2020 has been a strange year for all of us humans. That said, the only thing amiss to the animals of Veganville this year has been less visitors. For a sanctuary who’s mission is to not only rescue farmed animals, we are also a platform for education. Most education is by sharing the farm with visitors. With the pandemic this year, Veganville did not host a single event, on or off property. We hosted no work parties, no Wwoofers from Wwoofusa.org, no bake sales or no vending opportunities. It has been a very quiet year here but the animals don’t seemed phased in the least.
Since we rely solely on the help of volunteers to complete projects, we were not able to complete the perimeter enclosure like I had hoped.
What we were able to do is rescue two more beautiful souls. In May we lost our beloved hen Demeter. Demeter was the partner of Zeus our rooster. She went broody one spring day, disappeared and found eventually on top of some eggs she had laid, no longer with us on earth. We were devastated, Zeus especially. Zeus being an ex-fighter, Demeter had been the only companion he had every had. Thankfully, just a few weeks after the loss, another sanctuary sent us Leda. Leda and Zeus became quick lovers and are living their free range (within our enclosed orchard) life searching for bugs, sun bathing, hanging out on their “porch” and begging for sunflower seeds to be thrown over the fence at meal times.
Last December, we took in a female ewe, Fred. She had been traumatized and was having some emotional and mental challenges. We don’t know how long it had been since she had been with other sheep but I had been on the lookout for a sheep friend to rescue. I was forwarded a Facebook post in a local farm group about a young blind and deaf lamb that needed a home, or else he would have been culled. He was found alone, starving with pneumonia in a pasture. He was only 6 weeks old and was rejected by his mother. After a few calls to vet friends and other sanctuaries, I got educated enough on the care of a lamb to feel comfortable enough with taking him in. We named him Harry, after Harry Potter. Harry is now eight months old, had regained his sight and hearing and is thriving. Most importantly, he and Fred are best friends.
In August we had a scare with one of our pigs Pumba. He went to OSU for surgery to remove a blockage in his esophagus. The surgery went well and Pumba was home just after a few days and doing fine. The bill was paid for by generous donations from you all and a big thank you to John Gannon of Astoria for putting on a benefit concert that helped raise the necessary funds. Pumba also was the recipiant of a grant from the Awesome Foundation which funded a new shelter for him.
In September, Oregon suffered devastation from wildfires that destroyed over a million acres. Many people had to evacuate, along with their animals. Though we were on a red flag alert at Veganville for a few days, we were not threatened by the fires. Unfortunately, many sanctuaries did have to evacuate their animals. We were happy and honored to be able to take in five potbelly evacuees for a few weeks. Veganville does have a trailer but we are looking into getting the funding to get a large stock trailer that will hold all of our animals in the case of an emergency.
In October, we hosted our first long term RV Hookup Tenants. They refurbished a Greyhound Bus into an eco friendly tiny home. This was always something I wanted to be able to accommodate as it’s stable income to the sanctuary and additional like minded people to have around. It can be a very isolating life here and Vegan(Ville) was always meant to be shared. We have some well challenges to look into before adding additional renters but with two more hookups available, I’m hoping to begin taking applications in 2021 for anyone interested in living on “The Ville”.
When I learned that one of the tenants plays the cello (like me), we thought it would be a fun idea to put together a Holiday Duet Session from Veganville and the animals.
Though this year was a strange year, I still feel very good about the progress we have made, the lives we saved and the top quality care we are able to provide for our permanent rescues. We are all happy, healthy and looking forward to what 2021 has in store for us. As always, you can make a tax deductable donation to Veganville at PayPal.me/Veganville
Happy New Year!