Below is an article I wrote for Dane County Humane Society’s quarterly newsletter, Petpourri. Usually, when I explain to friends and others about Heartland’s mission, they say that they’ve never thought about farm animals needing a shelter. You can help me get the word out by forwarding this article’s link to all your family and friends. Enjoy!Farm Animals Need Love, Too!
Imagine for a moment you are in your car driving down a country road, when you notice a dog wandering across the road. He’s not wearing any ID tags, and there aren’t any houses nearby that may know the pooch. What would you do? At this point, many folks would load the dog into their car, and bring it to the local animal shelter. You know that the kind folks at the shelter will take good care of him until he is adopted by a loving family.
Now, what if that dog was instead a 300 pound sheep (with horns, mind you), or a 1,200 pound dairy cow?
Homeless farm animals aren’t usually something people think much about. However, each year many Wisconsin farm animals do find themselves in need of shelter due to a variety of reasons. A farmer, facing financial hardship, may move from their farm and leave behind an animal or two to fend for itself. A city person may decide that hobby farm (and rooster crowing every morning) wasn’t such a great idea. Still other farm animals become victims of abuse or neglect. Unfortunately, most “cat and dog” animal shelters are not equipped to handle farm animals. And there just aren’t many folks eager to adopt a full-grown cow or pig. Sadly, most homeless farm animals face a very grim future.
We want to change that.A Safe Haven for Farm Animals
I founded Heartland Farm Sanctuary, a non-profit organization, in 2009 to give homeless farm animals a safe haven. Heartland Farm Sanctuary will offer rescue, care, and rehabilitation services, and lifetime sanctuary to farm animals in need. When possible, we will place animals in loving, permanent homes. We’ll also be a resource for shelters and farm animal caregivers around the state who request our assistance. Heartland is proud to be a partner of Dane County Humane Society.Animals Helping People
But Heartland isn’t just about people helping farm animals. It’s also about farm animals helping people. We believe the natural bond between humans and animals has tremendous healing power for vulnerable youth, such as kids with challenging home lives, or children with physical, emotional, or cognitive delays. That’s why we’re developing a series of animal-assisted therapeutic programs for special needs and at-risk youth in Dane County. Kids will be able to visit our sanctuary to talk to, feed, hug, and care for the resident animals, all while developing life-changing attitudes and behaviors.