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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 info@sashafarm.org.

Pot-bellied pigs: wonderful animals but bad pets

Pot-bellied pigs, sometimes called mini-pigs or teacup pigs, are a popular “fad pet” often purchased by people based on misconceptions about their size and needs. Humane societies and animal sanctuaries, including SASHA Farm Animal Sanctuary, are constantly contacted by people trying to re-home their pot-bellied pigs after they’ve grown too large for their caretaker’s comfort.

According to one estimate, as many as 90% of pot-bellied pigs purchased as pets are later given to sanctuaries and rescues.

Despite claims from breeders and online communities, adult pot-bellied pigs can weigh between 100-300 pounds and have a lifespan similar to that of dogs and cats, with some living as long as 20 years.

Pot-bellied pigs, including so-called therapy pigs, are illegal in many communities and require unique, and sometimes costly, veterinary care that many local veterinarians aren’t able to provide.

Additionally, pot-bellied pigs are intelligent and social animals who require companionship with other pigs and lots of outdoor space and enrichment that many people can’t provide.

Currently, SASHA is home to about 20 pot-bellied pigs who live communally, have space to roam, explore and root, huts to sleep in, straw to nest in, and toys to play with. Sadly, in many instances, pet pot-bellied pigs are not able to engage in these natural behaviors that are so meaningful and enriching to them and instead suffer from boredom and depression.

Unfortunately, there are few resources available for the pot-bellied pigs whose owners, for whatever reason, can no longer care for them. Many humane societies and animal control agencies consider pot-bellied pigs livestock and therefore will not accept relinquished pigs. This means that the sanctuaries, humane societies, and animal control agencies who respond to requests for assistance for pot-bellies are often overwhelmed by requests for help. And many sanctuaries, including SASHA, quickly reach their capacity and are no longer able to accept new pot-bellied pigs.

Because of the misconceptions about the size and needs of pot-bellied pigs, deceptive practices by breeders and lack of assistance and resources for pot-bellied pig owners, many pot-bellied pigs are neglected, abandoned and abused when they’re forced to live with owners who no longer want them.

In Macon, Georgia, a pot-bellied pig who was advertised as a pet on Craigslist was tortured by men with a pickax, polls, and rifles who were planning on killing and eating the animal. In Corpus Christi, Texas, an abandoned pot-bellied pig was set on fire and found with wounds across her body at a local convenience store.

Pot-bellied pigs are complex, intelligent animals who likely suffer in the sterile environment of people’s homes without the companionship of other pigs and the ability to engage in their natural behaviors and activities. The majority of pot-bellied pigs purchased as pets are later sent to sanctuaries or are neglected and abandoned as their size and unique care requirements become too much for their owners.

Instead of purchasing a pot-bellied pig as a pet, consider sponsoring one at SASHA. Your sponsorship helps us to feed and provide for the animals in our care for their entire lives.

SASHA Farm Newsletter: April, 2017

Check out our latest newsletter here!

In this newsletter, you’ll find our eulogy for Izzy, a recap of SASHA’s appearance on CW50’s Street Beat,  our Volunteer Spotlight on Katie Eory, a profile of one family’s love of Bhima and details about the Spring Social and other upcoming events.

Izzy, 2005-2017

To subscribe to future newsletters, please email info@sashafarm.org.

Rainbow Bridge Gate Guardian

Izzy – SASHA Farm Guardian and Protector

Most animals who come to live at SASHA Farm Animal Sanctuary have not had an easy life.  Equines have come with sway backs and overgrown hooves.  Pigs have come overweight to the point they cannot walk.  We have welcomed run-away cows, and goats with sawed-off horns.  They all come with no trust of people and it can take years for these animals to trust us.

Izzy was no different.  Izzy came from a puppy mill in northern Michigan.  As a Great Pyrenees, she was constantly bred in horrific conditions for her “financially lucrative” pups.  Never given a break and kept in a small, dirty cage, she was bred, delivered puppies, had them taken from her too soon, bred again, and again, and again.

Izzy, 2013

Izzy was approximately four years of age when she was rescued and came to live at SASHA Farm.  She received immediate medical care and lots of love.  Unfortunately, one of her eyes had to be removed due to the lack of medical care she received while at the puppy mill.  Her suffering was officially gone because we were not going to let her be trapped or bred again.  Izzy’s happiness while running and playing in the large pastures at SASHA Farm made everyone smile.

In no time, Izzy became the guardian of the gate at SASHA Farm.  Her instincts blossomed and she was protector of the sheep, goats, and people – whether they wanted it or not.  She loved any toy she was given.  Sometimes she loved toys by destroying them.  Sometimes she loved toys by tossing them in the air and pouncing on them.  Her mood dictated how the toy would be loved.

After her position as “Gate Guardian” was secure, she expanded her farm role to include “Produce Taster”, “Play Police”, and “The Paw”.   Izzy made sure the produce being fed to all the residents was fresh and delicious.  When other animals played, she stood watch until she decided that they had played long enough.  “The Paw” was Izzy’s signature move.  Simply put, Izzy told everyone when they were allowed to stop petting her.  If someone stopped prematurely, that person got “The Paw”.

Time crept on and Izzy began having difficulty walking and breathing.  Last week, Izzy passed away, surrounded by those who loved her.  She is now at the Rainbow Bridge and she is joined there by some of her pups.  She gets to spend time with them and play without the confines of a dirty cage.

We love you and miss you, Izzy.  You are now the Gate Guardian at the Rainbow Bridge.  Do what you do best – protect, love, and play.

RIP Izzy 2005 – 3/23/2017

Last Day to Donate for 2016

taxdeadlineToday is the last day to donate for the 2016 tax year.  We can’t thank you enough for your support this year and in years passed.  Without the support of our donors, we would not be able to continue our mission of rescuing abused and neglected farm animals.

If you have a PayPal account, you can donate through this link.

If you don’t have a PayPal account, you can donate without opening an account and this link allows you to do that.

SASHA Farm is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Donations are tax-deductible. To donate via check, please mail the check to SASHA Farm, P.O. Box 222, Manchester, MI 48158. 

Produce Volunteers Needed

Update as of July 8, 2017:  We are no longer in need of produce volunteers.  We will be sure to inform you if our needs change.  Thank you for considering a volunteer position with us!  Please click on the Volunteer Information link to learn more about our other volunteer opportunities and how you can help.  Thank you!   

produce-collage

Our animal residents love their fresh produce treats.  Unfortunately, we don’t have  produce volunteers to cover Monday through Friday and the residents have voiced their displeasure about it.  Bhima, our resident Gyr ox, is Produce Distribution Management. If you are interested in volunteering with rescued animals but didn’t know how you could help, being a produce volunteer might be a good fit for you.

The produce volunteer must be at least 18 years of age, reliable, courteous, professional, strong, and have a vehicle large enough to transport large amounts of produce from the Whole Foods Market Ann Arbor stores.

The produce volunteers’ duties include retrieving produce at two Whole Foods Market Ann Arbor locations, maintaining a courteous and professional relationship with Whole Foods Market employees, delivering the produce to the sanctuary in Manchester, chopping, sorting, and distributing the produce to the eagerly awaiting residents.

Please be realistic about your availability and willingness as this volunteer position takes time, dedication, and commitment.

A few important notes:

  • All SASHA Farm Animal Sanctuary volunteers must be 18 years of age or older.
  • Training is done at Whole Foods Market and at the sanctuary.
  • Whole Foods Market is very generous to our animal residents and we want to maintain our good relationship with them, so professionalism and courtesy are extremely important to us.
  • Whole Foods Market requests that produce pickups be done between the hours of 8am – 11am.
  • It can take anywhere from 20-60 minutes for store pickups.
  • The produce can be heavy so the volunteer must be able to lift and carry up to 40 pounds.
  • Depending on the amount of produce donated, it can take 4-6 hours to sort and distribute the produce.
  • Flexibility to switch with a produce volunteer on another day is available.
  • The produce volunteers report directly to Bhima, the Produce Distribution Manager.

Produce volunteer is known as the best volunteer position at the sanctuary.  This is not an easy position, but the produce volunteers get the best form of gratitude -nuzzles and sloppy kisses from the animal residents!  They look forward to seeing their produce volunteers, and they stand by the fences and voice their excitement very loudly.

If you are interested in becoming a produce volunteer or learning more about the position, please email volunteer@sashafarm.org.

bhima-boss
Bhima overseeing produce preparation.

      

 

A Holiday Message

A Holiday Message to our SASHA Farm Supporters
ferdinand-11-21-2015
The SASHA Farm Board of Directors, its animal residents, and our wonderful and compassionate volunteers who come rain or shine every day to care for our animals, wish to thank our supporters for all that you do.  Without you, SASHA Farm could not be the safe haven that it is for our incredible and amazing residents.  Your donations and your support of our various events throughout the year allow our new residents like Laddie, Eve the pig, and Nell and Sophie the Nubian goats, to have a place they can call home forever.  And for our other animals who have been here a while, such as Sheldon the sheep and the pigs June Carter Cash and Johnny Cash, and all of their very good friends, they know without a doubt they will be safe and sound and well cared for, and most importantly, loved.  We have lost some animals this year and we have mourned together, but we have welcomed more and will keep doing so with your help.  Thank you again for continuing to be the voice for the animals through your support of SASHA Farm.  It has made 2016 a great year for our sentient beings, and we look forward to continuing our work with your indispensable partnership.

A Successful Fundraiser . . . Because of You!

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SASHA Farm‘s annual benefit and auction is our largest fundraiser each year.  The money raised allows us to continue providing food, shelter, and medical care to animals who rarely received these necessities prior to becoming our residents.

SASHA Farm became a non-profit, 501(C)(3), charitable organization in 2001.  We celebrated 15 years of animal rescue and animal welfare education during our banquet on October 28, 2016.  Each year, our fundraiser is made successful by our attendees and those who donate to our auction.  A big “Thank You!” goes to everyone who supported us throughout these past 15 years and who continue to support us.

Please help us thank our 2016 auction donors by recognizing their contributions and help support them by your patronage.

Thank You

andrea-logo             brown-cow-not-bella-4-24-2016     tlr-2

     to-save-a-starfish            cosmakery                  frankie-in-bowl-10-24-2016

chickens-11-6-2015                    coloring-book-by-erin-9-2016         lake-forest-golf-club

       johnny-cash-8-14-2016                  shimmy-shack               the-make-up-loft

    chive-kitchen                 daisy-and-lucky-5-8-2016

 

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