Blackberry Creek Farm Animal Sanctuary
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Organization Details

Programs

Description
Bert's Book Barn is a new program beginning in the spring of 2019 and is the brainchild of our co-founder, Danielle Hanosh, who teaches secondary English. After funding for a small barn library and having it built, we received in-kind donations of shelving, books, and children's furniture. The Book Barn provides a safe, fun, and inspiring place for families (including single parents, grandparents, etc.) to experience the joys of literature and for children (and adults learning to read) to build confidence as readers. Research shows that young readers are more comfortable reading to animals than humans due to the lack of perceived judgement. Rescued animals also benefit from the social interaction of children and families spending quality time with them as many of them come from places where humans have been less than kind to them. Along with a love of literacy, this program also builds compassion and care for others through hosted storytimes featuring books about kindness to others (human and animal) and the enviroment. Stories are shared that support and promote equality among races, languages, genders, and species. The other facet of this program is that teenagers in our KEEPERS program get to volunteer reading to and with children and serve as role models for positive views of literacy. They practice patience and social skills, and take on a leadership role in mentoring younger children. Eventually, the sanctuary would like to be able to hire an employee to increase days/times the Book Barn would be open to the public.
Budget
$500
Program Successes
This program will begin in May of 2019, but thus far, support and excitement surrounding it has been monumental. We raised $5000 to build Bert's Book Barn (named after our late llama, Bert), with the support of the general public and are very much looking forward to opening it to the public in the spring.
Description
KEEPERS stands for Kindness, Ethics, Education, Philanthropy, Empowerment, Responsibility, and Sustainability. Students who are freshman in high school through undergraduates in college learn how to care for farm animals, promote compassion towards all species, actively volunteer in the community, and eat sustainably and compassionately, all while simultaneously earning a scholarship.

First and foremost, the KEEPERS members care for all of the animals that call Blackberry Creek home. They come up weekly to help clean stalls, groom, spend time with, and learn how to feed and care for each and every animal on the grounds of the sanctuary. They volunteer at sanctuary events and community activities and interact with the public to peacefully and respectfully advocate for the compassionate treatment of all animals. As the year ends, these students complete a project that either directly impacts that animals at Blackberry Creek or spreads awareness about the plight of farmed animals or the impact that the animal agriculture system has on the environment and human health. This will empower others to take action to make a positive difference and teach young people the leadership skills and work ethic needed to impact the world in positive ways.
Budget
$120,000
Program Successes
The KEEPERS program started with the love and bravery of a young girl in southern California who wanted to save her pig from slaughter. Through her journey, we quickly realized something we had suspected all along; there was great need for a program that would allow students to learn the principles and responsibility taught in programs such as 4H and FFA, but with a compassionate and happy ending for the animals. We started a pilot program with five students in the spring/summer of 2018. All five of them earned scholarships and all signed up to be a part of it again for the 2018-2019 year, along with three new students who joined the program. The students who participated have had an important impact in sharing the plight of farmed animals with visitors, and three of them spoke at our recent holiday event to share how the KEEPERS program has impacted their lives. They have been instrumental with helping with animal care at the sanctuary, giving tours at events, and helping behind the scenes at community programs.
Description
The primary goals of Blackberry Creek's school visits are to educate young people about compassion to others (including special needs individuals), how to eat healthfully, and how to make choices that protect and preserve our environment and natural habitats for wild animals. Because our co-founder is herself a public school teacher, she is experienced in designing programs with curriculum that is accessible to and appropriate for different age groups and demographics. However, her teaching schedule also limits her availability to run these important programs to summer school only since she teaches simultaneously to when most districts are in session. If our future budget allows, programs will be run year-round at local schools and small groups of students will also be able to come to the sanctuary for field trips as well.
Budget
$0
Program Successes
One particularly memorable school visit was to a Rocklin Unified elementary summer school program last year. Many of the students were individuals with special needs. The sanctuary brought special needs animals to discuss the importance of kindness and respect to all and to empower disabled students. Our blind hen, Mrs. Puff, and our three-legged dog, George, greeted children and taught about respect for all living things and how students can appreciate each others differences. Additionally, because our dog, George, lost his leg in a trap and was homeless before we found him, we have the ability to discuss homelessness and neglect/abuse in an indirect way that often resonates with children and teenagers.
Description
Blackberry Creek currently offers tours to the public the first Sunday of most months January through October with special events scheduled during the holiday months. Tours are led by volunteers (our founders and students in our KEEPERS program) and allow small groups of individuals to learn the stories of our animal ambassadors. Visitors are educated about the impacts that animal agriculture has on the environment, human health, and of course, animals. We discuss the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle and on certain days visitors are able to calculate their "Carbon Foodprint" to understand the impact they have on the environment. Through tours the public is also able to interact with animals they might not normally come into contact with like domestic turkeys, rescued llamas, blind chickens, or Po, our 600lb special needs pig. They learn to see animals through a lens of compassion and explore the ways in which they can be leaders who stand up for animals, health, and the environment in their everyday lives. Once funding goals are met to hire a full-time employee, visitor days will be expanded from once a month to weekly.
Budget
$0
Program Successes
There are so many stories of people connecting with animals through the visitor days at Blackberry Creek that it is safe to say this is our most impactful public program. Special needs individuals such as an older blind gentleman and children with special needs have been able to meet and interact with our special needs animals, which oftentimes has sparked others in our group to develop a deeper sense of gratitude for life and thoughtfulness regarding how they treat each other. Students who have visited the sanctuary on these days have become members of our student program, KEEPERS, and many individuals of all ages have reported reducing their animal product intake because they learned the effect their diets were having on sentient creatures, the planet, and their own health. One specific and especially heart-warming story is a woman who took the guided tour on a visitor day and is now a regular weekly volunteer who sits and feeds our special needs pig sorbet in his barn. She has suffered the death of her first husband, is a special education teacher (a very stressful job with a great deal of responsibility) and is now caring for her mother who has Stage 4 Cancer. She says visiting the sanctuary is the highlight of her week and talking to the animals about life and her struggles is theraputic. We believe that these connections are what make Blackberry Creek a true sanctuary for people and animals alike.
Description
Blackberry Creek Farm Animal Sanctuary is currently the home of 97 rescued animals including chickens, ducks, turkeys, pigs, horses, miniature donkeys, goats, llamas, cows, dogs, cats, a guinea fowl, and a tortoise. Our primary goals are to rescue individuals who are abandoned, abused, neglected, or otherwise without a home and a future. We provide them with permanent lifetime sanctuary (we are not a temporary shelter) which means they are safe forever once they enter our gates. Our animals come from all over the country; from Animal Control cases, shelters/pounds, slaughterhouses, backyard breeders, or situations of abandonment on uninhabited properties. We provide nutritious food, clean bedding, warm barns and coops, medication, hoof trimming, dental maintenance, routine and emergency medical care, safe pastures/habitats, and enrichment for our animal residents. We have one part-time contractor along with many volunteers who keep the animals clean, fed, and well-loved.
Budget
$87,302
Program Successes
We are currently the home of chickens, ducks, turkeys, pigs, horses, miniature donkeys, goats, llamas, cows, dogs, cats, a guinea fowl, and a tortoise. Through our animal rescue program we have helped to save over a hundred animals and helped to place others that we didn't have room for into loving homes through recommedations and referrals. This past year we were able to rescue a two day old baby lamb who was rejected by his mother at a local sheep farm and raise him into a thriving member of our sheep family. We were also able to rehabilitate two baby chicks a local feed store couldn't care for (one with wry neck and the other a severe eye infection) who now live outdoors and are totally healthy! Judy, a special needs cross-beaked chicken is syringe fed daily because she can't eat on her own and we care for two elderly horse gentleman, one with Cushings Disease, who were dumped at the pound for being "unridable." Po, our disabled pig from a cruelty case (rescued by Animal Control) is in year three of living his best life with teenagers who come read to him, volunteers who feed him pancakes, and a TV in his barn stall where he can be entertained since he can't live with his pig pals. The animals who live at Blackberry Creek are incredible ambassadors for kindness and are living, breathing advocates for our motto, "Love One Another."
Description
Llamas and Pajamas is an annual fall program welcoming families to the sanctuary for a magical evening of family fun! The evening begins with open barns where pajama-clad visitors can interact with animals and the volunteers who care for them. Storytime follows along with plant-based goodies such as vegan gelato, popcorn, and s'mores. Finally, families enjoy a movie on the big screen under the stars.
Budget
$2,000
Program Successes
This event has sold out the last three years, and is so popular, we are considering expanding it this year. Families often comment that there aren't a lot of family outings that are affordable, outdoors, and enjoyable for people of all ages, but that Llamas and Pajamas hits that mark!