Stories From The Magic Years Available Now

Our Latest Book – Stories From The Magic Years is Now Available

Stories from THE MAGIC YEARS
A Thirty-Year Interspecies Conversation
celebrating the Thirtieth Anniversary of Spring Farm CARES – 1991-2021
This an amazing book! We, ourselves, did not realize just how amazing it would be until we began to re-read thirty years of letters and newsletters to you–our friends, students, and supporters–and to remember sometimes forgotten events and details from thirty magical, often other-worldly, miracle years. Many of you have been with us every step of the way! Many of you read and loved the stories in these newsletters way back when. You, too, will again laugh, cry, thrill, cry out in amazement, and be inspired as you re-read these stories and remember the wonderful, often Master, animal teachers and friends who have graced our lives and yours. While those of you who have joined us somewhere along the way are in for a heart-warming and soul-inspiring experience.
There is no book that has ever been written—or that could have been, or could ever be, written–like this thirty-year chronicle of continuous conversations, comradery, companionship and spiritual communication between human beings and animals. For, as you know, Spring Farm CARES is the world’s only living, breathing, daily-functioning sanctuary dedicated to carrying on a dialogue between humans and animals and then sharing that dialogue with you.
(This 8 x 10 book is over 475 pages and is filled with over 340 photographs)
Where is it Available?
Please note that in prior communications advertising the release of this book, we had anticipated the price to be much cheaper than what Amazon has it listed for now. The list price is correct. Due to the size of the book, and the many photographs, the printing cost ended up being much higher than we anticipated. We apologize for the confusion.
E-Book: Stories from THE MAGIC YEARS is available on Kindle, and Smashwords
and will soon be available on Nook.
Paperback is Available on

Open Letter to Person Who Abandoned Dog in our Parking Lot

On Sunday, November 14, someone callously and cruelty abandoned a dog in our parking lot. The person has since been found, and the case has been turned over to law enforcement for investigation. The dog is safe. But before we knew all of that, Dawn posted an open letter on behalf of the dog on our Facebook Page. That letter has circulated around the world having been shared nearly 16,000 times as of this writing. We have been asked to share the letter on our blog as well.

Thank you to all who care!

I’d like to address this post to the person who dumped a dog in our parking lot Sunday, November 14th at about 6pm. I know you saw your dog frantically running in front of your car as you tried to pull out. You saw her anxiously running in circles in the parking lot as you pulled out without her. But as you then drove off like nothing happened, your dog went through something that she just cannot comprehend and neither, frankly, can we.
It is illegal in New York State to abandon an animal. So what you did is against the law. But more importantly, it was truly a heartless act. What you didn’t see is that your dog panicked after you left. Our staff was leaving about that time, which we believe you knew. You probably thought that our staff would find her and rescue her and there would be a happy ending. But, sadly, she panicked and, scared out of her head, she ran away from everyone. We had to back off so that she wouldn’t go into the busy highway. We lost her in the dark. Several of us tried but we couldn’t find her and she ran off in her terror and confusion.
We do know that a while later, she took off down the highway in the direction where she watched your car go. She was trying to find you. It was dark and raining and cold. We could see cars pull over as people tried to catch her. But no one could. Luckily, at some point she came back here, hoping you’d be back for her. How she managed to avoid getting killed in the highway is a miracle. There was nearly a car accident as people tried to avoid her. But she made it back here to the farm again hoping she’d see you here.
She still would not let us near her. But she huddled up against a door, under an overhang, trying desperately to stay out of the rain. We managed to get food out to her and a blanket – even though she ran off again. We prayed she’d return to that doorway. And she did. As soon as she saw the blanket, she tucked herself in a tiny ball trying to get warm. We checked on her all through the night. She still would not let us near her. She was terrified and shivering. I cannot even begin to tell you how helpless we felt. And that helplessness slowly grew as the night went on.
I can tell you that while you left having done what you felt you needed to do, we spent hours trying to help your dog. I stayed up most of the night watching our security cameras in hopes that at first light we could talk her in and get her to safety. She stayed huddled on that blanket clinging for warmth all night. It is a testament to her intelligence. You see, your irresponsibleness suddenly became our responsibility and even though we couldn’t touch her or get her inside, we stayed with her the only way we could through the dark, cold, and snowy night.
At daybreak she stirred from her little nest. She heard a vehicle drive into our parking lot. It was a workman. I knew that. But I watched her as her ears perked up and she sat upright. Her momentary burst of joy and relief. You see, she thought it was you coming back for her. She broke into a run towards the parking lot. About two thirds of the way down, she slowed way down, watching. Then she stopped. Her ears went down, her tail tucked under her once again, and she ran off the opposite direction. It wasn’t you and again she panicked.
But your former dog is incredibly smart. She was scared. But she reached deep down inside and followed her heart. We had food out and she ate. And then she came to the door of our facility and stood at the door looking in. We opened the door and she very timidly stepped in. She had found safety. She is so incredibly lucky.
Today, we are trying to help her through her despair of being abandoned by you. She is devastated. She doesn’t understand what she did to deserve this. She has no idea where you went or why you left her behind. We have now picked up the responsibility you once had to care for her. We will see her through to whatever comes next for her. But we thought you’d like to know what happened after you left. Because somewhere we know there is a part of you that does care. If you can learn one thing from this, know that animals love unconditionally and without judgement. Their hearts are pure. And they assume ours are too. So the pain in discovering that isn’t always true is a devastating blow. She will learn to trust again. I hope you understand what you threw away. And I hope you learn to be more responsible with another’s heart in the future.

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.


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.

Update on Re-Opening

As of today, June 16th, New York State has lifted most of the Covid restrictions. We are constantly monitoring the situation and carefully assessing the risk level of our staff as to when to fully reopen to visitors. There is nothing we look forward to more than to welcoming visitors back. We have missed you! The animals miss you!

We have eased restrictions with our own staff as per NYS guidelines as of today. We will be reassessing welcoming visitors and volunteers at the end of the month. We will keep you posted!

For the past 18 months, we have been doing all we possibly could to keep our staff healthy and safe so that they could continue to come in to care for the animals each day. We could not do any of this without them. They have done an outstanding job through very difficult and challenging times.

We will update you soon as to when we will finally be open for visitors again.

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!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Today, we turn the page to a new chapter. So many are feeling relieved to leave 2020 behind and step into a new year. Let’s face it, this is the first time we can honestly say that hindsight is 2020.

But it is important to take a deep breath and also look at 2020 with gratitude and appreciation. Yes, there was great strife and turmoil and so much loss for so many. We need to deeply honor that and hold a healing in our hearts for all who need healing and compassion. We need to hold a deep space of compassion in all of our hearts for those of us feeling lost, alone, and wounded. The animals teach us that being in our hearts and simply being present is the greatest healing and gift of compassion that we can give. And all of us can do that.

If 2020 taught us anything, it is that we are indeed not alone. We are so interconnected on this planet that it has never been more obvious. We need each other. We need to look out for one another. We need to be here for one another. In fact, we can’t do it any other way.

We also learned in 2020 that we have the incredible ability to help our planet in ways that many believed were too far gone and hopeless. 2020 shows us that there is much hope and so much we can do to help our environment in major ways. Mother Earth felt us reconnect. We must carry that connection forward and let it deepen.

2020 reminded us how much we value the ones we love. We need one another and we need to stay connected. Sometimes we don’t realize how we take things for granted until we miss having them. 2020 reminded us of all we have to be grateful for in our lives.

So, let’s walk into 2021 now with hope and gratitude and love and compassion. It is time for humanity to realize the love that we are so capable of giving and sharing. Let’s remember to breathe with the Earth and take a moment each day to connect with our own hearts. We have been shown a new opportunity. It’s up to us now to dream a new way into being. We hold the vision of the future in our hearts.

We wish you all the best for the new year. We will be connecting with you in new ways this year. And, most of all, we look forward to seeing you all again soon.

Blessings from all of the creatures, animal and human, of Spring Farm CARES

Our December 2020 Newsletter is Here

This year has been a challenging year for most everyone. The animals of Spring Farm CARES have really missed their visitors so they decided to come find you for themselves. This special edition of our December 2020 newsletter is written by the animals themselves. We hope you enjoy it. Please use the link below to open and download your pdf version.

For those of you who are on our mailing list to get your hard copy version, like everything else this year, things are moving slower due to Covid. We are told the delivery will take longer. Hopefully, you will see them next week. In the meantime, we hope you enjoy this pdf version.

Spring Farm CARES December 2020 Newsletter – The Animals View of 2020

Be Kind to Animals Art Contest Winners!

We are pleased to announce the winners of our Be Kind to Animals Art Contest!
Below we feature the winners’ submissions. The winners are:
Matilda Terrell, Age 11 for her poster submission (bottom)
Ave Copeland, Age 13 for two photographs ( left)
Haley Copeland, age 11, for her drawing and photograph (right)
All three have won the sponsorship of an SFC animal for a year. Congratulations to our winners and thank you for your submissions!
Matilda will sponsor our rabbit, Yetti.
Ava will sponsor our sheep, Mary.
Haley will sponsor our chicken, Kathy.
Sponsorships will be added to our website soon!

Flashback: From 20 years ago, film Animal Attraction

We are preparing for our 30th Anniversary in 2021 and going through some archive newsletters and publications etc. Here is a flashback moment to share with all of you. In 2000, an independent film maker named Kathy High, made a wonderful 60 minute film about Dawn’s animal communication and Spring Farm CARES. The film was shown at the prestigious Guggenheim Museum as well as the Virginia Film Festival. It was also shown on PBS in New York City where it got rave reviews. Although filmed and produced 20 years ago, it still is a wonderful representation of what Spring Farm CARES is all about.

All but one of the animals in this film have all passed into spirit as have several of the humans who participated. We also use this as a tribute and thanks to all of them for having enriched our lives and for helping to get us to where we are today.

Be Kind to Animals Art Contest

We are having an art contest for ages K-12 for Posters, Poetry, & Photography categories. The winning artist in each age category will receive an animal sponsorship for a Spring Farm CARES animal of their choice ($100 value). We have supporters from all over the world. Let’s make this an event from around the world in honor of how connected we really all are and how much we need one another and the animals and planet.  Click the link below for contest rules and to download an entry form!

Click here for Entry Form and Contest Rules

Shine Your Light – A message from Dawn

This past week we saw sunshine and temps near 60 degrees here in Central NY. While life in lockdown is challenging and is bringing up a lot of fear in many people, it is helpful to remember that life is continuing on, uninterrupted on our planet. Spring is springing. The song birds are returning in great numbers and birdsong fills the air. The peepers have started their evening serenade. The trees are budding. And the ground is gently opening as fresh shoots peek out of the ground, waking from their winter slumber. I was so excited this week to see the first daffodil bloom in our garden. It made me think of how excited our elderly horses feel when they see the grass turning green and they know they’ve made it through another winter and become renewed again with the spring and the fresh grass. And, it makes me remember the ones who left us and found a different kind of spring off of this earth, although we miss them. That first daffodil brought so many emotions up in me.

Today, that pleasant taste of spring was abruptly disrupted by one more shot of cold air, wind, and snow. As I got our mail this afternoon, I was moved again by a daffodil. This one, which I captured in this photo, was one lone, brave, pioneering daffodil who bloomed way before the rest of the daffodils around her, still waiting to make their debut. This one came early. I saw her drooped head as she struggled to remain upright in the snow and wind. Alone. And I thought how stunningly profound her message is for all of us right now.

Many of us are feeling just like this lone daffodil. Cut off from the lives that we became used to as our normal routine. Segregated away from friends and family and sometimes feeling alone in a cold and desolate world. Yet, this one daffodil is actually the bravest and brightest of all. She defied all odds and brought herself out of her slumber for all the world to see. She gives us hope of a new day. She brings us a reminder that spring really is here in spite of the snow. She teaches us that each of us has a beauty and light to shine and each one of us is unique with that light. She shows us that now, more than ever, it is time to shine our lights and let our beauty blossom. This is our time.

So, if you’re feeling like you’re alone and things just seem to be hopeless, remember this daffodil who came to remind us all that now is the time to dig deep within ourselves for that inner strength that fills our core and shines bright despite the wind and cold and snow.

As nature reminds us with the seasons, there are times for resting and going deep within. There are times for growth and renewal. And there are times for planting seeds to bring life to others who need sustenance that we can provide. We are all in this together. We need one another, now more than ever. Each of us, in our own way, is like this daffodil. And each of us will bloom exactly when we are supposed to and we will be the hope for another who needs encouragement to bloom as well. Shine your light and you will light the way for others who are lost in their own darkness.

Never, ever, give up on hope – no matter how much the wind blows, or how long the snow returns. Spring is always near.


In Memory of Board Member, John Andersen

In Memory and with gratitude we pay tribute to a very special human –

This week we lost a treasured member of our Board of Directors. John Andersen served on our board for the past decade, bringing with him not only his tremendous business expertise, but also his huge heart and compassion, and dedication to our mission. John made an impression on everyone who met him. But more than that, he touched a lot of lives and gave so many others a chance in life they would not have otherwise had – both animal and human.
John joined his wife Lillie Goodrich in co-founding Glen Highland Farm border collie rescue. Lillie is also on our Board of Directors and our hearts go out to her. The best tribute we can pay to John is told through the words and love of Lillie herself. There is a link below to her tribute. 
Thank you John for all that you gave to Spring Farm CARES – your experience and wisdom, your guidance and heart – but most of all your friendship. With love – Dawn, Margot, Bonnie and the SFC Board of Directors.

Our Latest Newsletter – Featuring our Nature Sanctuary

Dear Friends,

Are you experiencing a barrage of COVID-19 emails, news broadcasts, articles, and posts? Like us, are you starting to go on overload?  Well, we have pleasant breaks to offer you.

Our newsletters over the years have occasionally mentioned our 250-acre Nature Sanctuary. It is as much a part of our mission as is the Animal Sanctuary. But we never really did justice to that extraordinary place. Thus, several months ago, we decided that, once a year, we would send out a newsletter devoted entirely to the Nature Sanctuary. The first issue was in the works with our printer before we really knew much about the Covid-19 virus, or comprehended how much it would upend the lives of all of us – physically, mentally, financially – and spiritually. That first issue went out just last week. Some of you might already have received a hard copy, and we have attached a link to your newsletter copy below. We are happy to be able to offer this newsletter at this time. We believe that it will be a balm to aching minds.

By the way, some who got the hard copy were alarmed, thinking that we were no longer operating our Animal Sanctuary, or that our mission has changed.

No way. We proceed as usual. Our staff is considered essential, so that everyone can still come to work and nothing has changed in the care of our animals. We are closed to volunteers and visitors, and some planned events have had to be cancelled or put on hold, but we are following a rigorous protocol of hygiene, are all so far healthy, and the Spring Farm CARES mission holds fast. We will have challenges ahead. Once we are through the health crisis, we will all come together to deal with the economic fallout.

Our mission is needed more than ever right now. Because humanity needs to be reminded of the true core of our world. Peace, beauty, and love. We believe that, as the entire world goes through this crisis together, we will become stronger and more connected with one another and with our planet and with all of nature. That is indeed what the Spring Farm CARES mission is all about.

There will be tragedies aplenty. Yet something amazing will come out of this. And, while this is going on, we are posting an uplifting animal message, with photos and videos, on our Facebook page and website each day. We hope that you will share your newsletter and the links to Facebook and our website with those who might need some sunshine in their days.

Our best wishes are with you, as well as gratitude and appreciation for your continued support. Do a lot of deep breathing. That reduces stress and protects your immune system!

Blessings to you all,

Bonnie, Dawn, and Margot – Directors


Click here for your copy of our Newsletter

How We are Dealing with Quarantine at the Farm

People have been asking what we are doing for the animals during the quarantine in New York State. Rest assured, the animals are being cared for as normal. As an animal sanctuary, our staff are considered essential personnel and they are reporting to work. It is critical that they are healthy and able to come in to care for the animals. In keeping with that, we closed our facility a week ago to volunteers and visitors. We do extra cleaning and disinfecting of the areas where our staff work. We already are operating on minimal staff needed. We are all observing social distancing and hand washing.

We are doing the best we can to keep life as normal as possible for the animals. Right now, they follow the same daily routines as they have been. As always, their care comes first and foremost and we continue day by day. Right now we need to get through the public health crisis. After that, like everyone else, we will need to face the economic impact.

We especially want to say how grateful we are to our staff as well as all of the essential personnel out there keeping our communities going as best they can. People are giving a lot to help our communities and we all owe them our deepest gratitude and appreciation.

We thank you for your support and thoughts and prayers as we send ours to you as well.

Temporarily Closed to Visitors, Tours, and Volunteers

Announcement for our volunteers, visitors, and those looking for tours

We know with the schools closed now especially, that people are looking for tours to come visit the animals. However, we are temporarily suspending all tours, visits, and volunteers for two weeks due to the coronavirus outbreak. The greatest responsibility we have is to the care of our animals. And the greatest way we can care for them is to ensure the health and safety of their human caretakers. We need them all here to care for the animals 7 days a week.

We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your understanding. We will reassess the situation April 1st.

Special Message

Special Message:

This is a time of great turmoil for so many. But it is also a time for coming together and to remember the beauty of what life has to offer. Everywhere we turn, there are continual messages about COVID-19. And the level of fear and anxiety keeps ratcheting up higher and higher. Spring Farm CARES has a special statement about COVID-19.

We are taking some very practical steps to see to the continuing care of our animals. Key to that care is the well-being of their caretakers. For the next two weeks we are suspending tours of our facility. We will reassess the situation at that time and act accordingly. However, there is much more to say.

If we have learned anything during this time, it is that our planet is indeed very small in the grand scheme of things and we are all inter-connected in so very many ways. When we are faced with things that are unknown or conflicting, it is human nature (and animals too) to go into survival mode and, for some, great fear and panic. But this fear only makes things worse. Fear cripples us and separates us when we need to feel connected even more than ever. Fear lowers our immunity and creates disharmony with our connection to all of the positive things in our lives. When we are afraid, we forget about all of the joy and love and wonder in the world around us.

Please, join us in taking a few moments each day to breathe deeply from your heart center and think of a person, animal or place that brings you great joy and love. As you breathe, hold that feeling of love and appreciation and gratitude in your heart. Remind your heart and body what that feels like and breathe from that space. Your energy will change. It will help your physical and emotional well-being. It is so simple and so powerful.

In an effort to help us find that beauty and gratitude and appreciation, I am going to post an animal message a day as we usually do during the holiday season each year. I will do this for at least the next two weeks.

We are all connected and in this together. Let’s not forget the strength in love and gratitude and appreciation.