Look How Far We’ve Come: Our First Year in Review

As we prepare for 2019 we find ourselves looking back on all we’ve been through together this year. A year filled with growth and purpose and, let’s be honest, a whole lot of pigs.

We incorporated the Sanctuary as a Not-For-Profit, formed a Board of Directors, launched our website, instagram, and facebook. 

Austin Powers, the mastermind behind the whole operation, shared his rescue story and brought in our first ever monthly sponsor (Shannon & TJ)! He is also sponsored and loved by many other compassionate people. This kicked off our sponsorship program which has provided stability for the sanctuary. 

On August 1, we launched our founding donor campaign, asking you to pledge $25 or more to help us build the sanctuary. We never expected so much support, and we were able to rescue more animals this year because of your generosity. This campaign closes December 31 (tonight!), and we are so excited to have your names on our little barn wall, where it all started. 

We rescued our very first pigs; Mamma Bear and Cruz. A local farmer surrendered them to the sanctuary after having eight piglets and selling all but these two on Kijiji. Mamma Bear was 3.5 weeks pregnant when she arrived, although we didn’t know that yet.  

We opened up our big meadow for the horses and goats, fixing old fences along the way. Mini Wheat over-indulged and had the best time with her friends.

We asked for some help with 10 potbelly pigs in urgent need, and we were able to expand our pig section and welcome Pippa and Charlize. 

We built some cool piggy condos and hundreds of feet of fencing. Almost 2200 feet of fence, actually! We worked away on our fencing all summer long and saved approximately $12,000 building it ourselves.

We hosted our first public event at the Sanctuary with the help and support of our family, friends, and many local businesses making donations. Over 120 people came to meet the animals that day!

On the night of October 20, Mamma Bear gave birth to The Lucky Twelve. These sweet babies will live their lives with Mamma Bear at the sanctuary – loved, and safe forever. So many of you stepped up to help us care for these extra beings, becoming sponsors, naming the babies, caring for Mamma Bear, the list goes on. This one-year sponsorship of the lucky twelve will provide the funds needed for all spay and neuter surgeries. 

We attended Strawberry Blonde Bakery’s 5th Anniversary party, where they donated all the cupcake sales to the sanctuary. A highlight of our year for sure.

The Make It Happen Realtors came over for a couple of fun reasons; to give us a generous donation from their annual pumpkin contest, and take some photos for their Christmas card. In the end, Chomp made the cover!

My Mom, who not only cares for all the animals here when we need help but is also an extraordinary baker, started baking Sweet Sanctuary cookies. Lucky for us, Mel from Grow Your Roots Cafe tried them one day when she was here visiting her sponsor piglet Nellie, and loved them so much that she offered to sell them at her restaurant and give us the money! 

Joulian at SAABOON launched a line of soaps, SAABOON HOME, with all proceeds going to the Sweet Sanctuary.

Just before Christmas, ALL of our animals had at least one monthly sponsor. 

Many of you came up with creative ideas of gift giving that included the sanctuary in some way shape or form. 

We think, and we hope, that we opened the hearts and minds of many, helping people make the connection with all animals. Pigs are puppies too? Yes! We are so excited for all to come in 2019. We’ve been translating our big dreams for the sanctuary into actionable plans, and can’t wait to share them with you. Thank you for supporting us in our mission to help animals in need, and sharing our vision for a compassionate world for all animals.

World Vegan Day: Moments That Led Me to Veganism

Happy World Vegan Day! I wanted to share with you some of the moments that led me to veganism.

I came across this beautiful, inspiring article that featured former meat and dairy farmers who became vegan activists. It shared little snippets of their lives and often livelihood, and moments that begged them to change. I remember a time when I thought going vegan was difficult or that I wouldn’t be able to do it. After reading about multi-generational farmers, that literally gave up every part of their livelihood to change for the animals, this fear of mine was put into perspective.

It’s an oldie, but if you missed it I still say it’s worth a read: Former Meat and Dairy Farmers Who Became Vegan Activists

You might know our amazing goat named Austin Powers who found sanctuary here when he was one day old. He came with a brother from another mother, Elvis, who was maybe 2 weeks old. Despite all of our attempts to save his little life, and help from multiple veterinarians, we couldn’t give Elvis what he needed. We couldn’t make up for the two weeks of neglect he endured simply because he was born a boy, or all that he missed from his mother including her milk. Elvis died in my arms surrounded by love and compassion. He shaped the sanctuary into what it is today. While he hasn’t physically been here for a long time, he will forever be a part of our vision and mission. He is the reason I will be vegan forever.

People celebrate veganism today for many reasons: animal welfare, reducing our carbon footprint, or improving our health. But as you probably suspect, for me it’s all about the animals and today I celebrate for them. We will save more animals by eating plant-based and making simple changes in our lifestyle than we will ever be able to physically save, house, and care for in our barns, no matter how many stalls we add. This way that I choose to live my life is just as important as the work I do everyday on the farm.

I feel so lucky to be able to choose veganism today. To live in a world where we have the means to thrive on plants, and absolutely no need to kill or exploit these beautiful animal people that I call my friends.