Learning the hard way
I started the sanctuary because I had a desire to spend the remaining years of my life doing something positive by helping others. That and I love animals and had a few extra acres that weren’t being used. What I didn’t have was any experience with animals! None, nil, nada, and I am not exaggerating in the least. We never had pets growing up and even as an adult my experience was limited to dogs and cats. I am smart enough to know what I don’t know, and I know that compassion alone will not keep our residents healthy and safe. This requires me to rely on others. Other farm animal owners, vets and of course, Google searches. As I am learning, everybody has opinions on what is right and wrong in each situation and their opinions are often times extreme opposites. And if you throw in the opinions of other farm animal sanctuaries, you really add to the confusion! I have made several missteps along the way by disregarding how I felt about the situation at hand and listening to the majority of the experts. This always left me feeling very uneasy, but I felt I didn’t have a choice. After my latest misstep I have decided to let my heart and my compassion for these beautiful souls to be heavily weighed in my decision-making process. I got into rescuing animals to show compassion to these beautiful beings that often time experience horrific fates. So, I can’t set aside compassion when deciding each situation that presents itself. I will still seek advice to assure I am not jeopardizing their health or safety, but I will no longer feel voiceless. So now I’ve learned 2 things about having a sanctuary - never wear good shoes around farm animals and always let compassion be your guiding light.