Your December Newsletter is Here!
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.
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.
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 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!
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.