Green Acres: Farm as sanctuary

February 2018 Posted in Community

Tina Crow brushes a very pampered Cupcake. Nancy Jennings

By Nancy Jennings

Buford was the first of his kind to set his hooves onto Green Acres Farm Sanctuary. The abandoned white goat arrived at the 28-acre Silverton sanctuary before it officially opened in June 2011.

“His owners sold their house and moved away. The new owners came and didn’t bargain for a goat,” President/Co-Founder Tina Crow explained.

“A lot of farm animals are left behind in that way – or dumped to fend for themselves.” Now a “senior,” Buford is living out his golden years in peace with a menagerie of other animals, including chickens, turkeys, ducks, cows, horses, one goose, sheep and one donkey.

The sanctuary also works with rescue organizations to provide foster care for puppies and kittens. “We provide a safe environment and love until they are at the age to be adopted,” Tina said.

Tina, and her husband, John, have been married for 23 years and have lived in Silverton for 10. Longtime animal lovers, the couple takes in abused, abandoned and neglected animals and provides a nurturing place for them to heal, thrive and live out their natural lives.

One particularly lucky 11-month-old pig named “Cupcake” found himself at the sanctuary right before Christmas last year. With the case of “Festus Jackson,” the donkey, the scars of past mistreatment were obvious.

“We think he was abused at some point. He will come up to kids right away, but with adults he’s more standoffish. He came through another organization and had been deemed ‘unadoptable’ and probably would have been put down had we not stepped up to take him,” Tina said.

“We are not a petting zoo and don’t require our animals to do anything. They don’t have to be in the best shape or the friendliest. Animals can be forgiving, but they don’t usually forget. We just give them space, so they can be themselves.”

The animals arrive from a variety of sources, including local law enforcement and some may need to be “re-homed” after the death of their owner.

For those interested in volunteering at the sanctuary, work parties occur every other Saturday, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. year-round. Visitors are asked to leave their own pets at home. Experience is not necessary and there is no need to sign up or call ahead.

For those preferring to volunteer during week days, a preset schedule is required. A variety of tasks are available including yard work and cleaning out stalls. Volunteers are encouraged to share their skills, especially on some of the community projects. Recent projects included building a goose house and chicken coop.

As an all-volunteer 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, all donations go directly to the animals.

To date, the sanctuary has provided care to more than 700 animals. Last year, the sanctuary hosted 17 school classes, youth groups, summer camps and teen outreach programs. About 177 students took their educational tours and volunteered
594 hours.

How children interact with the animals can be inspiring to witness. With some of the children coping with their own abuse issues, the bonding process is made easier for them knowing an animal has gone through a similar experience.

“It nourishes their soul, is therapeutic and helps them heal,” Tina added.

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