This year was a curious time. Filled with changes and challenges, beauty and loss.
We closed briefly from mid-March to the beginning of May with state pandemic mandates, then we ramped up quickly with free Zoom animal cameos and field trips to school children nationally and internationally. Our Covid19-safe Volunteer program grew by leaps and bounds. We met an overwhelming demand for onsite Covid19-safe Tours by reducing the numbers of the tour participants and requiring masks. People are still asking for tours, but snow, ice, rain, mud, and wind will make them challenging for the next few months.
UFS sadly lost elderly Nibbles the Goat and Grace the Welsh Pony in the spring in the early days of our brief shut-down. Ellen the Duck and Ruby the Goose passed away. And we lost elderly Mocha the Alpaca in the waning days of 2020. They are remembered and cherished.
Jules the Morgan Mare was the recipient of an outpouring of generosity from all our supporters. In 23 hours we raised $10,000 for her to be able to have life-saving surgery on her infected hoof, followed by surgery in her other hoof with a painful keratoma (soon). On Giving Tuesday, our supporters rallied again, raising $9000 to allow Dory to become pain free with knee surgery for her bone spur repair and stifle ligament clipping - she will begin that journey in January.
We welcomed Sunny the Pony, Adele the Donkey, and Boomer & Lollipop Minihorses to Unity Farm Sanctuary this year. And so many amazing ducks, chickens, turkeys and Max the Goose as well.
Sometimes the Sanctuary has to make hard decisions about budgets, or the declining health of a rescue, or saying no to a rescue intake. These decisions are not easy, nor should they be. But we look to the longterm future of the Sanctuary and each individual animal, making the best decision we can. Networking to find homes for animals we cannot rescue makes a difference as well.
From John and me (co-founders), Tyla Doolin (Farm Manager), (Wellington DaSilva, Josh Minard, Kiersten Bazdanes, Paul Haswell and Tyler Greenberg staff) and UFS Board members Elizabeth Villamia Slattery, James Loscocco, Micky Tripathy, and Lara Heilbrun: we all wish you the very best in 2021 and thank you from the depths of our hearts for your support and friendship.
Merry Christmas 2020
Spread Kindness and Compassion