Featured Animal of the Week: Cashew

It’s time for our featured animal of the week: Cashew

Cashew is estimated to have been born in 2014 and came to the farm in 2018 with six other mini-donkeys. All of them came from a very bad neglect situation. They suffered from very overgrown feet and they were in overall poor condition. But three years later, they are all doing great. Cashew is a very happy guy who loves playing and living a life in safety. He is a little bit on the quiet side at first but once he feels more secure, he opens up a bit more.
Donkeys are very sensitive beings who have frequently been portrayed as stubborn. But in reality, they are just very careful and want to be sure footed in life. They are amazingly loving and loyal and incredibly special creatures. We love our 13 donkey residents!

Featured Animal of the Week: Sesame

It’s time for our Featured Animal of the Week – Sesame

Sesame is estimated to have been born in 2017 and arrived at the farm in 2018. Sesame was found by a landlord who was cleaning an apartment after tenants left and opened a dresser drawer to have a cat come bolting out. She had been abandoned and locked in there for days. Luckily, they were able to catch her and they brought her to us. Sesame is very shy but also extremely friendly. That experience was very traumatic for her but she has learned to trust again.
Even though Sesame is shy, she is still very curious. She loves to climb up very high and watch everything from above. She also loves to go outside on her enclosed porch. Someone donated us a big wheel that the cats can run on. Many of the cats will not even try to use it. But Sesame loves to jump on and take a spin.
Sesame currently does not have a sponsor but would love one! The animals truly do feel the energy of being sponsored. And animals can have more than one sponsor too!

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)!



Featured Animal of the Week: Allison

Allison is about 4 years old and came to the farm in 2019. Allison was originally brought into another rescue but she is very shy and had trouble finding a home so we were asked if she could be transferred to us for permanent sanctuary. Allison is very playful and loves her toys. She loves spending most of her time up on a cat tree where she can look down at everything going on in her room. She adores her other cat friends and is very happy. She has even started letting some of her caretakers pet her a bit as she walks by them. Allison clearly freaks out when she goes out on her enclosed cat porch and the world outside her room terrifies her. So we just give Allison her space where she feels safe and we let her set her own boundaries on her terms.


Allison currently does not have any sponsors and would love one!

Share Your Memories with Us

Callout for those touched by Spring Farm CARES!

Take a walk down memory lane with us. We would like for you to share your memories and stories with us.

This year marks our 30th Anniversary and the release of our book “The Magic Years” which is a compilation of articles from 30 years of newsletters.  Due to Covid, we never got to do any of the events we hoped to do to mark our 30-year anniversary. So we are looking for alternative ways to share our mission.  We need your help.

We would like to hear from you as to how Spring Farm CARES has touched your life. It can be a memory or story about a specific animal here that touched your heart. Or an experience from a workshop, consultation, or tour meeting the animals in person. It can be sharing what being on the farm means to you or even how an article in one of our newsletters or Facebook page and blog has touched your heart or enriched your life.

We will then connect with you through Zoom to have you share your story, which will be recorded, and we will put together some video presentations to help commemorate the first 30 years and why our mission is so important. We hope you will share with us so that we can help inspire others as well. Your stories will touch others hearts too.

Zoom calls will be no longer than 15 minutes of your time. We will ask you to sign a release for us to use some or all of your story/memory.

If you care to participate, please email [email protected]

We thank you for helping us celebrate the last 30 years and to help us move into the next 30!

Memorial to Flora

Flora – July 29, 2021

Today we lost our dear elderly goat Flora. Flora was 13 years old. She came to the farm at only a few months old with her mother Sage, her sister Fauna, and another young buck named Chip. Their lives didn’t start off well at all and they suffered a lot of trauma before landing here at Spring Farm CARES. Flora was not too sure of people for a long time. But, one by one, she lost her family until she was the sole survivor of their group. We could tell how much Flora really missed them. We paired her up with a sheep named Mary and the two of them became great friends. Mary was by her side when she passed. Flora blossomed in the last couple of years. In 2019 we thought we were going to lose her as she became ill and very frail. But she got a second wind and suddenly began interacting with her human friends more. She regained her health in an amazing way and enjoyed the last couple of years welcoming two new boy goats to her family and thriving with Mary sheep as well. We recently became aware of a medical problem that couldn’t be fixed for Flora and we knew she’d be leaving us soon. Although we are sad to say good-bye, we know that there was a group of her goat family ready to welcome her home. And the thought of that reunion makes us smile for Flora. She grew a lot in this lifetime and we are honored to have provided her with the space to live a life that was safe and secure and where she could find the growth that she needed for herself. Say hello to everyone for us Flora!

Fauna, Sage, Flora in 2009






Free Zoom Lecture with Dawn Hayman

Registration is now open for the next free Zoom lecture with Dawn – How Animals View Death and Knowing When it’s Time to Let Them Go – July 24, 2021 at 2pm ET. Registration is a must and space is limited. This lecture will also be recorded and available within a few days later on this website. Registration is not needed to view the recorded version.

Click Here For More Info and to Register

New Arrivals to the Herd

We welcomed Mia (paint mare) and Waylon (palomino gelding) to our herd in June. Both came from a bad neglect situation. Waylon is in worse shape than Mia although she also is in very poor condition. Although not out of the woods yet, they are making good progress and have improved a lot already. Thanks to your support, we were able to say yes to helping them and giving them a place for the remainder of their lives. Both are very bonded and can stay together. We have them in stalls next to one another and they go out together in the pasture. They have a long road of healing ahead of them but we are supporting them in every way we can.

We look forward to updating you with new photos when they are more healthy!









Remote Learning with Dawn

Dawn will be offering another free one hour Zoom class on July 8th at 7pm ET. This one is: The Emotional World of Animals.

Space is limited and registration is necessary to attend the live event. We will also be recording this event and make it available on this website after the event. You do not need reservations to watch the recorded version.

 Learn More and Sign up Here

Spring is Springing!

The grass is growing. The flowers are blooming. The birds are singing. And the animals are getting back out into their pastures and garden beds.

Joy abounds!

Unsolved Turkey Mystery

Sometimes things don’t turn out the way we always think they will. Someone called us about taking in a turkey that all believed to be a domestic fellow since he was so incredibly friendly. He followed someone all the way home and then stayed at their house for a couple of weeks. He was loving and affectionate as turkeys are. We agreed to take him in our sanctuary.
However, when he got here, we realized that something was not adding up. He sure looked like a wild turkey … but his behavior was indicating otherwise. A quick call to our Director of our Nature Sanctuary, Matt Perry, and he confirmed this is a wild turkey. However, someone either hand raised him or something as he is very imprinted on people. Someone also cut off his spurs and shortened his beard. At first it was thought he was a young turkey but indeed after calling our good friends at Woodhaven Wildlife in Chadwicks, we confirmed he is a wild turkey and actually does have some age to him.

We will never know how he got to where he was and what his whole story is, but we are not licensed to house wildlife. We thank Judy Cusworth

Woodhaven Wildlife Center for giving him a safe place to land.
It’s important to remember that wild animals have very different needs. This guy obviously was looking for something different in his life! We wish him all the very best!

In Memory of Laney

In Memory of Laney – April 2, 2021

It is with very heavy hearts that we have to announce the passing of our dear sweet Laney. For those of you who have been following her story, you know that she had been through a lot. Although she only graced this world for 14 weeks, she left a mark on a lot of hearts and on our organization as a whole. Laney represented everything about the SFC mission. Saying good-bye was so incredibly difficult. Her light shined bright and filled our world with her grace. The truth is that no amount of time would have felt like enough. But we also know that we gave her the very best that could be offered while she was here.

Laney was born without a rectum, a condition called Atresia Ani Type 3. She came to us when she was 7 weeks old and she weighed less than a pound. She was extremely tiny. The only hope she had for survival was a surgery where they would create a connection from colon to anus. But Laney also had other complications. We do not know if it was part of a birth defect or the result of an injury but when she came to us, she could not use her back legs properly. But it was clear from day one that Laney was full of life and not ready to leave this world quite yet. So, we set out to try and help her.

Surgery was done at Cornell University of Veterinary Medicine by Dr. Daniel Lopez. It was an extremely difficult surgery with an uncertain outcome. The only certainty was that an entire team of humans all gathered and focused their hearts and their skills on one little one pound kitten with a huge spirit. Surgery was a success. She not only survived, but she came home the day after and began to eat solid food for the first time in her life. She was not out of the woods by any means. Each day she crossed another hurdle. Two weeks into recovery, she even started to use her back legs and we saw great hope that she would also be able to walk again. We sat and watched her one evening, walk normally for several minutes. She played, chased toys, and she loved her meals served to her every few hours even through the middle of the night. More than anything, she fully understood how much she was loved.

Laney got to experience life in those few weeks in all of its blessings and exuberance. She was a calico and she had the calico spunk and attitude. Meaning when things didn’t go exactly her way, she was not shy to express herself.  In turn, she brought all of us great joy as we watched her heal and blossom. Her little body could barely contain the light within her. She would look us in the eyes intently and hold our gaze. It felt magical somehow.

In the past couple of days, suddenly things changed. While she had started to pass stool and things seemed to be progressing nicely, the reality was that she wasn’t passing enough. Sadly, more testing showed that her colon did not have the motility needed to move stool on through. Medication therapy was not successful. Her tiny little body wasn’t growing because she could not assimilate nutrients as she should have. We were losing her, and it became clear that there was nothing more we could do to fix this problem.

It is always our mission to listen to each animal for what they need and to understand when they’ve had enough. We had reached that sometimes fine but clear line of when we were doing something for her and when we’d be doing something to her just because we could. These are always very tough discussions here. But we listen to the animal and let them guide us. Laney was filled with love. She was overflowing with joy. She had also done all that she could in that body. No one ever wants to think it’s over when life barely began for her. But her journey in this body was finished. We put our heartbreak aside and we held her with love and gratitude in our hearts for all that she had brought to all of us. The team of people that rallied around her and loved her is huge. One big circle of cheerleaders who wanted nothing more than to see her grow up and even to face her opinionated side as we went along. But that was not her journey. The outcome didn’t look like we wanted it to look. But in the end, Laney’s courageous journey was a complete success. She found amazing love in this life. Short, but chocked full of total love focused completely on her day and night.

Yes, our hearts are breaking. But we can look at her photo and see those eyes and our hearts still fill with the mighty bright light that filled her every cell. We do not regret one decision we made with her on this journey. We do wish it could have been longer. And we all hope our paths will cross again.

There are so many people who we thank for all they gave and did for Laney. From the entire medical team at Cornell University, to every one of her caretakers here at SFC. And with special mention to our Co-Founder, Bonnie who got up with Laney through the night every single night since Laney arrived to be sure that she was fed and cleaned and loved around the clock, and to our own staff veterinarian and Director of Animal Welfare, Dr. Christine who put her entire heart and soul into Laney’s care.

We hold you in our hearts forever Laney. And we are grateful for all you brought to us.

Meet Laney – A special kitten with special needs

Meet Laney, a very special little girl with very special needs.
Laney is 7 weeks old but is extremely small for her age. She just came in on Thursday. We are asking you to join us in sending heart energy and prayers to this amazing dynamo who has a big challenge ahead of her.
For those of you following us, you will remember Miss Dandy, the kitten born with Atresia Ani which is a condition where the colon does not connect to the rectum. In 30 years of sanctuary work and rescue, we had never once seen that before. So what are the chances of twice in just a few months? Yep, Laney has the very same condition. Only her case is even more complicated than Dandy and she is much younger and smaller.
The surgeon looked at her on Friday and he has signed on for the journey to see if we can help her. We are very grateful. Laney sure wants to try. She has some other challenges as well that you will see in this video. Right now, Laney is dragging her back legs and walking on her knees. This is due to a problem in her lower back. It is most likely caused from an injury to that area. That problem is less concerning to us as we feel there is a chance for rehabilitation and healing. But first, she needs to be able to defecate, so that is the priority.
We normally do not post these stories until we have a clear picture of the outcome. But this huge soul in a teeny tiny body has come to us with great purpose. She is a bright light. So, while we have no idea what the outcome will be, we know this: Laney is full of life and is asking for help. We will do all we can and all that she can handle.
Surgery should be scheduled for the upcoming week. Please hold her in your thoughts and prayers.
Miss Dandy is making a full and complete recovery. She is running around the big hall playing and filling everyone’s hearts with joy. She is growing so fast and catching up to where she should be. She is a miracle. And now, we hope for a second one as well.
What we do know, is that whatever the outcome, Laney is being showered with love and surrounded by hope and joy. She is also sharing all of that with us. This is her journey. We will support her all we can. And the choice will be hers each step of the way. We will let her lead us on this journey.

Miss Dandy Update

Dandy was born with a birth defect called Atresia Ani where her colon did not connect to her anus properly. She then developed megacolon as well. Major surgery was her only option to offer her any chance at life. Many of you donated for her care and we are so grateful!
Dandy now can poop normally and is totally continant! Not only that, but her megacolon is reversing as well. This little lady is a dynamo on a huge mission. We are looking forward to all that she has to offer.
Special thank you to Dr. Palamara at Upstate Veterinary Specialies in Latham, NY. He is Dandy’s hero!

Meet our new Director of Animal Welfare, Christine Schneider, DVM, cVMA

Spring Farm CARES is thrilled to announce and welcome our new Director of Animal Welfare, Christine Schneider, DVM, cVMA. We have known Dr. Christine for many years and know that her dedication, not only to the animals but also to our mission, will serve our organization well into the future.
Dr. Schneider’s focus on preventative care and use of modalities such as acupuncture and laser therapy will serve our animals well, especially with so many elderly and special needs animals.
Her deep connection with the animals and her caring heart shows in everything she does.
We are honored and excited to welcome her to the team!

The Amazing Miss Dandy – A Success Story

We’d like to share with you the story of little Dandelion, or Miss Dandy as she has come to be known. Our Serenity Fund is set up to help animals such as Miss Dandy who find themselves in dire circumstances with no where else to go. Your donations make all of this possible.

Dandelion arrived here just a few days old in June 2020.  She and her three littermates were found abandoned by a good samaritan after their mother never came home. Bonnie immediately took to bottle feeding them. Two of them were not doing well. One died a few days later and the other, much smaller than all the rest, kept fighting and survived. The two others were totally healthy and eventually went to a loving home together. But the smallest one, who never did well, ended up being our Miss Dandy. Bonnie knew from the very beginning that something was just not right with her. She struggled to pass stool and was just not thriving. Over the next several months, Dandelion went through many different tests to try to find a cause as to what was going on but it was difficult to determine at first what was happening. Our Veterinarian, Dr. Christine, did all sorts of tests and suspected a congenital defect may be the cause.  Dandelion had also developed Megacolon where her colon had become enlarged and unable to have the proper motility to pass stool along to the anus. Dr. Christine immediately put her on medication to soften her stool so that she could pass it. Due to COVID and the backlog of appointments everywhere, it took us several weeks to get her in for an appointment with a specialist. In the meantime, we tried to support Dandelion to be sure she was strong enough for surgery should she need it.

In January 2021, a trip to Upstate Veterinary Specialists in Latham, NY brought us more answers. Veterinary Surgeon, Dr. Palamara, performed further diagnostics to ultimately discover and diagnose that Dandelion was born with a congenital defect called Atresia Ani – Type 1.  To sum it up, the connection between her colon and her anus never formed properly, leaving her with a very tiny tube connecting the two. It was impossible for her to pass formed stool. As a result of this abnormality, Dandelion also developed a secondary condition of Megacolon. Her situation was dire unless surgery could be performed to essentially open up the anus so that she could pass stool.

Dr. Palamara determined she would be a candidate for surgery but that he was not sure she’d be bowel continent when all was finished. She did not respond normally to nerve stimulation and there was concern that she may not have developed the normal sphincter control needed to regulate when she needed to use the litterbox.

Miss Dandy is quite the personality. She is a favorite of everyone who meets her. She never stops purring and wiggling and playing. She is a mighty soul in a teeny tiny little orange body. She has enough spunk for a cat 10 times her size. Clearly, she wanted to try to live, regardless of the challenges. She was enjoying life despite her difficulties. Our staff had enormous challenges to keep her clean as the medications were needed to induce diarrhea in order for her to pass stool.

We gave Dr. Palamara the go ahead for surgery. Yes, there would be unknowns to face ahead. But we knew that Dandy was making a go of it and we were on board to give her every ounce of help we could. And then we’d take it day by day and step by step.

We are excited to announce that Miss Dandelion had her surgery in mid-January and it was extremely successful. Just one day after she came home, we walked in to find her purring and greeting us enthusiastically from her crate, and found a perfectly normal looking poop in the litter box. She is now continuously producing normal stool and she has not once failed to use the litter box. Miss Dandy has a second chance at life. She has a couple of weeks more of healing before we will repeat the radiographs to see how her colon is doing. There is hope that the Megacolon may reverse itself with medications and the renewed ability for the stool to move through now unobstructed.

Miss Dandy, the princess, will have a place to live her life regardless of the ultimate outcome. But right now, she is thriving. She is finally putting on weight and growing. And the purrs…. Oh, the purrs never stop. This is a kitten so full of life that there was no doubt that we had to try to support her on her journey. She is clearly here with a mission and it’s a big one!

Thank you to our own Dr. Christine Schneider and to Dr. Joseph Palamara for his expertise and support and for his willingness to go into a surgery that was very risky and with an uncertain outcome. And thank you to all of you who donate. Your support makes a huge difference. Dandy would not have a chance without your help. But, in turn, I can assure you that she is touching the hearts and lives of so many others. She is here in all her glory. And we hope that her path will be a long one. But no matter how long we have with her in this life, we will know everyone did their very best to support her and she never lets us forget the depth of her gratitude each and every day.

Dandelion’s medical costs to date have already exceeded $5,000

And here is a video of Miss Dandy

Animal Message of the Day: Brandy

From Brandy:  “I am grateful for the caregivers of the world. I am grateful for all who come seek me out to pet a horse for the first time and decide to trust me.  I am grateful for the sad at heart who smile when they come in our barn. I am honored to be a part of a mission that is at the very heart and soul of the horse. Not everyone understands the depth of this yet. But we are stepping into something magnificent here. I know you humans are experiencing a great time of turmoil. Don’t think that it is tearing you apart. Because it is actually bringing you together. And as you come together, you will realize that your differences are so minor and irrelevant. You will learn to have different vision. You will see that love is love regardless of any other factors. You will learn that humanity is one species united. Just as animals understand this about one another and about humans, you will grow to understand this too. Your differences are small and your ties that bind you together are much greater than you realize. Our mission here is to remind you of that. I live for the lives that we touch. Because this is now the mission that feeds me and in gratitude, I will strive to feed the mission.  I am grateful for each one of you reading this and sharing this. These messages from my friends and I are very meaningful to us. We thank you for your participation. Please join with us as we move forward together.”

This message concludes our series for 2020. What a year it has been. Thank you all for letting the animals into your hearts and lives and we hope their messages have brought you a bit of light and peace and hope. Here’s to a bright and peaceful year ahead!