2022 is finally in the books. But before 2023 completely consumes us (it may already be too late!), we wanted to take a minute to reflect on the last year.
Like each year since the sanctuary started, last year taught us something, presented new challenges to overcome, gave us new animals who desperately needed our help, and introduced us to new friends and supporters along the way.
We reopened our doors for tours and overnight guests for the first time since the start of Covid. It has been great seeing so many friends again and meeting many new supporters for the first time! The opportunity to tell our animals' stories and for you to meet them is one of the greatest privileges we have as a sanctuary.
As you know, many residents went through highs and lows, and we want to share some updates:
To keep expenses in check, we limited our intake in 2022. But two special cases were the exception:
• Milo: We know we talk about our tiny 5-pound goat A LOT. But what a story. Suffering from a terrible infection, Milo couldn’t even lift his head. It took eight months of intense antibiotic treatment, scans and various medical interventions, but Milo was finally cleared to stop all medications and live a normal goat life! Look at him today:
• Hank: We also welcomed a much larger baby, Hank! He was born small, making him unfit to be a stud for his breeder owner. He needed lots of human intervention. But now, Hank is a playful, kind and silly boy who steals the hearts of everyone he meets. His personality saved him from being sent to auction, the fate of most steers. His original breeder wanted to give him a shot at life!
2022 also brought us plenty of “storms”, and that's on top of the hurricane that pummeled our clinic in November.
• Larry, one of our large elderly porcine friends, needed a large increase in his calories. His advanced age makes it harder for his body to maintain a good weight. So even though our feed costs had already gone up, we reached out to you guys, and you didn’t disappoint! While Larry is not getting any younger, he is getting FULLER! An increase in diet has worked wonders for him! He is gaining weight, and his energy levels have him keeping up with his younger herd mates!
• Neville wore through his old soft braces, and the vets decided he needed more sturdy braces to help support his legs to prevent his hind legs from also deteriorating. We sent off for his braces, but they were delayed coming back because the shop that makes them flooded in a hurricane. But Neville ended the year rocking his new leg supports and is back to bossing around his buddy, Molly!
• The spread of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (a deadly disease responsible for killing more than 50 million chickens and turkeys so far) rocked us, and we worked closely with the State Veterinarian to keep all of our birds safe. As such, all of our feathered friends had to be relocated to somewhere safe, and all new enclosures had to be built for them.
As always, there were a handful of residents who required urgent medical treatments.
• Our wild mustang Tori had cancer and needed treatment that included several trips to the hospital and rounds of chemotherapy. Luckily, the treatment worked, and she is cancer free! She has returned to her normal life with her herd.
• Penny, our two-legged goat, struggled with the sudden onset of breathing problems because of her past trauma. With careful management and medical interventions, her health is stable – and she remains her precious, bossy self.
• Rhys, a potbelly, was having repeated and severe seizure-like activity. He was rushed to the university vet hospital for a CT scan and evaluation. It was determined that Rhys has vestibular disease, and he needs lifelong meds to help control it. Now medicated, he’s no longer having them!
Advocacy and Community Building
• 104,000 petition signatures, including 14,225 against dairy cow tie stalls and 11,757 against the use of blunt force trauma to kill piglets. Thank you for taking action!
• Visitors came to the sanctuary and met the residents during 20 public tours.
• Volunteers donated their precious time to build infrastructure, clean stalls, paint barns, and more during 7 workdays.
• 116 people joined us in celebrating our rescued residents while sharing a compassionate meal with one another during our annual Thanksliving Day Potluck
2023 will mark our 20th year as a sanctuary, and we hope to bring you even more amazing animal stories, chances to become involved in the work we do, opportunities to advocate for farmed animals everywhere, and fill your lives with loads of cute photos, videos and stories!
What were some of your favorite moments of 2022? What issues should we tackle this year?