“A Celebration of Life” Jefferson 2002 – 2018

Most of our followers know of Jefferson.  He’s the steer who made national news when he ran for his life on Jefferson Avenue 15 years ago.  On December 2, 2003, Jefferson was transported to the Eastern Market slaughter house in Detroit, Michigan.  As he stood in line to be slaughtered, he could smell the stench of death surrounding him and he could hear the painful, anguished cries of the cows in front of him.  The line moved forward, one by one, and the cries became louder.  Jefferson saw an open doorway.  He knew his current path meant death.  He chose the open doorway and ran.  He ran, not knowing where the doorway led and not knowing if there was anyone to help him, yet he ran.  Aided only by his will to live, Jefferson ran for over a mile, while being chased by those who wanted to kill him.

News crews followed him, police followed him, animal control followed him, and SASHA Farm Animal Sanctuary supporters followed him.  Those same supporters contacted SASHA Farm and asked us to help save this beautiful animal who clearly wanted to live.

While living at SASHA Farm Animal Sanctuary, Jefferson’s strong, independent, spirit continued and he thrived.  He had his opinion on the human race and his experience told him not to trust us.  It took time, but he slowly began accepting the love that was given to him by the SASHA Farm staff, volunteers, and supporters.  Jefferson became so comfortable at SASHA that he refused to leave when the cow gate was open.  He was content to stay in his pasture while the other cows toured the horse pasture.  The cow pasture was green and lush and he wasn’t budging from his happy home.

It is with a heavy heart that we are informing you of Jefferson’s passing.  Jefferson died on November 17, 2018.  He died at his home on the green pasture that he loved so dearly.  Jefferson was surrounded by his loving cow family when he died.  Immediately after his death, they stood vigil and bellowed in painful anguish.  He had a true family who was by his side at death as they were in life.  Jefferson is missed by everyone here at SASHA Farm.

The founders, staff, and volunteers at SASHA Farm Animal Sanctuary are emotionally impacted with each animal resident death.  Every animal death is difficult.  We are the humans who feed them, medicate them, clean them, keep them safe and warm, and nurse them back to health when they are ill.  We love them.  It does not matter if the animal has been a resident for 10 weeks, 10 months, or 10 years.  We love them.  The founders, staff, and volunteers need time to emotionally process every death.  These animals take pieces of our hearts when they leave us, yet we must continue caring for all the other animals.  During these times of sorrow, we do our work through tears.

SASHA Farm does not announce deaths as quickly as some would like.  We cannot and do not because we need time to grieve for our loved ones.  Jefferson’s death will surely cause many of our supporters to mourn.  We understand.  We will mourn with you.

Rest peacefully dear, Jefferson.

With much love and respect,

Your SASHA Farm family

If you wish to read more about Jefferson, here are some links to articles through the years: The Freep, Vdog, SASHA 



Henry Plummer Wins First Detroit Zoological Society Humane Youth Award

🎉 SASHA Farm would like to join the Detroit Zoological Society in recognizing 10-year-old Henry Plummer for his amazing contributions towards improving the lives of animals. This year, rather than asking for presents for his birthday like most kids his age, Henry asked friends and family to make donations towards the 350 rescued animals who call SASHA Farm home, and raised over $1,300!

SASHA Farm is very honored that Henry, a lifelong animal lover, and vegan, chose to use his birthday to support the animal residents. He first visited SASHA Farm when he was five, and continues to cherish very fond memories of his first time here meeting the different animals. He visited SASHA again in this past fall and chose to sponsor and name a shy, but beautiful sheep who needed a friend. He gave her the name Babs, and now she has a lifetime friend in Henry. Henry says it gives him great joy knowing that the animals at SASHA Farm can live out the rest of their lives in beautiful, natural surroundings, in peace and free from harm.

In November, SASHA Farm nominated Henry for the first Humane Youth Award. Recently, we were overjoyed to learn that Henry had won the award.

From Carla Van Kampen, a curator of Education for the Detroit Zoological Society, in her blog:

“Henry was nominated for the award by staff at SASHA Farm, a sanctuary and safe haven for farm animals in Manchester, Michigan. They were so impressed by Henry’s commitment to protecting wildlife and engaging his community to join his efforts, which included a birthday fundraising campaign for SASHA Farm.

“The DZS’s Humane Youth Award was made possible by the Berman Endowment for Humane Education as an opportunity to highlight the work of young individuals whose compassion for animals has made an impact in their communities. In addition to his support for SASHA Farm, Henry maintains a vegan lifestyle, engages his friends in animal advocacy and raises money for animal welfare organizations. He is helping people help animals, which is the mission of the DZS’s Berman Academy for Humane Education, as well as this inaugural award.

“The Academy accomplishes this goal through education, community workshops and outreach, providing people with information and tools to make knowledgeable decisions on how to walk softly and treat the Earth’s creatures gently. It is through the Academy that the Detroit Zoological Society is able to continue to support the work with SASHA Farm that Henry began, through a donation on Henry’s behalf.

“We, along with many of Henry’s references, see so much potential in him, and know that he will continue to have a positive impact on the lives of animals in the future.”

Everyone at SASHA Farm sends our deepest gratitude for Henry’s wonderful efforts to raise funds for the animals, and huge congratulations on winning the Detroit Zoological Society’s first Humane Youth Award! 🎉

You can find the Detroit Zoological Society’s entire blog posting on this award HERE.

Above: Henry meets one of the chicks from Philadelphia at SASHA Farm this fall.

Below: Henry and one of the Jersey Five say “hi”!