Why did I decide to start a farm animal sanctuary and turn my life upside down?? The idea of Hope Haven was born in 2008 while I was driving to Pittsburgh from my hometown in Vermont. I was thinking about my career as a veterinary surgeon and how I loved performing spay/neuter to help stop the pet overpopulation problem.
But recently I was feeling upset by the number of unwanted ducks, pigs, and roosters being surrendered at the shelter where I worked. Most of these farm animals could not be properly housed in the stainless steel cat cages or long dog runs so I had been taking many of them home to care for myself.
Rehabilitating a tiny pot-bellied piglet named Isaac opened my eyes to the exuberant love-of-life farm animals feel. Isaac would romp and jump like a puppy, seek me out for companionship, and give me looks that were so expressive I always knew what he was “saying”. I shuddered at the thought of what would have happened to Isaac if he had gone to auction or to a worse fate.
So during that long drive through New England I asked myself this life-altering question, “What would I do with my life if I KNEW I couldn’t fail?”
That question opened my eyes to my life’s purpose! I would start a farm animal sanctuary and raise public awareness to the plight of thousands of voiceless animals.
After more than 4 long years of searching, an overgrown and neglected 6 acre property was purchased in June of 2011. It was a diamond-in-the-rough; its potential made my heart sing! The land was close enough to the Pittsburgh to welcome city visitors, but also had the perfect mix of pasture land and woods to keep many needy animals happy and safe. A beautiful bank barn was built to home hoof stock and a big abandoned shed was renovated into a cozy condo for pigs. Over the years other improvements have been added. A large outbuilding has been altered into a sturdy and expansive poultry house. A pond was created explicitly for the pleasure of ducks, geese, and even swans! There is a beautiful walking trail on the property, as well as environmental updates such as rain water barrels, a veggie garden, a small fruit orchid, and compost units.
It's my hope that you will visit with the rescued animals introduced on the next few pages. Hear their stories and realize each one of us has the ability to make life better for the farm animals that share our planet. Our power is in the choices we make every day. What we eat, the items we buy, and how we act can create waves of kindness that are felt in the lives of animals every where. Each one of us can make a difference.
IN A WORLD WHERE YOU CAN BE ANYTHING, BE KIND. ~Unknown
Creating Hope Haven has taken SO MUCH work, but the effort has had unbelievable payoff. The joy and peace this sanctuary brings to visitors and animals is life-changing. It's extremely satisfying to know that Pittsburgh benefits from having a compassionate source for farm animal welfare information and humane education.
The amazing story of Hope Haven is just starting!
We hope you will join us on this great adventure!
Be a supporter, be a volunteer, be a fan!!
“THE QUESTION IS NOT, CAN THEY REASON? NOR, CAN THEY TALK? BUT, CAN THEY SUFFER?”
Jeremy Bentham, Philosopher
Hope Haven Farm Sanctuary, 2506 Wexford Bayne Rd., Sewickley, PA 15143
© 2018 Hope Haven is a nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) corporation (tax ID number 45-4153732)