Almost every real animal lover has thought to themselves at one point or another that they would like to open a rescue or sanctuary. Most do not ever follow through, and even less follow through and get it right.
Debra White is one of those rare people who did. Winslow Farm Animal Sanctuary was brought to life in 1997 and has since been voted one of Massachusetts's 1,000 places to visit for good reason. Terms such as "enchanting" and "amazing" can be heard as you enter through the gates into very inviting and peaceful grounds. And you cannot get more than a few feet before you encounter animals of all species lounging, walking, playing and otherwise living the good life.
And this is one of the main reasons that Debra has earned her place among those who have made a difference in the welfare world. Her mission has been to provide permanent care, love and the "good life" to animals that have been abused, neglected and abandoned. And this is not an easy task, especially with over 200 different animals, not to mention a wide variety of community events, educational programs, an on-site eatery, gift shop, gardens and an on-site special needs facility to run and maintain.
As Debra noted in a recent newsletter: "Rescue work is hard and especially in these economically challenged times. We have an ever increasing number of calls take on animals. With that being said, my decision making process to take on a new a rescue is a mindful process. For example: does this animal need a new enclosure or can he co-habitate with one of his own species. Is there ample space available for new a new structure if need be, will we have the funds to provide food and medical care for the duration of his remaining life, do we have enough staff to adequately provide a clean environment as well as providing him with an enriching program? This touches on some of the criteria that long term commitment to take in a new family member."
As with most sanctuaries, there seems to be one animal that becomes a star. In Winslow Farm's case it is Willow-Mia the one year old Yorkshire pig. Found by the side of a highway, Ms. Willow was taken to Winslow Farm, and thanks to a woman who was inspired by her story, she now has her own children's book where she and her friends crusade for compassionate treatment of animals and spread the word about factory farming.
Of course, there are many other special animals living at Winslow Farm, and each has a unique story. But, one thing that stands out is that each and every one is happy and many are more than wiling to show you around their home if you would like to visit.
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