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.


You Did It!!!

A huge thank you to all of our donors and supporters! We did reach the $30,000 goal for our matching donation! We are so grateful to all of you!

It is not just your financial support that helps us. Your words of support and encouragement and energy and prayers all help us to keep going, even on the hardest of days. We cannot do this without you.

We look forward to doing so much more together.
With our heartfelt thanks and best wishes for the new year,
Bonnie, Dawn, Margot and the staff of Spring Farm CARES.

Double Your Dollars! Now thru December 31st

A very generous donor has pledged to match up to $30,000 of donations from now until December 31st. That means every penny you donate will be matched. This includes monthly donors as well as animal sponsorship donations.

Gone With The Wind – The Windmills Come Down

Today marked another milestone day for Spring Farm CARES. Those of you driving by probably wondered what was going on with all the cranes. Sadly, two of our three windmills had a catastrophic failure this past month. Even more sad is that it was due to negligence in how they were assembled when they were installed. Turbines that we thought we’d have for 20-30 years were suddenly made useless after 11 years. Although the parts to fix the problem were not that expensive, the turbines could only be repaired by taking them down, and then putting them back up again, and that was a huge expense.

We made the decision to take the turbines and towers down and call it a day on our wind project. Our goal is to add to our solar arrays to make up the difference for what we lose in generation from the wind. Thankfully, the infrastructure for the windmills can be used for solar generation.

The purpose of our wind and solar project has always been to be able to provide for our animal sanctuary if there were a prolonged outage of the grid. And, as important, to lessen our footprint environmentally. Twelve years ago, as this project was put together, wind power was the way to go for us and held an advantage that solar did not offer. Today, with advancing technology, that is no longer true. So, you can say, that we needed to shift to where the winds take us next. While the windmills end an era of their own today, the sun will come up tomorrow on the next generation and we will move ahead.

A special thanks to Rig-All for coming so quickly with their cranes and expertise to help us get these down before winter set in.

Happy Hearth Spay Neuter Program Comes to a Close

Message To Our Friends And Supporters:

The running of an animal sanctuary is both rewarding and exhausting in its complexity. Many times, two equally worthy situations come up at odds with one another. This is one such time for Spring Farm CARES. In times like these, we always need to reach back down to the roots and foundation of our mission. We have a responsibility to the mission of Spring Farm CARES and to the animals and nature for whom we are custodians. We must never lose sight of that mission.

For the past twenty years, Spring Farm CARES has operated and financed the Happy Hearth Spay/Neuter Program. During that time, we spent over $2.5 million and spay/neutered over 80,000 animals – with over 60,000 of those being in Oneida County alone. The spay/neuter financial assistance program was aimed at low income families in Oneida County. This program was never part of our original mission. However, we saw a need in our community that no one else was filling, and we dedicated some of our funds to try and help.

Sadly, the time has come for us to make the difficult decision to end this program in order to maintain the financial health of our organization as we look to our future. First and foremost, the animals in our sanctuary are our top priority. We make a pledge to every animal that comes in our doors to be guaranteed a place to live for the remainder of their lives. Over 200 animals call our sanctuary home. We must always be sure that we have the funding to guarantee their care for all of them until the day they die. Their very lives depend upon our financial health. Every year in this country, we hear about animal sanctuaries who fold due to lack of funds – leaving their animals with no place to go. It is imperative that we care for our finances with the same dedication and diligence that we do the animals themselves.

The spay/neuter assistance program puts a strain on our finances, and the truth is that it is also not the focus of our mission. That mission is to be a center where people can come meet these great animals and learn of the importance of animals and nature and the well-being of the Earth herself. Never has there been a time where this is more important than now.

We look at the numbers of animals who have been helped in our community through our program and are humbled to have been a part of this. However, we also walk through our cat rooms where over 160 cats reside, as well as the barn where our horses, donkeys, ponies, goats, pigs, sheep and poultry live and we look into their eyes and are reminded daily what we are here to do and the commitment that we have made to each one of them.

We are here for the human/animal/nature bond to be rekindled, and even discovered for the first time, by many visitors. People are as much our focus as are animals.  We believe and hold close to our mission that the human heart needs to reconnect to animals and nature to remember what we all can do together. We will still be here as a resource to our community, only not in the form of financial aid, but in the form of education and healing of which no price tag can even be placed.  The human heart will always be at the center of what we do.

We are turning the page of one chapter, and opening to the next. We will be focusing on education, both for children and adults, to help the human heart come back into connection with each other, the animals, nature, and the planet as a whole. We are digging back down into our roots and reaching for the stars.

For more details, please go to our Happy Hearth Spay/Neuter Assistance Page

Buy a Hannaford bag and Support SFC

For the entire month of August, you can purchase a reusable bag at the Hannaford’s in Clinton, NY (55 Meadow St.) and they will donate $1 from each bag to Spring Farm CARES. It’s a win/win for the environment and for the animals!

We thank Hannaford’s for choosing our organization and for offering this to local charities each month! Thank you Hannaford’s for supporting the community!


Workshops with Dawn Hayman – 2019

Registration is now open for both of Dawn Hayman’s two workshops for 2019.

Dawn will once again be teaching with the animals in Animal Wisdom for the Human Heart and sharing many of her experiences with animals and humans on the topic of death/dying/living in her workshop Embracing Spirit/Embracing Life. Please see our Workshop with Dawn page for more details.