goat and Ekimu the sheep, you’ll be able to immediately notice the adoration and care that Waterhouse has for the animals, all coming from different backgrounds and locations, to form this close knit bond that only exists between a mother and her cherished mammalian children.

In 2017, criminal justice professor, Jessica Waterhouse, decided she wanted to volunteer for Pack Leaders Rescue, a group dedicated to helping our K9 companions. While there, she discovered a newfound love for animals, especially those that escaped abusive situations and needed to regain their health. Then in 2020, Waterhouse came across the plot of land, now known as the Mazolu Sanctuary, and realized that with her full time teaching job, she could afford to start the sanctuary.

Opening up in 2021, the sanctuary suddenly found itself filled with animals looking for a new place to live. Many of these animals came from cruel environments, abandoned on the streets, or from owners who didn’t have the time after the pandemic to care for them. Others came from other sanctuaries or farms that just didn’t have space anymore. Waterhouse works with these animals, providing them with a home that they are welcome at forever.

With the experience at Pack Leaders Rescue, Waterhouse knows how to bring out the kindness from even the most scared animals. She spays and neuters cats and dogs making them eligible for adoption, prevents the bunnies from breeding new little bunnies, and takes all 11 dogs on walks daily. Even though she has a full time job, she always makes time for the animals at the sanctuary, cleaning each stall and tack room at least 2-3 times a day, and on longer work days, she has volunteers come in and help her.

Waterhouse also spoke very highly of her volunteers, who are committed to helping the animals, often coming in every week or every month to groom, feed, clean, and play with the animals. “I’m very flexible with volunteer hours and days, if students have to do community service hours, whether it’s through their church or whatever, I’ve had them do their hours here. [I’m open to] anyone who wants to work on any kind of project,” Waterhouse noted.

The Mazolu Animal Sanctuary also has an adoption/foster option for the cats, available on her website. “The most important thing when I adopt out is that the person must have a reliable vet they go to.” Waterhouse also visits every house looking to adopt and makes sure the cats will be comfortable there, and if for any reason adoptees can’t keep the cat, she’ll always take them back.

“If someone’s looking for a capstone project, it doesn’t necessarily have to be animal training or anything like that. I’m looking for, like, help with building habitats. I want to build a garden because I want to make sure that the animals have some fresh vegetables, so I’m very much looking for some creativity. If they just want to learn about animals they can do that. I’m going to need help keeping up the website. So there’s like technical things, if you didn’t want to actually touch animals. There’s some technical things with the website, taking pictures and creating some imagery. Right now, I’m doing everything by myself.”