Locket's Meadow Miracle Fund

For: Locket's Meadow Animal Sanctuary, AKA Rescues who Rescue
Bethany, CT
Organizer: Kathleen Schurman
Locket's Meadow Miracle Fund (Locket's Meadow Animal Sanctuary, AKA Rescues who Rescue)
of $500,000 goal
0% Complete
Raised by 23 donors

The Story

When my husband, David, and I rescued our first load of horses from slaughter in 2002, we had no idea they were about to redefine our lives in ways we never expected. Sixteen years later, with hundreds of rescues behind us, many of them last-second-nail-biters pulled from slaughter-bound trailers, we are fully committed to our work every minute of every day. Our farm animal sanctuary in Bethany, CT, Locket’s Meadow, is home to well over 100 rescues, including horses, donkeys, pigs, mules, steers, sheep, goats, llamas, alpacas, birds of all varieties, dogs and maybe more cats than we care to admit (and two pigs who live in the kitchen, one of them weighing in at about 650 pounds.). Most of the animals are special needs and require specific diets, care and meds. 

While we have a non-profit, 501(c)3, we have financially sponsored the rescue, care and feeding of the animals from our own pockets, spending nearly $3 million of our own money since we started, (excluding mortgages and utilities.)  Our animals are employed in therapeutic programs, including riding lessons for autistic adults and farm tours for special needs groups. Locket’s Meadow has been a tireless voice advocating for all farm animals, especially horses in the PMU industry and feed lot and slaughter auctions. We are dedicated to being an important link in our area's rescue community.   

Expenses have more than doubled in the past five years, from less than $10,000 to well over $20,000 per month (again, without mortgages and utilities.) While we have done everything in our power to keep up, we are getting older and we realize we can't keep going forever with our own money, because, well, odds are we will eventually die. Our goal is to raise enough to pay off the mortgage and put the entire farm under the non-profit and finally organize it so that our work on behalf of the animals can continue indefinitely.  

Yes, we are asking for half a million dollars, hopefully within six months'  time, but it indefinitely secures the future for many hundreds of animals in need. That need, as animal advocates know, is dire. 

This isn’t an epiphany for us as we are hardly newcomers to rescue. I’ve been involved most of my 57 years, have been a vegetarian and then vegan for 35 years and owned a vegetarian restaurant. This is my passion. While David admits he wasn't fully onboard at the start, once he landed in the deep end of the pool he rallied, drank the Kool-Aid,  and is now a full convert to the cause, caring for animals from 4am until he passes out in the evening, while working his full-time job in between.  This is our entire lives, and our goal is to see it continue until we die, then watch over it from above, or wherever we end up. If everyone who sees this contributes even a little, or perhaps a lot, you will help to ensure a safe future for a lot of incredibly special animals who deserve to live long and happy lives.  They deserve a miracle.

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on February 9, 2018


Posted on February 9, 2018

A few days ago I posted this fundraiser for the farm. I know if you read it, it may sound like it’s optional. It’s not. If we don’t succeed we will have to close down Locket’s Meadow by the end of the year. My husband and I are fortunate that we make better than average salaries, however, our income has not increased in the past 10 years. In fact, it’s a little less with a lot more taken out before we see it. In stark contrast, the cost of hay and grain, which used to be $1,000 a week, is now more than $2,000 combined, with far fewer animals. Farrier bills can be $3,000 a month. Since we have a farm filled with special needs animals, meds and supplements add another $500 plus. Mortgages (due to a convoluted set of circumstances that saved the farm but cost us a fortune) are $9,000 a month. Utilities (oil, propane and electric) average $4,000 per month. Vet bills can be anywhere from $300 to $5,000, depending on what’s happening, but we average about $600 a month. Farm insurance is almost $400 a month. That brings us to $19,500 in expenses just for the farm and animals without adding in a truck payment, gasoline, groceries, phones, internet and incidentals (wheelbarrows, double ended snaps, lumber to replace broken fences, etc. etc. etc.) Between the two of us, once taxes and health insurance, etc. are paid, we clear about $17,000. That used to be just about enough to do this, but ABSOLUTLEY EVERYTHING HAS GONE UP IN PRICE! Even in our better months, when we receive a few thousand in donations, we still can’t quite cover it all (and I promise you it’s truly possible for a human being to survive on popcorn for weeks at a time!) Another issue is property taxes – we are not classified as a farm because you need to make at least $15,000 a year on “agriculture.” The farm actually produces no more than maybe $5,000 a year in therapeutic riding lessons and pasta sauce sales. The Air BNB has helped, but only spring through fall. And . . . I am 57 years old, while my husband is 61. Our years to keep making money are seriously limited. So, after many years of absolutely everything we do being for the animals, we are at crossroads. Our options are to give up, which would mean placing a lot of animals whom have never known any happy home but this farm, and euthanizing many more of the “unadoptables” than we can bear to think about (we are the last resort for some of the most difficult rescue and maintenance cases around – I will start posting more stories about them!) Or . . . we have to trust that the Magic of Locket’s Meadow will once again come through for the animals. The only way to continue is to pay off the mortgages, put the entire farm in the name of the non-profit (eliminating property taxes) bringing our expenses to a place that we can afford until we build up our fund raising to the point where we can continue indefinitely. As usual, our personal plan will be to continue to feed and shovel and water and everything else until we each do our final face-plant into the mud. Or the ice, as today’s circumstances so graciously provided us (we prefer the softer landing of mud.) There is no other life we’d rather live. So, we are plowing ahead, assuming we will find a way so that our sweet “babies,” and future rescues, will be forever safe. We know that you all love animals and believe in the work that we do. If everyone does a little, we absolutely can create a miracle for the amazing animals of Locket’s Meadow. Thank you!  

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