Season 6
Almquist Family
Almquist Family
Season 6 | Episode 620 | Aired 03/28/2009

A trailer held together with duct tape. Exotic rescued animals with nowhere to go.  And a first—the EM:HE crew builds an animal sanctuary.

This week we visit Phelan, CA where we meet the Almquist family. We’re shocked to find husband and wife Joel and Chemaine living in a decrepit trailer—complete with leaking pipes and gaping holes—literally held together with duct tape. Their focus instead has been to protect and care for the wildlife community.

The Almquists have built the Forever Wild Exotic Animal Sanctuary, where abused or neglected animals can come live in a peaceful and loving environment. You are amazed at the number of exotic animals at the sanctuary–from tigers and tortoises, to parrots, alligators, lizards, a lynx and an Egyptian cobra.  In fact, the Almquist’s mission is to never turn away a needy animal.  But their wish is becoming more challenging.

Although Joel works two jobs and Chemaine works within their community recruiting volunteers and donations to maintain the sanctuary, the monthly bills have become overwhelming.  And while they have concentrated on the animals, the Almquists’ own home—a doublewide trailer—has fallen into severe disrepair. You feel for them as you see them give so much to these rescued animals, and at the same time, give up so much personally.

It’s time for Ty and the designers to step in—to give help to this giving family, providing both a sanctuary for the Almquists themselves, and a state-of-the-art animal facility.  And as an additional surprise, Justin Chambers of Grey’s Anatomy helps welcome the family back to their brand new home.

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