18 January 2012

California sanctuary offers unique programs to help animals

Got a spare couple of acres and yearn to have a farm animal as a pet? Animal Place, a farm animal and dog sanctuary in Grass Valley, California, can make that dream come true. Likewise, if you have farm animals that you cannot care for and are looking for an alternative to slaughter, Animal Place, again, can help.

The facility is conveniently located at ground zero in the agricultural belt of California surrounded by dairy farms and “big Ag” farming centers. It takes in all manner of fauna including dogs, sheep, goats, chickens, roosters, horses and cattle. Some residents, like piglets, can move in for good, according to the website: www.animalplace.org while others such as dogs, stay temporarily for transitional medical issues or a safe place to live until permanent shelter can be arranged.

Rescue Ranch, Animal Place’s adoption program, was created last August and since then, has rescued, re-homed or provided permanent refuge to 2,919 chickens, 19 turkeys, 6 sheep, 7 pigs, and 2 goats. That’s a lot of kibble! To raise money, the organization holds events such as the “Music in the Meadow” concert last weekend which brought in $11K to support its animal residents.

The farm also offers an interesting twist on the historical 4-H Club that teens have traditionally been involved in which involves working with farm animals. Instead of raising the animal and ultimately selling it for slaughter which is what the original club mandates, Animal Place has created a 5-H Club for teens which adds the extra dimension of saving the animal’s life when it is fully grown instead of selling it at auction.

The organization spends time working with animal welfare organizations, too, to adopt a vegetarian or vegan policy for all of their events. They urge SPCA’s and humane societies to “go vegan” when serving food at their events to be consistent with the animal rescue "message."

Diane Allevato, executive director of the Marin Humane Society and a partner in the campaign said, “The simple premise of the campaign involves asking ourselves two questions: What animals do we protect? And do we serve those same animals at our events? “

Lastly, the farm offers monthly vegan potlucks, recipes and a Veggie Club for omnivores transitioning to a plant based diet. To be put on the veggie club email list, contact marji@animalplace.org

Kathryn Lorusso | O'Neill 365 | Twitter | Blog | Bio
Dallas, TX Kathryn is a former journalist and English teacher who now counsels and mediates teenage drama on a daily basis in the Dallas, Ft. Worth metroplex. Time away from school is spent cooking up new macrobiotic/vegan specialties, writing various blogs and newsletters and taking as many bikram yoga classes as possible. She gives vegan cooking classes at the Arlington Bikram Yoga studio, mentors a vegetarian/vegan student group and has just been chosen as one of six fitness icons for O’Neill Clothing Company.

Photo credit: Screen capture