MEHOOPANY TOWNSHIP, WYOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) A former US Olympian’s love of all creatures has brought her to northeastern Pennsylvania for the week. The one-time medalist is visiting an animal sanctuary as she champions a cause close to her heart.
Watching a rescued mother hen and her baby chicks delivered safely to Indraloka Animal Sanctuary proved emotional for Dotise Bausch. The animal rights activist and former U-S Olympian is visiting the Wyoming County site on a mission. “To learn all the ins and outs of all of the individual animals and scenarios that they commonly face.”
Dotsie captured silver at the 2012 Olympics. At 39, she became the oldest female cyclist to medal in Women’s Cycling Team Pursuit. She did it by training with what she calls Olympic level compassion. She refused to eat meat after learning about what she described as the cruelty of factory farming. “For me, becoming a vegetarian was instant. I mean it was an overnight thing. I just said I can’t be a party to this. I can’t pay into this industry. This isn’t okay.”
While many may believe sacrificing meat in her diet put her at a disadvantage, she says it was just the opposite. She found her strength and endurance through protein-rich, plant-based food. “I was recovering in half the time of teammates that were 10 and 15 years my junior. I mean I was just flying through workouts and able to repeat workouts day in and day out,” she said.
Dotsie urges others to reevaluate the way they think about food. Now, she is turning her attention to personally saving animals by opening her own microsanctuary. While she doesn’t anticipate handling the size or number of animals as Indraloka, her mentor for the week believes it makes a major difference. “Because of her stature and her renown as an Olympic medalist, she can bring so much light to the  issues that farm animals are facing today,” said Indraloka Animal Sanctuary Founder Indra Lahiri.
Bausch says construction on barns for her microsanctuary in Kentucky will begin in November. She hopes to begin receiving animals at the site in the spring.