Special Message from Co-Founder, Dawn

I’m asking for a few minutes of your time for a deeply personal message from me (Dawn Hayman, Co-founder).

Halloween always has a deep emotional charge for us here at Spring Farm CARES. October 31, 1993 was a day like any other day here on the farm. Except it was a day that changed the course of our lives and altered our path forever. There was a freak snow storm that night that dumped over 14 inches of wet heavy snow. We tucked our 30 small animals in for the night and prepared ourselves for a morning of contending with shoveling snow and getting to the barn to care for our 35 horses. But at 11:45pm, a car hit a telephone pole a few miles down the road from us and sent a power spike up the line. It stopped at the end of the line which was our old dairy barn that was renovated into offices, small animal quarters, and our living quarters. We lost everything in a mere 20 minutes. The fire was so intense that it melted our refrigerator into oblivion. We lost 27 dear animal souls that night. Thank God the firefighters were able to save our horse barn. We evacuated the 35 horses into the snowy night and they all survived. Bonnie and I got out with the clothes on our backs and nothing else. All but three of our beloved dogs, cats, and parakeets were gone. I cannot possibly express the devastating loss this was.

But the sun rose again the next morning and Bonnie and I were suddenly faced with a major decision. We could call it quits. Or we could start all over. Both of us knew the answer from deep within our hearts and souls. We would move forward and start again. Only, this time, we were wiser. We had an opportunity to grow from our mistakes. We would build again but we would do so from a strength we didn’t even understand we had at the time.

None of this could have happened without the enormous outpouring of support from our supporters and our community. To this day, we hold that deep gratitude in all that we do. There is amazing generosity and kindness in this world. I know because I see it all the time. People began to show up the next day with donations of clothing and daily items that you don’t even think about until you suddenly don’t have them. And people began to send donations. But as importantly, people started sending us letters and messages to not give up. Sometimes it is hard to find hope. But hope is always there underneath the ash. And we began digging through that ash with all our might. And hope was there. At first it was just a little spark, but it began to grow. We have nurtured that hope over the years and it has made us so much stronger.

I felt it was time to honor the memory of those we lost 28 years ago today, and to take a moment and remember the depth of gratitude we have for all of you. Spring Farm CARES would not be the place we are today without having gone through that very difficult tragedy. But out of the flames, we rose like the Phoenix.

Please do not lose heart in this world. We are going through tough times… all of us. But we can come together and rise together. We can come together out of kindness and compassion and love. We can join together in peace and forgiveness. And we can transform this Earth into the deep healing that is needed. We all have the power and ability to do this. All of us have a choice all the time…. Give up and call it quits…. Or move on, stronger and better. Please don’t give up.

I hope you will join us in moving forward, just as we know we can do. Because life is precious. Every single moment is a blessing. And it is up to each of us to make that moment the kindest and most loving that we can.

Please don’t give up on hope.

Thank you for listening. And thank you for being here with us. We are beyond grateful.


Featured Animal of the Week: Gilligan

Gilligan is estimated to have been born in 2015 and came to the farm in 2020 with his goat friend Max. Both were from a serious neglect case and both were in need of immediate help. We took them in to rehab them and they have both recovered well. But Gilligan was not socialized well as a youngster and can be very difficult to handle. He is a very big boy. We have seen him calming down some as he was neutered and also as he is handled more in a safe environment and he is trusting more. He is a good boy and he has found help and safety here at Spring Farm CARES.
Gilligan is the only one of our goats right now who does not have a sponsor! The animals truly feel the energy of being sponsored and Gilligan would love to be sponsored.

How You Create Miracles

Lucy is a special goose with a real miracle story. There are so many ways you help create miracles here at that farm. We are so grateful for your support.

There are many ways you can help on our mission. Lucy is just one example of an animal whose lived was saved but who also then reaches out to help heal the human hearts around her as well. These are precious stories. All made possible by you.

Follow this link to read the story and see what your help creates.

Featured Animal of the Week: Meia

Featured Animal of the Week: Meia

Meia is a cat who has really grown and come a long way in her life. She was found living under a dumpster at a factory with several other cats. She came in 2013 at just a few months old but she was born feral and at first wanted nothing to do with humans. We let her grow and explore on her own terms without pushing her to be something she couldn’t be. Today, Meia is the first cat in her room to come running and greet her caretakers. She is super cuddly and is the chief cuddle/snuggler for all of her cat friends. If any of the cats want to curl up with someone, they choose Meia. She also is best friends with Chester, a cat who really needed a good friend. Meia has come a long way and we are delighted to see how she has expanded and grown in her life.
Meia would love to have a sponsor! The animals do feel the energy of being sponsored! And they can have more than one sponsor as well.

This Week’s Featured Animal: Dougie

This Week’s Featured Animal is Dougie

Dougie has been around the farm for a long time. He is estimated to be about 15 years old and he showed up on the farm in 2010. We assumed he was dumped here. It took us a while to catch him in a humane trap and we had him neutered and vaccinated. But Dougie made it very clear to us that he in no way wanted to live inside. So we put him in our barn hoping he’d be a barn cat. But Dougie crossed our highway into our nature sanctuary and he stayed there for several years. He had shelter in our hay storage barn and food and water. He became the nature sanctuary mascot. But in 2018, Dougie suddenly crossed back to the animal sanctuary side of the road and began living on our enclosed front porch. He eluded humane traps over the years as we tried to catch him to vaccinate him. But he just would not go in.
Until one day, he showed up severely limping and obviously in need of help. He began sleeping on the outside ledges of our enclosed cat porches and was huddled up next to some of our cats on the inside of the screening. Clearly, he wanted to come inside. So we set out a trap on one of the porches at night and were relieved to find him in one the next morning. Dougie let us treat him and then we tried him once again inside a cat room. We chose the room that he hung out closest to when he was outside. That seemed to be his preferred choice of cat friends.
Dougie does not let anyone pet him and we make it a point to let him live the way he wants to live. He is inside now out of the elements and as a now senior cat, he seems quite pleased with his decision. He keeps tabs on all activity in his room but he just participates at a distance from humans.
Dougie does not currently have a sponsor but I’m sure he’d love one (or more!). The animals truly do feel the energy of their sponsors!

Featured Animal of the Week: Ziek

Ziek is a Quarter Horse gelding who was born in 1999. He came to the farm in 2016 with his donkey friend Henry. Ziek has a lot of trouble with allergies and is on medication as well as allergy shots. He also gets weekly acupuncture treatments which is a very big accomplishment given that Ziek absolutely hated needles when he came here.
Ziek is very happy here and is bonded with his pasture mate Brandy. He loves being outside and is especially happy to see fall arrive as that is his favorite time of year. Ziek is a very kind horse who has definitely seen a lot of wear and tear over the course of his life. He also can be just a tad stubborn but we won’t tell him I said that! He is happy to be in retirement now and we do all we can to treat his allergies as well as his physical aches and pains.
Ziek would love another sponsor! (They can have more than one sponsor!)

Featured Animal of the Week: Dakota

Our featured animal this week is Dakota!

Dakota is about 11 years old and came to the farm in 2020 after being found as a stray when she showed up in a humane trap that someone set while looking for their own missing cat. Attempts were made to find her owner with no success. She was very thin and looked like she had been out on the streets for quite some time and was clearly looking for help. Dakota is very friendly and outgoing and is also the dominant cat in her room. She is very playful and absolutely adores having her belly rubbed. She is not big on other cats but tolerates them. She also likes to sleep on her back a lot and has the humorous tendency to pick objects or beds to lie on that are too small for her.

Dakota currently does not have any sponsors and would love one (or more than one)!