Animal Acres is a farm animal sanctuary located about an hour from Los Angeles. It’s now affiliated with Farm Sanctuary and it’s home to more than 100 animals including these
tasty majestic looking chickens and rooster.
Recently, Mom and Dad volunteered at the sanctuary during a monthly “Work Party” volunteer day. Unfortunately, dogs are not permitted to volunteer, but I was able to discern the following based upon a careful sniffing of Mom’s sneakers:
Volunteer day is a chance to meet the residents of the sanctuary and help them keep their homes nice and clean. In addition to learning how to properly massage a pig, you’ll have the chance to scoop plenty of poop — chicken poop, pig poop, sheep poop, turkey poop — I’m so jealous I missed it. I would have loved to roll around in all that stinky hay. (Work gloves and face masks are provided). Mom said the best part was cleaning up the turkey barn because the turkeys are like feathered dogs — very social and curious. After a hard day of farm labor, volunteers share a vegan potluck. Apparently you work up quite an appetite because Mom came home and ate even more despite having gorged on all sorts of goodies at the farm. Here I am begging for my cut:
[Editor’s Note: The work parties are open to older kids and teens, so it’s a great opportunity for families to volunteer together. Younger kids can tour the sanctuary during monthly tour days or special events.]
[Wherein Shelby discusses her favorite charities.]
Kitties I like. Other dogs, not so much. When I’m on my walks and I see another dog, I usually bark. If the other dog barks at me, I bark louder — especially if the other dog is the big rottweiler that lives across the street. That’s right, Rocky, that bandana does make your neck look fat. Rooowrf!
But I digress. This is a post about the time I went on a hike with Freedom, one of the very first dogs rescued by the Beagle Freedom Project, which rescues dogs from laboratories and places them in loving homes. Back in 2011, Freedom and I and a big golden retreiver met up in Malibu with some of our human friends for a hike and picnic. When I saw Freedom, I immediately started barking because he was, after all, another dog. To my surprise, Freedom did not bark back. I was pleased until I learned that Freedom had been “de-barked.” That’s what the lab people call it when they cut the lab dogs’ vocal cords so that the dogs cannot cry in pain during lab experiments. After that, I decided maybe I should try to be nicer.
For the rest of our hike, I was a very good girl. I didn’t even get mad at Mom when she dropped me in a stream. (I told her that we shouldn’t try to cross it). Freedom was a good dog too. He enjoyed running around in open fields for the very first time. After our hike, we played together. I chased Freedom in circles (he only ran counter-clockwise, which his Mom thinks is the direction he paced in his lab cage) and I tried to teach him how to beg for food from the humans. They had vegan peanut butter cookies, but Freedom wasn’t interested. He just wanted attention from the humans.
Meeting Freedom reminded me of how lucky I am to have a good home, but lots of other dogs aren’t so lucky. Since rescuing Freedom, the Beagle Freedom Project has rescued more than 40 other dogs. If you’d like to help, they are currently looking for foster and forever homes for rescues and also accept donations. Check out their photo gallery for pictures of some of the rescues.
Me and my favorite Beagle