I first came to The Farm Animal Sanctuary for a week of work experience in 2009 and felt at home straight away. I had fallen in love with all of the animals and wanted to spend every minute at the farm, so I continued to volunteer whilst studying for my A Levels and degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare. In January 2015 a full time position became available and I knew it was the perfect job for me!
Nothing is more rewarding than rescuing animals in need, watching them flourish and live out their lives with the dignity that they deserve. Everyone at the farm is part of my second family, humans and animals included! No day is ever the same here and there is always a new challenge, it’s certainly not always easy. I think the most difficult parts of the job are seeing the horrific cases of cruelty, and of course having to say goodbye to those we have loved and cared for. It never gets easier, but even on the darkest of days there are 600 happy faces to pick us up and help us carry on.
And then there’s the best parts of the job, which for me is when the sun is shining, the fields are full of lush green grass, and the animals are all doing what they should be doing. Pigs wallowing, lambs bouncing around playing, elderly residents sleeping in the sunshine with full bellies, cows frolicking, chickens and turkeys sunbathing, and alpacas splashing in a paddling pool. And we can breathe and take a moment to enjoy the peaceful tranquility of the sanctuary.
For me this isn’t just a job, it’s a lifestyle choice, and I can’t imagine my life anywhere else but here.
I can’t possibly choose one favorite animal so I’ll name a few…
Matilda the turkey – Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to bond with a turkey the way I have bonded with Matilda! She loves nothing more than to sit next to me or on my lap and have a cuddle, she chats away happily and loves to see everything that’s going on. She is the first one I talk to in the morning, and always says good morning back to me!
Freda the pig – the most sweet natured pig, she loves nothing more than plonking herself on your feet and rolling over for a belly rub. She always has a lot to say and always has a beautiful smile on her face!
The alpacas – I don’t know what it is about them but they are so endearing! I’ve always had a soft spot for the feisty characters and our alpacas can certainly be feisty, kicking and spitting should they feel the need (not very often thankfully!). Having them here has been a huge learning curve for us as they are different to any of our other animals in so many ways, but I have loved learning about them and getting to know them all individually. The fact that they smell like popcorn is a bonus too!