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An UPDATE on the Rescued Cows and Pigs that will make you SMILE!

Most of you have followed the stories of the surviving cows and pigs rescued from the horrific conditions of starvation and neglect at a small “family owned” dairy farm in Livingston County, Michigan. Now, they have found their forever homes at SASHA Farm, and we are excited to give you an update! They are all doing remarkably well as newcomers, basking in the love and attention of the volunteers and staff who look forward to every new day with them.  Below you will see pictures of our amazing and dedicated volunteers providing the new cows (and all the animals at SASHA) donated delicious produce. The first time we offered it to them they had no idea what to do with a banana or apple! Now produce day is their favorite day of the week. Given the cruelty they came from, it is truly remarkable how willing they are to accept our kindness and love. Oh, the many lessons to be learned from animals.

NOW, on to the PIGS! You haven’t heard as much about them, but they most certainly love  their new lives at SASHA. At first timid and afraid, they soon began trusting the humans who came by several times daily offering food and lots of neck scratches. Right now, they are about 5-6 months old – and incredibly curious and playful. Very intelligent, they love to explore, and they’re super friendly –  just happy for each new day to begin. The three are bonded, and sleep huddled together.  We are certain that all these survivors grew to depend on one another for comfort during the many dark days before they were rescued. Now there is light and love for them every day at SASHA Farm.  We welcome these peaceful, beautiful beings to SASHA. They will never know cruelty or starvation again.

Would you like to be a part of SASHA Farm Animal Sanctuary? We are always accepting and in need of donations. We have many more medical and feed bills to cover and all donations are tax deductible. Just click the Donate button on the right hand side of the page, near the top. Please join us in defending animals and giving them a forever home.

Left to Die: How 5 Cows and 3 Pigs Escaped Death, and the Tragic Fate of 70 More Who Didn’t

On Monday February 5th, the Detroit Free Press released an article describing the farmed animal cruelty case in Livingston County that SASHA was a part of.  Now, we’d like to share our own eyewitness account of the event. Thank you to Brece Clark, Animal Care Associate at SASHA Farm, who wrote the article. Please direct any questions to info@sashafarm.org.

Exposure of animal cruelty on modern factory farms, whether for meat, eggs or dairy, has long been documented by animal rights groups. Even the standard government stamped approved practices such as mutilating infant piglets, forcibly impregnating female cows or gassing male baby chicks alive are enough to make even the most insensitive person weak in the stomach. Many of those who support animal agriculture often argue that such conditions and practices don’t exist on small farms. Farmers have coined misleading phrases like “happy meat” or “the worst day is their last day” to persuade the public that it’s ethical to confine, exploit, kill and dismember innocent beings. The following article recounts the experiences of animals raised on a small farm.

Have you ever gotten a phone call, and quickly realized that your life would never be the same? On Friday, September 29th 2017 SASHA Farm Animal Sanctuary received a phone call from the Livingston County Sheriff’s Department regarding animals at a small Michigan dairy farm. The animals were reportedly living in a filthy environment with poor body conditions. Dead animals were also sighted on the property. After repeated failed attempts to contact the farm owner, the Sheriff’s department obtained a search and seizure warrant to remove the animals for which they requested the help of SASHA Farm Animal Sanctuary.

The property was located on a back-country road with a large white farmhouse overlooking a series of red barns. The yard was adorned with expensive farm equipment and one could imagine that this once represented the iconic American dairy farm.  The further we entered the property, however, the more that signs of abandon became apparent. There were no signs of life; only dilapidated barns, sheds with broken windows, overgrown weeds, and an eerie sense of desertedness. Attached to a rundown building full of equipment was a make shift pen, patched together with rusty gates and broken boards. Inside the pen was a rancid mixture of mud, manure and urine nearly three feet deep. This was where we first laid eyes on the animals for whom we’d been called to rescue.

Wading in the rotten waste well up to their knees, four emaciated cows stood helpless. Their bodies had become so intensely ravaged by dehydration and lack of food that we felt as if we were observing a prison camp for the first time. Bones protruding through their skin, eyes sunken into their skull and feces caked all over their frail and deteriorating bodies, it was clear that these animals hadn’t had food for weeks. The only water trough available held just a few inches of water, though we found it so green and slimy that it more closely resembled swamp water.  Even still, perhaps the most frustrating and heartbreaking of all was that directly across from these dying animals stood a barn full of hay. Someone had simply chosen not to feed them.

As we looked closer, we also observed dead bodies in the animal’s pen as well. Five full bodied skeletons of former cows sank in the same reeking manure pit as the four starving survivors. This had become their home. The realization of such a horrendous experience makes you feel empty inside. Imagine day after day feeling the pains of hunger and thirst wither away at your body, all the while having no other choice but to stare helplessly at a satiating food source just 20 yards away. Imagine being trapped in a pit of your own feces and urine while you watch your friends and family die a slow and painful death around you. Imagine then living amongst the decaying corpses, trapped and afraid, knowing that the same fate awaits you in the coming days.

To get the animals out we trudged through the knee-high pit of waste. The top of our boots soon filled with feces and urine as we struggled to not get stuck. We didn’t care of the cost to ourselves, we knew we had to free these animals. The task presented many challenges but the team at SASHA Farm Animal Sanctuary worked together to maneuver and gain the animals trust. We believe they knew we were there to help. Within an hour we had them loaded onto the trailer.

Shortly thereafter we heard grunting sounds nearby. We followed the sounds through an old barn packed with junk and debris, where we discovered three young piglets stuck in a dark corner. Their pen was small, four sided and solid, offering no sunlight or fresh air. They too were standing in so much urine and feces that the smell nearly knocked you over. Though scared, the three little piglets came with us willingly. It was hard to deny their expressions of relief once we removed them from such a pitiful, dark dungeon of existence.

The Sheriff’s department also asked if we’d visit a second farm owned by the same farmer. Reports had come in from suspicious neighbors and the officers felt that it was worth visiting given the circumstances. With the four emaciated cows and three little piglets in tow, we held a dreadful breath pulling up to the second farm just a few miles away.

It appeared not much different than the first– a traditional 1900’s style farm. As we explored the property further, however, we soon realized the gravity of the situation. There inside an old barn, layering its decrepit floor were seemingly countless dead bodies. Bodies even stacked on bodies. From skulls to rib cages, every inch of this barn had become layered with the skeletons and bones of dead cows. 70 animals altogether. Some still had their black and white hide attached but most had been eaten away to nothing. We even identified dead baby calves amongst the carnage lying on top of their dead mothers. Nothing could have prepared us for such a scene. We cried openly for these poor animals, we cried for their misery, their neglect, their torture. Our feelings of devastation and helplessness could have only been rivaled by the victims themselves– the innocent beings whom life and man had terribly wronged.

As we searched deeper into the barn our attention shifted to a back-side corner. Standing solemnly among the remains of his former herd mates and family members, we met the gaze of one black and white cow. A sole survivor. His body ravished from hunger, bones protruding, one could barely identify this animal as a living being. Had he been lying down, we could have easily mistaken him for one of the dead.  Living in filth, no food and no water, to even move around this poor emaciated cow was forced to step on top of the bodies of the others. God knows how long he had been trapped in this nightmare. Encouraging him onto the trailer was challenging. His body was so weak that he could barely muster the strength to step up. We took our time though, gave him some of the first food he’d had in weeks and eventually managed to get him inside.

Before driving away, we took one final look at the animals we’d rescued. Eight innocent animals in total who did nothing to deserve this—mere victims of an oppressive system and an overtly abusive caretaker. We could speculate over the trauma they’d endured, but it’s more likely incomprehensible. All we could do was make them a promise that their suffering had finally come to an end. The humans that would enter their lives from now on would offer nothing but love and kindness. Their lives would be valued and respected. We would do everything possible to provide them safe, comfortable, happy lives with us (never for us) at SASHA Farm Animal Sanctuary.

What the animals would soon discover is that SASHA Farm Animal Sanctuary is a place of refuge. Four legged or two, wings or fur, snouts or beaks, we believe all life has value. We believe a cow, or a pig has as much preference to live as a dog, cat or human and we honor that desire by giving it back to them. Our mission is to be the voice that animals cannot speak and provide them the safety they weren’t afforded. We are here as their ally in this world. Founders of SASHA Farm Animal Sanctuary Dorothy Davies and Monte Jackson have been rescuing animals for nearly 30 years.

The five cows and three piglets are doing well now. It’s been nearly four months since they were rescued. They have all been treated by a veterinarian and are on the road to recovery. The cows have their own private barn where they receive a plentiful supply of food each day, clean water and access to 10 acres of rolling hills pasture. Initially they were afraid and untrusting of us (understandably so) but as time goes on they are learning to love again. A few are even comfortable with head scratches now. The three little piglets have been introduced to our other pig residents. All the pigs get along well and enjoy their own barn and three acres of pasture. Their zest for life and energetic, charismatic personalities are a joy to watch. They overcame their fear of humans quickly and regularly ask for belly rubs and ear scratches. At night all three piglets sleep side by side under the comfort and coziness of a straw bed.

If there’s anything to be learned from this experience, we hope that the public is made aware of the conditions for farmed animals everywhere. Many of the same cruel practices that are exposed on large farms also happen on smaller farms like this one. Rather than focusing on the size of the farm, we should focus on the principles of animal exploitation and the problem of viewing animals as property and/or products. An inherent conflict of interest exists when animals are seen in such a way. Animals have an interest in living and to live in such a way that satisfies their wants, needs and instincts. Since they have no interest or desire to be used by humans, their lives become diminished to a means to an end. Therefore, farms cannot and never will be able to provide animals the life they deserve.

We need to recognize that animals are not property and certainly not products. Their lives are not ours to exploit either for milk, eggs, meat, leather or fur. Their bodies are their own and we have no right to take away their freedom, especially when our reason to do so is completely unnecessary to human survival. Using animals for research, entertainment or food is unethical and no amount of animal suffering is necessary in today’s modern world. Additionally, these industries encourage the ugliest parts of humanity such as violence, greed and indifference. We believe that the most effective solution—one that can be adopted by everyone— is to live a vegan lifestyle.

In the words of Nobel Peace Prize winner Albert Schweitzer, “We must fight against the spirit of unconscious cruelty with which we treat the animals. Animals suffer as much as we do. True humanity does not allow us to impose such sufferings on them. It is our duty to make the whole world recognize it. Until we extend our circle of compassion to all living beings, humanity will not find peace.”

Thank you to all who have already donated to our hay drive or general fund. We will certainly appreciate your ongoing support and donations throughout 2018 as we care for these survivors as well as our additional 250 animals. All donations are tax deductible and will be used to cover the costs of food and veterinary care for the animals. In addition to the animals mentioned here, we also rescued many others in 2017 including five baby calves destined for veal whom we call the “Jersey Five.” Please visit our website, Facebook page or Instagram to see pictures and stories. SASHA Farm Animal Sanctuary is the largest farm animal sanctuary in the Midwest. Donations can be made on our website, www.sashafarm.org.

SASHA Farm Rescues Cows and Pigs Among Horrifying Conditions in Livingston County, Michigan

Dorothy Davies, director of SASHA Farm, takes care of five cows rescued from a Livingston County, Michigan farm. Photo courtesy of Robert Allen, Detroit Free Press.

BREAKING NEWS:

SASHA Farm has been involved in the rescue of the five cows and three pigs found alive in this heartbreaking case. We were asked to assist on September 29th, 2017, although initial warrants may have been issued as early as May. We came back with the only living animals among the 70 cows who were found dead. We have been unable to share any further information until today. The surviving animals are now safe and sound at SASHA Farm where they can live out their lives being loved and cared for.

Here are the links to the news article and video published by the Detroit Free Press on February 5, 2018.

Article: https://www.freep.com/…/photos-cows-rescued-amon…/110118696/ –

Video: https://www.freep.com/…/among-70-bodies-5-cows-s…/110126398/

AND STAY TUNED – WE HAVE WRITTEN UP OUR OWN STORY ON THIS RESCUE AND WILL BE SHARING IT WITH YOU VERY SOON!

Thank you to all who have supported SASHA Farm during these difficult months.

 

CAT LOVERS NEEDED!

SASHA Farm would love to have your help caring for 12 sweet cats in our cat barn.  Shifts are once a week for a minimum of 2 hours, but we would love to have you stay longer!  Our volunteers clean, wash floors, do laundry, scoop litter, and feed the cat residents.  Our greatest need right now is for someone to work on Sundays but please let us know of any days you are available.

Purrs and snuggles are complimentary!

Please email Darcy at darcyrocks@yahoo.com or Lynn at lynxdonell@aol.com for more information.

*Volunteers must be 18 years of age.*

** As much as we would love to take more cats, our cat barn is full, so we are unable to accept cats for rescue at this time. **

Our New Year Wish For You

There is a beautiful sunrise here at SASHA Farm today.  It is a cool, crisp morning and the humans have not left the warmth of their barn yet.  I can see them through the holes in their barn, standing with their herd, drinking from a trough small enough to hold with their hooves.  They look through those holes often.  I think humans like to see the light and beauty that shine in.  I do not need holes in my barn to see light and beauty.  I feel light and beauty; that feeling surrounds me.  The light and beauty in my life are my family, my friends, my caretakers, and my home.  I have lived here since I was a calf.  I grew big and strong here.  I grew my horns here.  I do not know fear or pain here.  I only know peace, love, kindness, and compassion.  This is my home.  This is SASHA Farm Animal Sanctuary.

My wish for humans in the new year is that you become more like us animal residents of SASHA Farm.  Experience the calm that being surrounded by light and beauty gives to you.  Realize that animal life, human and non-human, is precious.  Feel the peace and love that we feel.  Share that peace and love with all animal life.  Rejoice daily.   

Your continued support and generosity have allowed the entire SASHA Farm herd, over 250 of us, to feel love, kindness, compassion, and peace every day of the year.  Thank you is all we have to offer so please acceptance our thanks and know that you and your support are meaningful to us. 

With our sincerest gratitude,

Tod  

 

 

 

To support Tod and the other SASHA Farm residents, please use our PayPal account.  You can send one donation, set up monthly donations, and donate in memory/in honor of a loved one by completing the  “Add Special Instructions” section.  Every amount, whether one dollar or one thousand dollars, is helpful and will go toward the food and care of all SASHA Farm residents.

Thank you and Happy New Year!  

Hay Drive for SASHA Farm Animal Residents

Winter is upon us and we NEED HAY!  This year SASHA Farm Animal Sanctuary went above and beyond for not one, not two, but ELEVEN cows in need.  With the addition of these beautiful souls (revered as reborn human beings in Buddhist cultures) that brings our total number of rescued cows to 34!  While we never know how many animals will need our help each year, this year was a big one.

Did you know one cow eats up to 27 pounds of hay per day?  That’s over 800 pounds a month – for one cow!

With the price of hay this year higher than usual, and the addition of all our new residents, we really need your help in covering hay costs for the winter.  Your contribution to our hay drive will make an impact, whether you donate $5 or $500.  Any and every amount helps.  Thank you for your support, and for helping all the SASHA residents to have a great holiday season.

Please click HERE to go to the Facebook hay fundraiser page.  Make your donation by clicking the Donate button on the Facebook hay fundraiser page.  Or if you prefer, you can mail a check to SASHA Farm, PO Box 222, Manchester MI 48158, and note that it is for the HAY DRIVE.

If you are not familiar with SASHA Farm, here is our mission statement: The mission of SASHA Farm is to provide a safe and secure environment, lifetime care and medical treatment for unwanted, neglected, misused and abused farmed animals, as well as to foster a better understanding of these animals through education.

NEW SHIRTS ARE HERE – Just in Time for the Holidays!!

New shirts are here! Featuring one of the rescued jersey calves, perfect for sharing the message of compassion this holiday season. In both red and turquoise, both fitted and unisex styles. They’ve already started selling, so hurry and get your orders in. Click on the Shop Tab above to get started. The SASHA Farm animal residents will be forever grateful for your support. And check back often as some new mugs are on the way that we know you will just love!! Note that you should have your holiday orders to us by Monday December 18th if you want them to arrive before Christmas.

Today, November 28th, is Giving Tuesday on Facebook

This is Giving Tuesday on Facebook!

Please visit the SASHA Farm Facebook page and donate to the animal residents at SASHA Farm today, November 28, 2017.

CLICK ON THE DONATE BUTTON ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGE!

Your donation will be matched, so it is a great day to make that donation you’ve been thinking about. Bhima, the Jersey Five, and the new Holstein baby calf,  along with all their other pals, appreciate all your love and support.

Thank you for making Giving Tuesday on Facebook a very special day for each of the animal residents at SASHA Farm.

#sashafarm  #livecrueltyfree  #GivingTuesday

Thanksgiving For Animals

A big THANK YOU to everyone who came out last Sunday, November 26th for our Thanksgiving for Animals event! It was a great success, and we hope everyone who attended enjoyed themselves. Thank you for supporting SASHA Farm’s work, and standing up for animals!

If you weren’t able to attend, you can still make a donation in honor of this event through PayPal.