Welcome to Spring Farm CARES!
The Spring Farm CARES Animal Sanctuary is located on approximately 50 acres of land. The Nature Sanctuary is comprised of an additional 275 acres. We are located just outside of Utica, in the scenic Mohawk Valley of Central New York.
The Animal Sanctuary consists of several buildings including offices, residences for our three full-time, on-site Directors, as well as two barns that house our large animals and our Kigercat Hall which is the main facility housing the majority of our small animals. The Animal Sanctuary is home to about 225-250 animals. This includes about 30 equines (horses, ponies, and donkeys), 3 goats, 7 pigs, 1 dog, 150-170 cats, 12-15 rabbits, and assorted chickens, ducks, geese, and birds. All of our animals are permanent residents as they are considered unadoptable. We specialize in elder and hospice care our animal residents live out their final years with us. All of them live and die with dignity and with their individual needs as our first priority. All of our animals are available for sponsorship.
We do not euthanize animals to make room for new ones to come in, so when we are full, we are full and must deny requests to take in animals to avoid going over our limit.
Our Small Animal Facility
Our cats, rabbits, exotics, dog, and pocket pets are all housed in our main building called George Kigercat Memorial Hall. As a little background and history, George Kigercat was a cat who inspired and helped design the building himself. Started in 1994, the building replaced our old majestic converted dairy barn that we lost to a tragic fire in 1993. Kigercat Memorial Hall is the centerpiece of the farm. It serves not only as the living quarters for our small animals but also houses our offices and public meeting areas.
Each of our animal quarters are designed with the species of animal who occupies those quarters in mind. We try our best at not just providing them with clean living quarters but also with enrichment and entertainment. Our cats are not housed in cages with the exception of pens that we use for isolating cats when they are ill or recovering from surgeries or if they for some reason just need a time out from communal living. We try to make their environments as stress free as possible and as conducive to their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. This requires us to get creative when looking at their living quarters from their perspective and not ours.
The cats all have enclosed porches where they can go out through a cat door and enjoy the sun and, in the summer, the nice fresh air and sights and sounds of the farm. We provide them with several levels of shelves and built in cat trees to climb and explore.
Their inside rooms also have levels and multiple places to hide or curl up for privacy. It is important in communal rooms that the cats can have a sense of independence and safety and that they can find their own spaces to relax but yet have places to exercise and explore as well. Sometimes that entails elaborate and expensive cat furniture and other times a simple paper bag or cardboard box provides them with endless joy. Volunteers cut out elaborate designs in cardboard boxes where the cats can then explore and play.
Many of our cats, indeed the majority of them, are on special diets. They are fed three times a day, many being personally served their own plates for them to eat. We have a high staff to animal ratio so that the animals can enjoy more individualized attention and care. And for the shyer cats, we have learned to give them their space without any expectations of how they need to behave. Frequently, they do end up shifting in their lives and seeking out human companionship. But we let them know that being human friendly is not a prerequisite to them living with us. We approach them on their terms and this has worked out very well over the years – for us and for them.
Any time our animals are handled for anything from routine grooming, nail clipping, or medical care, we do so with their comfort level in mind. We make things as fear free for them as possible. Each individual animal has a regimen that is prepared for their needs. Again, it is not about what is most convenient for us, but what is most suitable for them.
Our Barn/Farm Animal Facility
Our barns house all of our horses, ponies, donkeys, goats, sheep, pigs, ducks, chickens, and our goose. We have one large barn that houses the majority of our equines and farm animals, as well as two smaller barns. All of our animals have designated stalls, sheds, or indoor living quarters as well as access to being out in sunshine and fresh air. Those who are able to go out to pasture do so and those who have more restrictions have dry lot paddocks where they can still go outside for fresh air.
All of our equines are either elderly and/or have special needs so each one of them has an individualized protocol prepared specifically to address their needs. As with the small animals, enrichment is an important part of their care. We do all that we can to be sure their social and emotional needs are being met as well as their physical and medical care. For example, we pay attention to herd hierarchy and which friends prefer to be stabled near one another etc. The animals tell us what it is they need and we then adapt to them.
Our pigs have access to indoor areas as well as a large fenced in field where they can graze as well as a small stream that goes through that field where they can wallow in the mud and cool off on warm summer days.
All of our animals benefit from preventative, diagnostic, surgical, and emergency veterinary care (both on and off site) as well as other treatment modalities including chiropractic, acupuncture, homeopathy, massage therapy, cranial-sacral work, energy work and any other care they may need. We also work with physical therapists for both large and small animals to do whatever we can to enhance their lives.
Take a Tour
We love to have visitors and welcome everyone to tour our facility. We request you do so by appointment so that we have staff available to give you the complete tour. Appointments for visits can be made for 7 days a week.