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SPRING SOCIAL OPEN HOUSE SUNDAY MAY 12

SASHA Farm Animal Sanctuary to Hold Fundraiser and Spring Social Open House on May 12, 2019 (Mother’s Day)

What: SASHA Farm Animal Sanctuary will host its annual, family-friendly Fundraiser & Spring Social Open House on Sunday, May 12. Visitors will be able to meet and interact with over 300 animals who live at the sanctuary, including cows, pigs, chickens, goats, sheep, horses and other animals, Hear their unique stories and learn about their likes, dislikes and personalities. Tours will be available throughout the day, and 2 food trucks (Shimmy Shack and Nosh Pit) will be selling tasty vegan food, along with a vegan bake sale where all your favorite sweets will be for sale. SASHA Farm T-shirts and other merchandise for sale throughout the day.

Please join us for a great day, and help the animal residents at SASHA Farm! A great way to celebrate all mothers everywhere!

TICKETS: Available HERE, or at the door: $15 for ages 11 to Adult, $5 for children under 11, Children 5 and under free. This is a rain or shine event.

When: Sunday, May 12 between 12pm- 4pm.

Where: SASHA Farm Animal Sanctuary, 17901 Mahrle Rd., Manchester, MI 48158

Contact: Bob Harvie, Board President, 248-842-5547; bob@sashafarm.org

                Onsite and remote interview and photo/video opportunities available.

And, if you love to bake and would like to donate your yummy vegan treats to the Spring Social Bake Sale, please contact Bob at bob@sashafarm.org.

About SASHA Farm Animal Sanctuary: SASHA Farm, located in Manchester, Michigan, is the Midwest’s largest farmed animal sanctuary with over 300 animal residents, including cows, pigs, sheep, goats, chickens, turkeys, equines, and other animals. Founded by Manchester residents Dorothy Davies and Monte Jackson, SASHA Farm started rescuing animals in the 80’s, and became a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit in 2001. SASHA provides lifetime care to farmed animals formerly destined for slaughter or who were abused, neglected, abandoned, or no longer able to be cared for.

All for Love

Americans today eat three times the amount of chicken than they did 50 years ago. In fact, the average person eats 89 pounds of chicken per year, turning the poultry industry into a $50 billion-dollar industry.

When I was a small child it never occurred to me that chicken wings were the actual wings of a bird or that drumsticks were the legs of one. I remember the day my mother told me of this dark reality, and it hurt, deeply. Perhaps that is where a seed for veganism was first planted.

In August of last year, SASHA Farm received word of a situation in Pennsylvania. A small meat producer had purchased two thousand young chicks with the intention of raising them for meat. Tragically, inadequate heat supply during one bitter cold night led to the agonizing death of nearly 1,000 of them. While his motivations are unknown, the inexperienced farmer chose to end his business endeavor by giving away the surviving chicks to neighbors and friends. Soon thereafter the ASPCA was consulted and the remaining chicks were seized by law enforcement. The story of these chicks really touched our hearts. So, 13 hours and a few pit stops later (for vegan fries at Wendy’s), SASHA founders Dorothy Davies and Monte Jackson returned with 128 fluffy peeping chicks.

Warmth, food, water, and LOVE

“I cannot do all the good that the worlds needs. But the world needs all the good that I can do.” – Jana Stanfield

This is where the story begins to change, and this is the reason we wanted to share this story with you. Chickens raised for meat are called “Broiler Chickens.” They are a Cornish Cross breed selectively bred for accelerated growth and grotesque muscle development. According to Penn State University, broiler chicks reach 5 pounds in 5 weeks before slaughter. Chickens bred for meat are arguably the most genetically manipulated of all animals, forced to grow 65 times faster than their bodies normally would, and the industry continually seeks to increase their growth rate.

In the time we’ve cared for these chicks, they’ve grown 16-fold. This is even with the specially formulated low protein feed that our local feed mill created just for us. Some of them have died from heart failure at just 2 months of life. Their baby hearts simply couldn’t keep up with their adult-sized bodies. The industry that breeds 9 billion of them every year doesn’t seem to care because they assume that, by 2-3 months these birds will have been long since slaughtered anyway.

Around the age of 5 months many chicks in our care began to develop terrible sores on the pads of their feet known as Bumblefoot. The professional team of avian specialists at the Bird and Exotic Pet Wellness Center in Toledo gave us phone consultations for specific care instructions and evaluated several of the chicks in person. In their own words, “Being bred for meat is basically a death sentence. It’s almost inevitable that they will suffer from enlarged organs, heart disease and bumblefoot due to their extreme weight.” Regardless, our staff and volunteers spent hours every day treating and bandaging each foot with a specialized pad to help alleviate some of the pressure from their enlarged bodies. Some recovered, some did not.

Being treated for bumblefoot

Now that many have reached sexual maturity, in-fighting has become a problem. The larger ones pick on the smaller ones and the smaller ones end up in the infirmary. We’ve built four new enclosures by dividing their yard spaces and have chickens in the strangest places, such as in the kitchen or in a stall with our senior pot belly pig, Heinrich. (He doesn’t seem to mind as long as they keep the crowing down during his 6 hour nap times.)  Every day it seems we’re balancing personalities like a high school drama club.

Immobility and leg failure seem to plague the poor babies the most. Their bodies grow so large that walking even a few feet can become a struggle. Many have had their legs collapse beneath their weight altogether and we find them looking up at us helplessly from an immobile position. It’s as if they feel trapped, prisoners in their own bodies. The harsh reality is that if they’ve reached this stage, their success rate is very low, and quality of life must be evaluated.  We’ve since partnered with The Humane Society of Huron Valley (HSHV) to end the suffering of some by humane euthanasia. Either Shara Jones (Animal Care Manager) or I must make that heartbreaking decision.

We have done everything possible to give these chicks healthy and happy lives, but we cannot undo their genetics. Please know that the work we do is often shadowed in sadness. In the case of these chicks, we knew their lives would be cut short. We knew it would be so very difficult to watch them grow beyond their capacity, but we’re here to help animals- no matter the cost.  As Founder Dorothy Davies said recently, “We willingly break our hearts by doing what we can for these innocents. Life would be easier if we gave up.” 

All grown up

That is why it is imperative that our supporters remember the mission of our work and the reason SASHA Farm originated. We are not a petting zoo and our residents are not here for our enjoyment. SASHA Farm is a rescue and vegan sanctuary that stands in defiance against the abuse and exploitation of animals born into the food industry. We see individuals with personality and inherent value where others might see commodities. Please, if you are not vegan already, consider a vegan lifestyle.

For the animals,
Brece Clark
Animal Care Team, SASHA Farm

 

Henry’s 11th Birthday Fundraiser for SASHA Farm – April 9th is his big day!

Last year, Henry Plummer asked friends and family to donate to SASHA Farm instead  of giving him presents for his 10th birthday, and with your help, he raised over $1200 for the animal residents. Many of the people who donated did not know Henry personally but were impressed with his compassion and love for all living beings.

This year, Henry turns 11 on April 9th, and he has chosen to raise money AGAIN for the SASHA residents, including new rescues like the five piglets from North Carolina who are already favorites among the staff and volunteers.

Just a few days left to wish Henry a very happy birthday by supporting his birthday fundraiser! Click HERE to donate and to learn more about this compassionate and amazing young man.

Pictured below, Henry making friends with Bo of the Jersey Five.

Henry is the proud sponsor of this beautiful sheep (below) and has named her “Babs”.