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.