Q: Do you accept donations?
A: Oh boy, do we ever! Money, property, securities, legacies - or just your cast-off linens, or any other goods. Most people ask that question because they do not realize we are what the IRS calls a 501 c 3 public charity. Donations to us are deductible from your income tax to the extent of the law.
Q: How do you get your money?
A: Well, as discussed above, hopefully a lot of it comes from "donations", the generosity of you folks out there, who appreciate what we are doing and who decide to help. Other funds come from "program income", ie. charges for things what we do in furtherence of our goals, like educational workshops and lectures, entrance fees for various presentations, etc. Or from fund raisers, things like raffles, special dinners, open houses. And from "investment income", ie interest received from securities, etc, that have been willed or given to us over the years.
Q: Who takes care of the animals?
A: Our animal population ranges between 250-300 animals. We have about 23-25 employees, some part-time but most full-time, who help with the daily running of the farm. About 16 of those are directly involved in animal care and the others run the offices and various programs that we offer. That is not counting the 3 directors, Bonnie, Dawn, and Margot who are on the property 24/7/365 and work without salary. Generally, the three directors each work about 60-70 hours per week. We also have a volunteer program and always welcome a good solid volunteer to help us with the animal care and clean up.
Q: Do you accept volunteers?
A: Yes. If they are serious volunteers. A lot of people think it would be "fun" to work with animals. Then they find out about the manure that has to be shoveled, the dozens of litter boxes to be cleaned and sterilized each day, all the floors to be mopped and vacuumed, etc. Pretty soon they are calling in sick or just not showing up at all. We do have some wonderful volunteers who have been with us for years, and are totally dependable, and their price is beyond rubies. By the way, in Spring, Summer, and Fall we have lots of volunteer opportunities for people who want to work in the gardens, both flower and vegetable, or who want to help tend trees and plants in the Nature Sanctuary, or help with trail maintanence.
Q: How many animals do you have and what kind?
A: Our population varies between 250 and 300 animals. Orphaned kittens can swell the numbers greatly, but we hope to adopt them all out. We have horses, ponies, donkeys, sheep, goats, chickens, ducks, geese, cats, dogs, rabbits, and one African Grey Parrot.
Q: Do you have a veterinarian on staff that I can bring my animal in to see?
A: No, we do not have a veterinarian on staff. Just like you, we take our animals to a veterinary hospital. We can recommend veterinarians to you that may be in or close to your area.
Q: Will you take in our dog, cat, horse, pig, or whatever?
A: This is one question we'd like to be able to say yes to but unfortunately we most likely will be saying no. Since we do not euthanize animals to make room for more, when we are full, we are full. We have to turn away many more animals than we could possibly take in. Which is one of the reasons for our Happy Hearth Spay/Neuter Program, to cut down on the tragic overpopulation. We, on average, get calls about taking in people's cats at about 50-60 cats per week, and 15-25 dogs. Our organization was never set up for high turnover because, being a sanctuary, we do primarily long term care.
Q: Do you adopt out animals?
A: We do adopt out cats, dogs, and rabbits - those who who are fit for adoption, and who have told us they are ok to be adopted. We do not adopt out any of the farm animals. All of the animals who live at the farm are valued members of our animal communication teaching staff.
Q: If I have a problem with an animal, can I call you for advice?
A: Certainly we do our best to help all callers. We are not veterinarians, however, so we cannot diagnose or prescribe. We can only give you the benefit of our own experience and recommend a vet if you do not have one. Frequently, we can direct you to helpful information either from other organizations or professionals who might be able to help you with your situation.
Q: Do you care for injured wildlife?
A: No, there are special licensed wildlife rehabilitators who do that. Again, we can help by referring you to an apporpriate licensed wildlife rehabilitator.
Q: Will you come and trap the stray cats around my house?
A: We do not have the staff available to do that. We do, though, lend out humane traps (security deposit required) so that you can trap them yourselves. This would be done in conjunction with our Spay/Neuter office, (315) 737-8035, and we would then help you to get the cats spayed/neutered and then re-released to where you found them.
Q: How and when can we come visit or take a tour?
A: We are open for tours 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week (except major holidays), and are happy to give tours to individuals or groups. But we ask that you please make arrangements in advance by calling the office at (315) 737-9339, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., as we have to have someone available to show you around, and the staff has to plan their animal care work around tours. If you just "drop in", sadly, we may not be able to accommodate you if we don't have staff available to show you around.
Q: How do we get to Spring Farm?
A: We are on NYS Route 12 south (not 12B), 4 miles south of New Hartford and 8 miles north of Waterville. If driving from east or west, I 90, the New York State Thruway is your best bet. Get off at Utica exit 31, the follow the signs for Route 12 South to Binghamton. We are about 10 miles south of the Thruway. If coming north, you can come up NYS Route 8 or NYS Route 12 itself. If flying, you can come into the Syracuse Airport, which is an hour's drive from us, or Albany, which is closer to 2 hours from us.