Here With Us Farm Sanctuary is a non-profit vegan farm animal rescue on Reibers Church Road in Spring Twp. Its mission is to provide a safe and loving home to farm animals that have been abused or neglected, while showing people that farm animals have personalities and feelings.
We started in 2018, said Amanda Clark, who runs the sanctuary with her husband, Steve. We visited a farm sanctuary in Watkins Glen, New York and decided that was what we wanted to do.
We lived in the neighborhood when we wanted to save. My brother let us fence in part of his yard, so we rescued our first two goats, Patrick and Darby, they are still here. Then we rescued four chickens, put them in our yard in our neighborhood, which was not allowed. We seem to just have to move.
The facility moved to a five-and-a-half-acre site in York in 2019 before moving to a 20-acre site in Perry County in July 2022. Animals come to the sanctuary from cases of cruelty, hoarding, neglect and factory farms. . Many animals have special needs. Currently, Here With Us has nearly 200 animals in its care, including cows, pigs, sheep, turkeys, chickens and ducks.
Our mission is to rescue abused and neglected farm animals, Clark said. We also want to show people that animals have feelings and emotions just like humans, and then try to bridge the gap between the products you buy at the grocery store and the actual individual animal.
The sanctuary is run on donations, with all animal care provided by Clark, who works full-time at the sanctuary, and 10 to 15 volunteers. The sanctuary offers tours every Saturday and often holds fundraisers to help pay for the animals’ needs. Right now, the facility is at capacity and is not accepting more animals until it can create more housing.
The biggest joy is seeing the animals learn to trust and just live their lives, knowing that most of them come from terrible places, Clark said. You can just walk around here and it’s a meaningful, happy, safe place.
All animals at the sanctuary are named and cared for as needed. Clark starts most days at dawn, letting the animals out of their cages and feeding them. The animals spend the day wandering around, volunteers and Clark checking to make sure they have food and water and cleaning up after themselves. Clark houses many birds with special needs and spends a lot of time making sure they have everything they need. The goal of the animals in her sanctuary is to live their lives happily. They do not accept their animals here with us.
The sanctuary is always looking for volunteers.
For me, this fills a void that no one else could fill, says volunteer Claire Miller, who spends about 15 hours a week at the sanctuary. It’s just amazing. They do more for me than I do for them, purely emotionally and mentally. They return a lot of love. When I get out of the car in the morning, the goats talk to me. That’s how special they are. Their names are a very good link, they learn their names.
Several events will be held at the facility throughout the fall. In November, they have a Thanksgiving for Turkeys, where volunteers prepare a meal to treat the turkeys. There is also trick-or-treating where volunteers will be at various animal locations handing out allergen-free candy to children.
For more information about donating, volunteering or participating in an upcoming event or tour, readers can visit herewithusfarmsanctuary.org or facebook.com/herewithusfarmsanctuary.
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