Farm Sanctuary, in Watkins Glen, New York is America’s first shelter specifically for farm animals and we couldn’t wait to be surrounded by pigs, goats, chickens, cows, and more!
After watching the brief introduction video explaining what Farm Sanctuary was, how they got started, and why they do what they do, we were led out to the cow pastures. We met several cows throughout the field, all with incredible back stories and tales of survival that made us realize just how much better they have it now that they have been rescued. After petting them all and hanging out with them, we said goodbye to the cows and moved on to the next part of the sanctuary.
Next up we moved into the goat pasture where the goats were a bit more skittish and didn’t want to generally be around people. They were all grazing in the field, eating the grass, while our guide explained their names and how they came to be a part of the family.
After a short time visiting the goats, we checked in on the chickens and turkeys in their grazing field. We were giddy as we met another silkie chicken who looked similar to Brienne and fed the chickens and turkeys grass directly from our hands. While we were hanging out with them, we were surprised to have a special needs goat, Benedict, wheel out of the barn right up behind us and say hello. He was an absolute sweetheart and we learned that his back legs were paralyzed which led to the need of his wheelchair. However, just because he has special needs didn’t mean he was hampered in his life. We found out that he was already on his second wheelchair because he broke his first one galloping through the field at high speeds. We definitely fell in love with this gentle soul and did not want to leave him.
Our next visit was to the sheep barn where we were immediately jumped upon by two very friendly sheep who wanted to say hello! We stayed with them for quite awhile, petting and snuggling with them while the rest of the sheep just kind of watched and chewed on hay. It was funny to watch them all chew at the same time while staring at us. As we made our way out to the rest of the pasture the two sheep we bonded with were following us trying to get us to keep petting them.
Our next stop was what we came to know as the special needs goat barn where we met another special goat who was born without part of their leg and they had a temporary prosthesis which allowed her to be able to walk, albeit with a limp. The cute little kid was kept under close watch by her mother who always made sure she knew exactly what was going on. They were joined by another goat, Dottie, who had some hip issues that caused them to walk with some difficulties. They were all so incredibly lovable and we could have easily spent the rest of the day with them. Who knew we would have such a soft spot in our hearts for goats.
Our final stop was the pig barn, where we came upon HUGE pigs snuggled up in the hay. These animals are bred to be slaughtered at only a couple months old, so they face some health issues when they continue to live with such massive bodies that they were not designed to have. Thank goodness for Farm Sanctuary, who gave them a shot to live their lives in peace. We also caught one of the pigs romping around outside in the pasture.
They also have an awesome store that has vegan snacks and we got some of the best candy bars we’ve ever had! We definitely did a little bit of shopping. Needless to say, our time spent with the animals at Farm Sanctuary was so powerful and healing that we left there with our hearts full. They are a great organization that is doing sensational work for the animals. Please consider lending them a helping hand or giving them a donation to help further their cause.