How One Music Industry Veteran is changing the Face of Animal Rescue
Inspiration and a love for wildlife was what drove one entertainment professional to create Bradshaw Mountain Wildlife Association (BMWA), a rescue and rehabilitation center and non-profit organization for needy wildlife in Arizona.
For more than seventeen years, Alie Amato worked for months at a time coordinating concerts for some of the biggest names in show business. After working on tour with Aerosmith, Janet Jackson, Sir Paul McCartney, Metallica and others, she decided to put her expertise in animal care to use by establishing BMWA.
“I studied animal training and behavior with a former circus performer for two years,” Amato explains. “I received a certificate in exotic animal training, and I learned a lot about reading animal behavior, which helps me with rescuing animals today.”
In 1995, she founded the non-profit organization with dreams and high hopes to take in wounded, abandoned, and improperly cared for animals. Ultimately, BMWA would release rehabilitated animals back to their natural habitat; domestic pets would go home. “When I started BMWA, our intention was to rescue wildlife but within days we found that all animals found their way to us. We would find dogs dumped on the side of the road or in the desert, so we would take them in. Also, we would get calls to give a home to rabbits, iguanas, snakes, stray cats, monkeys, etc.,” says Amato.
While all of the animals are taken to the veterinarian and looked over and tested for diseases, she adds, “One of our future goals is to have an animal hospital on site. In emergency situations, our veterinarian doctors will come out to the facility and examine the animals. We have a lot of great doctors that work with us, and we are very grateful for them.”
Located in the Prescott National Forest, one hour north of Phoenix, the organization currently provides a warm and loving home for dogs, cats, pigs, burros, horses, raccoons, rabbits, iguanas, tortoises and snakes! Three bobcats, a fox, two raccoons, and four deer will remain at BMWA, because of injuries that will not allow them back into the wild.
It’s not simply the wildlife that BMWA opens their hearts to – domestic pets are welcome for care as well. Calls come in from local police departments, civilians, and good samaritans when animals are hit by cars, mauled by dogs, or have even fallen into swimming pools.
BMWA is all smiles for the time being – but the truth of the matter is, it is a costly operation to maintain. Each month, continuance costs reach more than $6,000 to feed and provide healthcare while keeping up the site’s animal-friendly facilities.
Amato notes that big name stars have given big support to her cause. “If it was not for all of our benefactors, we would not be able to do what we do. Sir Paul and Heather McCartney have been very supportive of what I do and The Tesla Band is always there for us when we need help with fundraising. There are a few people who have come into our lives that have been animal angels. We could not have done it without Jack and Jeannie Riedl and Mrs. Barbara Abbott, who are always there to lend support and help us out when donations are slim, Richard and Eve Buck, as well as my mother. Without her, I could not have made this organization take flight.”
Every spring, BMWA holds an annual charity dinner and auction, which is the major fundraising event of the year. But Amato says it’s not always enough to secure the site. “Throughout the year we are always doing some sort of fundraising event. You have to keep the funds coming in when you have over 100 mouths to feed,” she says.
HC 34, Box 5234
Mayer, AZ 86333