All posts by Marilyn Royle

Buy Your Tickets Now for the SASHA Farm Benefit Banquet and Auction on October 14

Included in the Ticket Price is a Tour of SASHA Farm and a chance to meet the Jersey 5 on October 15!

DATE:  Saturday October 14, 2017

PLACE:  Weber’s Inn, 3050 Jackson Road, Ann Arbor Michigan

TIME:  6:00 PM until 10:30 PM

WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT:  An exciting evening, great vegan food, entertaining speakers, and compassionate tales of animal rescue and life at SASHA Farm, all to benefit the animals. Savor a 4-course vegan dinner, bid on items in our silent auction, treasure a keepsake gift, enjoy a cash bar, and hear the heartwarming stories of the animals at SASHA Farm.

GUEST SPEAKER:  Cam F. Awesome joins us as our guest speaker. Cam is known as “The Vegan Boxer” and has spoken at the Farm Sanctuary 2017 New York Hoedown, San Diego VegFest, Rochester VegFest and Piedmont Farm Animal Refuge. Cam is a witty, upbeat and high energy motivational speaker as well as a comedian.  A proud vegan for the past 5 years, he is also a 5-time Golden Gloves boxing champion.

PRICE: Tickets are only $125, and the best part is that $75 of that is tax deductible. Included with each ticket will be a tour of SASHA Farm on Sunday October 15 with a chance to meet the Jersey 5, starting at 11:00 am. Don’t delay – buy your tickets NOW!

We are accepting donations that are new and cruelty-free for the silent auction. Please contact if you have items to donate or if you have questions.



We Knead Your Help!

Do you loaf baking? Are you able to rise to the occasion? SASHA Farm is seeking donations of vegan baked goods and sweets for our Humane Fair bake sale on Sunday, August 13. Selling sweets during the Humane Fair helps us raise additional funds for the animals at SASHA and also opens people’s eyes to delicious cruelty-free foods.

If you’re able to bake, for the animals’ sake, please contact our Board President, Bob, at

All items must be 100% vegan and individually wrapped with an attached ingredient list and a suggested donation price.

SASHA Farm is Hiring!


SASHA Farm is hiring a part-time administrative assistant to work on-site at the sanctuary and to help with day-to-day administrative operations. This position cannot be done remotely. Below you’ll find a detailed job description.

If you’re interested, please provide a cover letter and resume to the SASHA Farm Director, Dorothy Davies, at  Your cover letter should speak to your relevant volunteer or work experience as well as how you exemplify our mission to care for and promote the rights of animals. This position will remain open until filled but we encourage applicants to apply as soon as possible.


Administrative Assistant Job Description

Areas of Responsibility


Social Media, website and newsletter

  • Write articles and coordinate the publication and mailing of electronic newsletters
  • Add contact information to e-newsletter list and postal mailing list as necessary. This includes volunteers, donors, event attendees and those who inquire about the sanctuary
  •  Work with the Website Manager to write blogs and Facebook and other social media postings. Respond to posts on SASHA’s social media as necessary

Communication with the public

  • Respond to e-mails and phone calls promptly. The Director and/or Board should be notified of relevant responses either in person or by e-mailed copies of responses.  Matters concerning sponsorships may be forwarded to the Sponsorship Coordinator and memberships to the Membership Coordinator

Communication with volunteers, staff and Board

  • Respond to any questions coming from volunteers or staff regarding forms and other internal sanctuary information and, if necessary, retrieve the information or documentation requested. Will direct questions regarding other issues to the appropriate Staff/ Board Member or volunteer as needed
  • Work with Animal Care Associate to prepare a weekly Volunteer Announcement email with appropriate sanctuary and animal care updates. Announcements should be stored in the office and copies should be placed in the Animal Care Log in the People Barn
  •  Maintain files and contact information for all active volunteers
  •  Update the Volunteer Handbook and other related forms as necessary and keep copies stocked in the People Barn for new volunteers
  •  Propose topics to Staff/Board for discussion at monthly Board meetings as necessary

Record keeping

  • Maintain intake documents for new animal residents as well as animal residents who have passed away or have been adopted to an outside individual or sanctuary/rescue

Special Events

  • Work with the Board to facilitate the planning and organization of events as assigned. This may include creating and organizing materials, participating in planning, advertising, press releases, newsletters and blog postings, replying to e-mail and phone questions, organizing volunteers, managing merchandise for sale at the event etc.
  •  May support the Director and the Chairman of the Board to help with tours in various capacities
  •  May be asked to participate in the creation and distribution of media such as brochures, posters, event signs and flyers etc. for events and other matters
  •  May be asked to create and organize materials and displays for tabling and events under direction of the Director/Board
  •  In consultation with the Board Treasurer, keep an organized inventory of items for sale and fulfill and package orders for shipment in a timely fashion

Financial Responsibilities

  • Working under the direction of the Treasurer, facilitate the solicitation of monetary, in-kind and service donations
  •  Acknowledge receipt of monetary and in-kind donations through PayPal, PayPal Giving and other mediums with hand written notes or template driven acknowledgement letters
  •  As directed by the Treasurer, may enter new donations into Quickbooks, confirm addresses, and prepare bank deposits
  •  Work with Director, Treasurer and Accountant on financial reporting as assigned
  •  Categorize receipts and send to accountant monthly
  •  Submit qualification information as required to intermediary charitable organizations such as iGive, Benevity, etc.
  •  May research and submit grant proposals as requested

Other Duties

  • Housekeeping of the office – vacuum, clean surfaces, recycle and empty trash as needed
  • Check People Barn regularly to ensure forms and supplies are in supply, including liability agreements, confidentiality agreements, paper supplies such as paper towels and toilet paper, dishwashing detergent, hand soap, first aid supplies, etc.
  • Assist Director or her designee with other tasks as requested
  • May be asked to assist with animal care in emergencies
  • May be asked to pick up mail at the P.O. box at the local post office or at the sanctuary

Supporting REAL Animal Sanctuaries

A bear at Summer Wind Farms (c) PETA

In 2017, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) released an undercover investigation into Summer Wind Farms, a so-called animal sanctuary in Brown City, Michigan. During their investigation, PETA found animals living in cramped, filthy enclosures, others who were denied veterinary care and still more who were exhibiting chronic psychological distress.

In 2016, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) filed a formal legal complaint against the “sanctuary” arguing that they failed to meet even minimal animal welfare standards including a failure to handle animals as carefully as possible, a failure to provide animals proper medical care and a failure to provide animals a clean or safe shelter including in inclement weather. Between 2012-2016, the USDA alleges that Summer Wind Farms violated the Animal Welfare Act over 200 times.

PETA’s investigation raises important questions about what it means to be an “animal sanctuary” and which animal organizations should be receiving your support.

There are hundreds of animal organizations and facilities across the United States that claim to be “sanctuaries” for exotic, domestic or farmed animals. Unfortunately, many of these “sanctuaries” would more aptly be called roadside zoos or even hoarding situations where animals are warehoused and put on display for overly trusting tourists. Visiting these types of places, which buy, breed or keep animals for profit, or even for seemingly well-intentioned purposes, unfortunately support the animals’ continued confinement and suffering.

Before attending, donating, sharing their social media posts or in other ways supporting a “sanctuary,” you should ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is the organization a non-profit? If so, check that they’re a registered charity with the government (you can do that here). While this doesn’t guarantee that they’re a bona fide sanctuary, it is a good indication of their motives for keeping animals.
  • Does this organization buy, sell or breed animals? Real sanctuaries never breed animals. While sometimes sanctuaries are able to rescue animals as babies or pregnant moms who give birth to babies shortly after their arrival, baby animals at any sanctuary should generally be a red flag.
  • How are visitors allowed to interact with animals at the facility? Most legitimate sanctuaries have limits on how and when people can visit and interact with their animal residents. Sanctuaries should never encourage animals to perform “tricks” for visitors, or allow visitors to feed them junk food or interact with scared or aggressive animals. Visitors should never be allowed to hand-feed, hold, or touch dangerous animals like tigers and bears.
  • Along these lines, you should ask yourself how the animals look. Do they look healthy or ill? Do they look happy or stressed? If they look ill or stressed, be sure to ask why. Many sanctuaries take animals who have been abused or neglected and many animals come to sanctuaries with previously untreated medical issues. Sanctuaries truly concerned about animal welfare should be providing all ill animals with appropriate medical care and should be willing to discuss that care with the public.
  • Are the animals living in spacious, clean and enriching enclosures? Or are they cramped, dirty and barren? Animals living at genuine sanctuaries should live in groups with space to roam, explore, play and relax free of trash, debris and excessive muck and waste.

Visiting or donating to pseudo-sanctuaries only perpetuates the suffering of the animals kept there. And sharing their pictures or other posts on social media only serves to legitimize them and increase their reach to more unsuspecting animal lovers. If you see an animal in distress at one of these facilities, please contact your local humane society or animal control. You can find more tips on helping animals suffering from abuse or neglect here.

Please, only visit or support real sanctuaries truly committed to the care of their animal residents and to supporting the rights of animals.

Thank You for Making the Spring Social a Success!

Sunday, May 21st was our annual Spring Social Fundraiser and Open House, a time for SASHA members and supporters to visit and tour the sanctuary, meet the animal residents, and socialize with others interested in animal rights and plant-based living. This year over 500 members and supporters came out for the Social, helping to raise much-needed funds for the animals who live at SASHA.

If you missed the Spring Social, fear not, we’re having public tours at the Sanctuary on June 18th, July 16th, and September 17th. All tours are on a Sunday from 11 am until approximately 2 pm and are $10 per person. To RSVP, please email Bob at

And don’t forget about our annual Humane Fair on Sunday, August 13th. The Humane Fair will include guided tours, a catered vegan lunch and informational booths staffed by area animal groups. It’s a great opportunity to learn about SASHA, meet the animal residents, and learn more about animal rights and local groups working towards humane reforms for animals in Michigan and beyond. You can find more information about the Humane Fair, as it becomes available, on our website and Facebook page.

Should people have “backyard chickens?” It’s Complicated.

Keeping chickens and other farmed animals, such as pot-bellied pigs, has become increasingly popular over the past few decades. But unfortunately, purchasing these animals on a whim has led to a homelessness crisis for them, meaning many are abandoned, neglected, abused or killed because of a lack of homes.

Oftentimes, well-intentioned people purchase chickens for their companionship, eggs, or even so-called “humane meat.”

Humane societies and sanctuaries, including SASHA, are constantly inundated with requests to take chickens formerly kept as pets. The need for safe and humane homes for one-time backyard chickens is overwhelming and this crisis begs the question, should people be buying and keeping chickens in their backyards?

Chickens are smart, curious animals who enjoy spending their time in groups perching and roosting in trees and straw, rooting in dirt and grasses and exploring their surroundings. Chickens have their own languages and unique likes, dislikes and personalities.

Dozens of chickens live at SASHA including some rescued from factory farms and others from a cock fighting operation.

Unfortunately, many of the chickens destined to be kept as pets are purchased from cruel factory farms. These mail order chickens are raised in intensive confinement and shipped far distances in boxes like things rather than thinking, feeling beings.

Additionally, many communities prohibit or regulate the keeping of chickens, limiting the size of a flock or the types of chickens someone can keep. Many cities prohibit the keeping of roosters, which means many are summarily killed at the hatcheries when they’re born or else abandoned or killed when they’re older. Many would-be chicken keepers scramble to place roosters because the animals were missexed and inadvertently purchased.

Humane societies and animal control agencies are often ill-equipped to help those mistakenly keeping chickens or roosters illegally or those who are no longer able to care for them. In order to provide the best quality of life possible for the chickens and roosters they already have, many sanctuaries, including SASHA, are unable to take in new chickens. This means that for those who rush into buying chickens, there is little help for them if they run into problems.

Animal sanctuaries, including United Poultry Concerns (UPC), encourage would-be chicken keepers to do their research and make sure they’re up to the task. Chickens require safe, clean, predator-protected coops and lots of space to roam and explore. You should also research the laws regarding keeping chickens and roosters where you live and always adopt, never buy, chickens.

You can find more information on the practical and ethical issues of keeping chickens and best practices for their care on UPC’s website.

SASHA Farm Newsletter: May, 2017

SASHA at VegFest.

Check out our latest newsletter here!

In this month’s newsletter, you can read about the newest SASHA residents, Wilma and Emily, our Volunteer Spotlight on Katie Karlson, a recap of VegMichigan’s 2017 VegFest, details on upcoming SASHA events and more!

If you’d like to receive SASHA newsletters, email us at

Vegan Bakers Wanted

We’re seeking donations of vegan sweets for our Spring Social bake sale. Selling sweets during the Spring Social helps us raise additional funds for the animals at SASHA and helps open people’s eyes to veganism.

All items must be 100% vegan and individually wrapped with an attached ingredient list. To donate items, please contact our Board president, Bob, at