We moved to Bedford VA from the Tampa Fl area in 2016 to a beautiful 5-acre lot. This was more land than either me, or my wife Tara, had ever imagined owning. We had epic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the background and rolling hills of farmland in our foreground. Plenty of land to raise our twin daughters, Jessica and Sophie, who were 5 at the time. We also had our dog Bella with us, our sweet chocolate lab. Soon, more dogs came, then cats, chickens, rabbits and beehives, were brought into our family. We also bought the 7-acre wooded lot next to us with no real plans to develop it. Then 2019 happened and everything changed with a visit to the Richmond VegFest. While there enjoying all the wonderful vegan food, we learned about farm animal sanctuaries. We talked to a few of these sanctuaries and were heartbroken to hear the stories of some of these rescues. It was then we decided that we wanted to help. We had a love for animals and 12 acres of land, so we set about starting Butterfly Field Farm a farm animal sanctuary. I started clearing and thinning the wooded lot, putting up fencing and having a small barn built. We applied for and received our non-profit charity status, made a website and started looking into adopting farm animals in need of a forever home. We had everything we needed except experience with farm animals! For that we are doing a lot of research, getting advice from friends with experience and leaning on the very close-knit sanctuary community.
So that is how we got here, this is where we’re at as of this post. We started out by adopting 2 miniature horses, Yin and Yang. It was nice to finally have some residence in our sanctuary and this pair was a great place to start! Next, we rescued a mother and her foal from a kill pen. Considering the hell they have been through the past few weeks I was amazed on how gentle they were, especially mom Susie. Little Gerry was shy at first but with each passing day he is learning to trust us. There are currently plans in place to add 3 sheep from a surrender in PA and 3 piglets from a hoarder situation in NC.
So here we are, very far from where we started! But helping voiceless animals live a full and happy life feels like the right thing to do, as a person and as a human being. I truly believe we are all were created equal in Gods eye and deserve the joys of a full life that come with the gift of birth.