From a slaughterhouse to a sanctuary (What are you doing to help animals today?)
Yesterday I posted an exciting update from Jasmin of Our Hen House, sharing news of plans that she and Mariann have to continue to change the world for animals. Little did I know that hours later I would get caught up in, and witness, the messy and beautiful world of changing the world for one young steer.
Let’s back up. As most of you know, I serve on the board of directors of the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary (WFAS). Yesterday I had a meeting scheduled with Jenny Brown, co-founder and director of WFAS, to continue working on our 2012 fundraising goals. I was looking forward to that beautiful two-hour drive upstate.
Early Tuesday morning, while pounding cups of coffee pre-drive to Woodstock, my husband and I were watching the news. A young steer had escaped a slaughterhouse in New Jersey, swam through a river and was running through the streets of Patterson. I watched in shock (as one of the police vehicles backed into the poor guy) and mumbled, “I hope he gets to a farm sanctuary.”
A few hours later I was driving to a farm sanctuary.
When I walked in I was greeted by Jenny, her husband and co-founder Doug Abel, and Sheila Hyslop, WFAS Farm Manager. Jenny said “We’ve got something exciting going on!” “What?!” I asked. She continued “Our awesome volunteer Mike Stura is rescuing that steer in New Jersey!”
Folks, it had not yet even occurred to me. I’m on the board of a farm animal sanctuary. I drove to a farm animal sanctuary. Just a few hours earlier I expressed hope that something good would come of that steer. Did I even think to call WFAS? Did I think to call anyone locally? Nope, I just hoped someone else would do it. More on that later.
Well, someone else did do it.
On Tuesday evening Mike Stura learned of the escaped steer and phoned WFAS immediately to see if they could provide a safe haven for him. Yes, they could. But first, a bit about Mike. [click to continue…]