There is a growing need for support of farm animal rescues and sanctuaries. These havens advocate for animals through rescue, education and adoption/placement services. They help the public to change their perceptions of farm animals and create a deeper respect for the rich emotional lives of these animals. Most sanctuaries rely entirely on monetary and in-kind donations to operate. At the Ching Farm Rescue there are no paid staff, so all donations go entirely to the animals.
I love volunteering and the payment in joy is greater than any monetary value can esteem. It helps people gain a better understanding of farm animals while they build practical skills. We are always looking for enthusiastic people to come work regularly at the sanctuary. Positions range for all abilities and interest. All jobs, no matter how big or small will directly help the animals.
The Ching Farm Rescue and Sanctuary (near Salt Lake City, Utah) uses the contributions to feed and care for the animals which may include veterinary care. We get no government grants or funding, so are entirely reliant on donations from the public. The fall season is dreadfully important since the winter feed is costing three times what we normally spend due to the recent cold snap. It’s the efforts of people in the community that allow us to continue our mission.
Our animals are here for various reasons. My favorite story revolves around Bandit and Boogie. They are Llamas who were saved from a petting zoo in the summer of 2000. While petting zoos may seem great for kids, they aren’t that great for the animals. Petting zoos monitor how much money each animal makes for them by tracking the feeder machines. If an animal doesn’t bring in enough money, the zoo will sell them, usually for slaughter. This was the case for Bandit and Boogie. Luckily we had room for them at the sanctuary where they can live out their lives in peace.
There are many factors that could contribute to an animal not bringing in much money. It could be that they are with another animal who is more aggressive to get to the food, they could be shy, or perhaps they don’t really like the pellets in the feeder machines. Whatever the case, if they don’t perform, they don’t have a home.
The sanctuary also provides a home for horses. Faith Ching tells the story of Vashti. “She is a buckskin Mustang who was rescued from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in 2004 when she was just 2 years old. There are only about 30,000 wild mustangs left in the United States but they are getting rounded up and thrown off their land to make room for more than 3 million cattle to graze.
“The BLM removes the wild horses because they claim the mustangs are overgrazing, which is strange since there are so few of the mustangs left, and they eat half of what cattle do. The cattle raised on these lands are consumed as free-range beef. It only makes up about 3 percent of all the beef consumed in the U.S. These amazing animals are being rounded up because ranchers make more money from cattle sold for meat.”
Another beautiful horse on at our rescue is named, Mama Tuki. She is a quarter horse who was born on a feedlot. She lived there for 4 years, something that is unheard of. Normally, a horse would not last more than a month on a feedlot if they were not performing well (as a bucking or pick up horse), since rodeo was their primary business. Every Tuesday the horses on the feedlot were sent to slaughter for human consumption. “So on Mondays,” Faith Ching states, “we would bail out whatever horses we could.” For months the feedlot operator had urged us to take Mama Tuki; seems he had a soft spot for her. He’d tell us “I really don’t want to send her [to slaughter], she’s a real gentle mare, a good horse.” So finally it was her turn to come to Ching when he told us if we did not take her she was going to slaughter the next day. Therefore, we named her Mama Tuki Soft Spot. Having grown up on the feedlot, she was never handled by anyone. When we made the first attempt to trailer her, she jumped the 5′ fence with ease! It took a minute but we finally got her trailered and home. Mama Tuki is best friends with Katie Large, a Percheron mare.
With 180+ animals, Ching homes many diverse species, including pigs. “Laverne and Shirley arrived at Ching only days old on Dec. 5, 2012,” says Faith. “They were found in Ogden, Utah, taped up in a box on the side of the road. As horrible as it sounds, we have heard of people doing this to kittens and puppies before, in the twisted hopes that someone will run them over, but we’ve never heard of it being done to piglets!
Fortunately, a passing motorist noticed the box was moving, so stopped to open it and look inside. Looking back at her were these two baby pigs! She took them to the vet, gave them baths and food, and phoned around trying to find a place for them. Finding a home for the pigglets was difficult since there are no other rescues [besides Ching Farm Rescue and Sanctuary] that will take farm animals. Finally, they found Ching. Now they get to live out their lives in peace and safety here at the sanctuary.”
As you can imagine, every animal on that farm has a story. If you would like to help these animals, there are a few ways. One is to donate by sponsoring a permanent resident of the Ching Farm Rescue and Sanctuary. With your sponsorship commitment, you will receive a certificate featuring your animal’s photo and history. A sponsorship application can be found at here. Another way to help is by buying items on our store. Every dollar goes toward helping an animal, plus you can receive a really cool item featuring your favorite farm animal.
Donations are always appreciated and welcomed. However, if you are unable to contribute financially, there are other ways to support us that are extremely important. By liking our Facebook page, liking and commenting on our pictures and posts, and signing up for our newsletter, you can bring more buzz to our cause. And please share! Your shares are so important to us and are critical in spreading the word. We can do nothing without your help. Helping animals is our priority. The animals thank you and so do we!
-The Ching Farm and Sanctuary