By Shelby Deering | June 2017  

Summer is in full swing here at the farm, and the animals are certainly enjoying the warmer temperatures. The ducks and geese love their pools, goats happily frolic throughout our emerald-green fields, and we volunteers are grateful for the ease that a season free of ice and snow brings.

And with this beautiful, new weather has come new faces at Heartland. In May, we welcomed three new residents, including Maybelle the potbellied pig. Farm life will no doubt benefit her. She has a history of neglect and was found homeless by a horse shelter in Illinois. They began her rehabilitation process, and we’re hopeful that she’ll love the barn and make many friends here.

Vincenzo the Welsh Harlequin duck is an inspiring addition to Heartland. Blind and in dire need of help, he was in very bad shape when he was rescued. At his veterinary exam, it was discovered that he had sustained severe head trauma, which was likely the cause of his blindness. But he got through those tough times, healing well and learning about his new surroundings at the farm. He shares a stall with four other ducks—Sansa, a blind female duck, especially likes to spend time with him.

And then there’s Ginger, an incredibly sweet lamb who was rejected by her mother and required special care. When she returned to her farm after being cared for in a home, she had trouble fitting in with the other sheep, preferring the company of people. In July, she’ll head to a new home, where a large family will welcome her with open arms. She’s spending this month at Heartland learning about other animals and people.

Our Animal Hearts program has officially wrapped for the season and we’re happy to report it was a wonderful success! Carrie, a longtime volunteer, recently came in to lead Animal Meditation, which the kids truly enjoyed. Mindfulness has become a top-of-mind topic at the farm, as it aids in healing and overcoming trauma.

We have plenty of other things going on at the farm, too. Our next Volunteer Information Session will take place on Wednesday, June 28. And we have lots of barn tours coming up—we’re planning to have public tours every Saturday this summer except for July 15 and August 12.

We’re also looking forward to Mad City Vegan Fest where we’ll have a table and feature T-shirts for sale. There’s even an after-party that benefits Heartland hosted by our friend, “The Vegan Drag Queen” Honey LaBronx.

None of these events or programs are possible without generous donations from our Stable Supporters. We’d love to add even more monthly donors to our Stable, so please sign up here to support Heartland’s mission.

We also can’t accomplish our goals without our incredible team, like Cameron, our intern. A pre-veterinary student, she recently completed a month-long internship with us, assisting our animal care staff with barn chores, office work, groundskeeping, and of course, helping to look after our residents. We are certainly missing her kind and always-helpful presence!

There’s never a shortage of excitement and new experiences at Heartland, and as the season continues, we look forward to helping even more farm animals in need.

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