By Shelby Deering | May 2017

Here at Heartland, we certainly love seeing cute photos and videos of animals just as much as everyone else out there—for proof, all you have to do is look at our Facebook and Instagram pages! But we also know that the impact animals have on our lives goes far beyond an “Awww!” moment. At the farm, we see our sweet residents touch people’s lives each and every day, through our many events, tours, and programs. We feel fortunate that Heartland is making its mark and people are seeing our vision come to life: a world where people and animals rescue each other.

We were certainly feeling the love at our Baine’s Bash 2017 Gala that we recently held on April 22. Over 200 guests joined us at The Madison Concourse Hotel, where we raised an astounding $90,000 for Heartland’s animals, our programs, and our most urgent barn needs. Our guests of honor—Baine, Cookie, Percy, and Reuben the Rooster—had a lot of fun at the VIP reception, visiting with guests and of course soaking up the attention. Stay tuned for pictures on our Facebook page!

We wouldn’t have enjoyed a successful evening without our gracious sponsors, auction donors, committee members, volunteers, and guest speakers, who included Madison Levy, Dr. Kim Kelly of the UW-Madison School of Human Ecology, and Heartland volunteers Paula Mansholt and her daughter, Nina. We are thankful to all of you!

We only have a few spots left for Summer Camp 2017! We currently have availability during the week of July 3 – 7!

For you big kids who would love to spend more time at the farm, our next Volunteer Information Session is Wednesday, May 31 at the barn. We’ve also just added several Public Barn Tour dates as well, so be sure to follow the link and add them to your calendar.

We are also pleased to be in the middle of another Animal Hearts session, a program that, as the name suggests, is very close to our hearts. Animals serve as amazing healers and help to alleviate stress, grief, and pain. Our Animal Hearts program is designed for children going through those very things as a result of trauma or loss. Since many of our animals have experienced neglect, abuse, or abandonment, connections can be easily made. Spending time with the animals and caring for them is of course fun for the kids, but these also serve as confidence, compassion, and character-building activities.

We’re only a couple of weeks into this session, and already, we’re seeing the connections the kids are making with the animals. One boy’s social worker said that she had never seen him as happy as that first week at our barn. We love seeing positive changes in these kids’ lives.

Our animals have had some positive changes in their lives, too. At the end of April, Cookie had her second surgery to remove troublesome teeth that interfered with her ability to eat. She was finally able to chow down after her first surgery, so we’ll have to make sure that now she won’t treat every meal like her own personal buffet! We love Cookie, and we love that she’s feeling better, too.

Our sweet Penelope the potbellied pig has officially gone to live at her forever home—SoL Criations Farm Sanctuary in

Penelope “helping” at her new home, SoL Criations!

Endeavor, Wisconsin. She has lots of room to play and run, a custom-built pig barn, and even has a pig friend! We are so happy for her.

And there are plenty of changes taking place at the farm. Now that spring is here, it’s officially grounds keeping season. Our volunteers service equipment, make schedules for maintaining the property, and work on outdoor improvements. But we could always use more help, especially on Friday mornings. If you have experience working outdoors (for instance, weed-wacking), contact Alecia at

There’s just so much positive energy here at Heartland. Humans care for animals, and the animals in turn care for us. If you’re reading this, you’ve no doubt been a part of that life-changing impact. And we are so grateful for you.

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