Donations put farm sanctuary closer to keeping its home
Christmas came early for a farm sanctuary just over the New York border that was in danger of losing its home.
Thanks to the public, the nonprofit Animal Nation is one step closer to purchasing its property where many abandoned, abused and saved animals from Connecticut now live.
"It's a menagerie. We have two horses, a llama, two alpaca, eight pigs, 12 goats, two sheep, a whole flock of ducks, a gaggle of geese, two emu," said Patrick Moore, Animal Nation president.
That's just a fraction of the 200 residents currently living at Animal Nation's Farm Animal Sanctuary in South Salem, New York.
For the past 20 years, it's been a haven for furry and feathered friends in need of rescue or rehabilitation.
"We've been lucky enough to operate off a privately owned farm for all that time, and this year we found ourselves at a crossroads. The owners that had so generously let us use this property for all these years need to sell," said Moore.
Animal Nation reached out to the public for help buying the land.
President Patrick Moore says the nonprofit raised $100,000 over the past two weeks. A generous donor agreed to match.
"Allows us to take a little bit of a breath to say, 'OK, we'll be able to hopefully pull this off,'" said Moore. "I mean our biggest fear was there isn't enough help with farm animals to begin with. If we lost this place, where are we going to put all these animals that had nowhere else to go? And that's why they're here."
A number of them have ties to Connecticut, including two cases out of Fairfield County this year.
Earlier this year, police removed 65 goats from a property in Redding. Five now call this place home.
"There was just a situation in Fairfield where you're talking 67 chickens, ducks, turkeys. So you never know what that phone call is going to be," said Moore.
Last fall it was about a pot-bellied pig, now called Jesse, captured by police in a Stamford neighborhood after a 45-minute chase.
The people taking care of them aren't doing it for a paycheck - there are currently 127 active unpaid volunteers.
Moore says Animal Nation is still fundraising for its land purchase as well as looking at other options. He says he's optimistic it will all work out.