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.