Cynthia and I (Jennifer) are originally from Toronto, where we had successful careers that had nothing to do with animals. I worked with special needs teens, and Cynthia worked as a paramedic. In 2014, we moved to the country with a dream to start an organic vegetable farm and enjoy rural life with a few pets. But our real adventure began when we rescued a pair of potbelly pigs named Wilbur and Oliver. That simple act illuminated the huge problem of hard-to-adopt animals. They have very few options when their families no longer want them, which results in the sad reality of neglect, abuse, and euthanasia.
Once the word got out that we had a large farm property and that we kept potbelly pigs as pets, the calls started coming in! We heard from so many people who no longer wanted their pet pigs that we are now home to many pigs and other amazing animals.
That year we also rescued a senior dog named Dash who was 11 years old and had been at a shelter for months. Because of his age, nobody was interested in adopting him. It was harrowing to discover that loving animals are often cast aside due to issues like their age, a disability, or the need for expensive vet care. Dash has been with us for almost 4 years now and is thriving with the love and care he gets every single day.
It was then that we realized animal rescue was a true calling for us, and that we had the perfect property to do it. I left my job to run the sanctuary full time, while Cynthia continues to work as a full-time paramedic to support our goals. We operate the sanctuary as a labour of love to all of those animals in need of a safe and loving home. And we’re so proud of what we’ve accomplished so far. We are a 100% self funded, non-profit organization that is able to operate thanks to generous donations, fundraising efforts, a sponsorship program, and our team of 20 dedicated volunteers.
Our goal is to provide a forever home to animals who are senior, have special needs, or are hard to adopt, as they are the ones who struggle to find a safe place to go when they are no longer wanted. We provide the animals with unconditional love, quality food, all the vet care they need, and any rehabilitation they might require.
Many of the animals come to us with fear of humans, anxiety, physical disabilities, or signs of neglect. Our job is to help them trust and learn to love again, while supporting their recovery from or adjustment to whatever physical issues they may have.
Toby, our 6-year-old potbelly pig, is an excellent example of our mission in action. Toby came to us as an unneutered, neglected pet who was extremely aggressive towards people.
We gave him the proper vet care, had him neutered and vaccinated, and worked with him for more than six months to help him trust humans again. He is now thriving in our care and enjoying his life with his large group of potbelly pig friends.