BROOKS – The Peace Ridge Sanctuary wrapped up its open house series Sunday and people touring the farm didn’t expect to leave with a new perspective about farm animals.
“The fact that a place like this actually exists, people don’t realize what the antithesis to that would be. I don’t feel the sanctuary movement is even a solution, I think it’s an indictment to the society we live in. ” said employee Jared White.
It’s a place where animals can start a new life.
Sanctuary Director, Daniella Tessier, said “We’re trying to do the most that we can with what we have.”
The Peace Ridge Sanctuary saves and rescues neglected and abused farm animals from across the state. Dozens of people traveled from all over to visit its new location in Brooks.
For many people it was also a way to be with like-minded people.
Visitor Nancy Durand Lanson stated “The people that I am meeting here are so very peaceful and smiling so it makes for a nice place for animals to be.”
For those working at the sanctuary it was the perfect opportunity to educate people on what they do. White stated “It gives people a chance to come up here and see things that they might not normally see. It gives them a chance to ask questions they might not normally ask and gives them a chance to see what we are doing. But more importantly, why we are doing it.”
Just because the sanctuary is wrapping up with its open house series, the work doesn’t end there. They are transitioning into their busiest season yet where they receive numerous cases of cruelty and neglect.
Some people touring the farm didn’t expect to be impacted by the place, after meeting the animals there they walked away with a different attitude about eating meat. Visitor Abbey Kielinen said “I think there is no difference. All animals are living beings, be equal on this earth. At least for me, I definitely think that.”
Visitor Tim White added “What’s the difference between a family pet and farm animal, and when you try to answer that question, it’s almost impossible, especially when you’re exposed to how these animals interact. Playing with the goats, seeing all of these pigs.”
But much like many nonprofits, it relies on community support with winter around the corner, they are looking to recruit more volunteers.
Tessier said “Shelter can only really operate according to its budget, so we’re always trying to grow the budget so that we can help more animals.”
You can come and learn their stories but also see that they’re happy now. For a lot of people, it’s nice to see there is a happy ending sometimes.