FAQ’s

Visiting

Can I visit?
Where are you?
How can I get to you?
Is there public transport?
Do you have open days? How can I book?
Do you offer educational programs?
What is the disability access at the farm?
Is there food on the farm?
Can my dog visit?

Volunteering

How can I volunteer?
I’ve got some spare time, can I come and volunteer at Edgar’s Mission?
Does Edgar’s Mission take Corporate Volunteers?
Can I do my work experience with Edgar’s Mission?

Donations

How can I donate?
Do you have a pattern? I would love to knit a lamb jumper for you?

Best Buddies

Can I sponsor an animal not listed as a Best Buddy?

Fundraising (yours and ours) and sharing information

Can you please share my (fundraiser, petition, Facebook page, link…)
Hey, I want to fundraise for you!

Animals

I’ve seen an animal in trouble/I want to report animal cruelty or neglect, what should I do?
Can you take my animal?
Can you take my rooster?
Edgar’s Mission Farm Animal Adoption Friends
Do you take horses, dogs, cats and wildlife?
Do you take animals on agistment?
What formula do you feed the lambs and kid goats?
Can I adopt an animal?
I want to start one too!

Other

Are you able to send me pamphlets to place in letterboxes around my neighbourhood?


Visiting

Can I visit?

We are pleased beyond belief to announce that Edgar’s Mission is once again open to the public! Yes, that’s right, we are now running tours at our beautiful new farm in Lancefield, Victoria! Please note that bookings are essential and tours will run strictly by appointment. For more information and to book your place, please click here.

Where are you?

Edgar’s Mission is situated just over an hours drive north of Melbourne. It is just 5km west of the town of Lancefield in Victoria, Australia.

81 Bridies Lane, Lancefield, VIC 3435, Australia

Please visit Visiting The Farm for more info.

How can I get to you?

A map will be emailed to you after booking your tour.

Is there public transport?

Unfortunately there is no public transport directly to the farm. The closest train station (Woodend) is a 20 minute drive from the farm. If you are looking for a way up to the farm on volunteer and open days we recommend posting on our Facebook Page as there are often people carpooling from Melbourne. The best way to get here on a tour date to ensure you will be here is to hire a car.

Do you have open days? How can I book?

Yes! Edgar’s Mission has several open days throughout the year in addition to our many prebooked tours. For details of upcoming open days please sign up to our newsletter, Trotting, you can do so here. You can find information tours and make bookings here. We look forward to seeing you then. Please note we are closed for the winters months and on days of severe fire warning.

Do you offer educational programs?

We sure do. You can find information about our humane educational programs here. Our humane educational programs are targeted to grades 4 and above. At this point in time we do not have the staffing levels to visit kindergartens, preschools or students in levels below grade four. All schools levels, kindergartens and preschools are welcome to visit the sanctuary, however they are reminded that they need to provide adequate supervisors. Bookings are essential.

What is the disability access at the farm?

As our farm is situated on 153 beautiful rolling acres our unmade roadways go up hill and down dale and our tours venture into many animal paddocks where our visitors have the chance to interact with our residents. While pathways could be negotiated by wheelchairs or walkers, the journey around the farm is several kilometres and can be bumpy. For safety reasons we would not be able to grant access to animal paddocks or enclosures. At this point in time we do not have a toilet with disability access.

Is there food on the farm?

At this stage the Mission does not provide catering for human visitors so please pack something to eat and drink however, out of respect for the animal residents, we request that you do not bring meat products. Please see our list of Places to Eat close to Edgar’s Mission.

Can my dog visit?

This is probably one of the most daunting questions we are asked. While we here at Edgar’s Mission love ALL animals… including dogs (several rescued dogs live here) and we are sure we would love yours, as you would imagine, our first priority is to the rescued animals in our care. Some of our farmed animal residents are very frightened of dogs they don’t know. They have had traumatic experiences in the past and will not understand that your dear pup means them no harm. It is very important to the rehabilitation of our rescued animals that they feel safe. Dogs, like us humans are naturally very excited when they come to visit but unlike us humans many are not able to contain their excitement. This can lead to a distracted human trying to calm their dog and in doing so they may not experience all that Edgar’s Mission has to offer.

And whilst your dog may be fine, we find ourselves in the difficult position that if we say yes to some and no to others, this could be seen as unfair.  Moreover, we do not really know with any certainly how dogs will react and how distracted their humans may become.  With this in mind a blanket policy of no dogs seems the fairest option for all. So we ask that in the best interests of all that you please leave your K9 family at home.

We thank you for your understanding.

Volunteering

How can I volunteer?

Please visit Volunteering at Edgar’s Mission for more info

I’ve got some spare time, can I come and volunteer at Edgar’s Mission?

Whilst the saying goes “many hands make light work”, we take the role of caring for our many animal residents and their sanctuary grounds very seriously. It is for this reason that much training goes into preparing our staff and regular weekly volunteers for these roles. Alas we do not have the person power to train and guide new recruits for short term assistance around the farm while still maintaining our high standards of animal care. Sorry to disappoint but please do look at either our regular weekly volunteer program or our helping hand dates. Please note that due to public liability issues we are not able to offer volunteering opportunities for persons under the age of 15 years.

Does Edgar’s Mission take Corporate Volunteers?

If you don’t mind getting down and dirty with a pig, cuddling a cow and of course getting your hands dirty, the answer is yes!!  However, there are a few things we need to establish first.  Edgar’s Mission will require prior notice of your intention to volunteer in order to ensure availability of dates (we recommend dates outside of the cold winter months) along with confirmation in writing that your company has in place Workcover insurance that covers its Corporate Volunteers.

The sorts of activities you can look forward to undertaking will depend upon the number of volunteers involved but can include the ever popular poop patrol, cleaning water troughs, assisting in our vegetable gardens, managing native vegetation, assistance with our library needs, painting fences and seasonal tree or vegetable planting. Whilst supervision will be provided, we do ask that all those who wish to attend are capable of physical activities.

Due to the limited time involved in corporate volunteering, it is not practical to offer the necessary training for direct animal handling activities. However there will be plenty of time to help feed the sheep their wheetbix treats and a short farm tour.

As we are located some distance from shops and we do not have food or drinks for sale on site, we recommend you bring your own supplies but ask that out of respect for the animals whom you will be assisting on the day, no animal products are brought onto the sanctuary grounds. We thank you in advance for your understanding.

To register your interest in Corporate Volunteering please click here.

Can I do my work experience with Edgar’s Mission?

We regret to advise that due to our current staffing levels and the number of animals in our care, we have had to suspend our popular work experience program. Whilst we hate to disappoint, please understand that we strive to give everyone who attends our farm the best and most meaningful experience possible, and we simply do not have the resources to dedicate operating a work experience program and maintaining the current high standards of animal care. We trust the future will bring us more funds and resources to get our work experience program up and running again. We wish you the best on all your endeavours and thank you so much for your interest and understanding.

Donations

How can I donate?

There are many ways to donate to Edgar’s Mission.

Please visit our Donations Page for all the information. Please note all donations over $2 are tax deductible and are greatly appreciated.

Do you have a pattern? I would love to knit a lamb jumper for you?

We truly thank you for your kindness for little lambs in need, but please take comfort (thanks to many kind souls) we have our knitted lamb jackets sorted.  The only jackets we are a little low of are the waterproof dogs jackets like these cool ones.

Best Buddies

Can I sponsor an animal not listed as a Best Buddy?

Our Best Buddy sponsorship program gives people an opportunity to support an individual animal resident and share in their lives. But, of course, the funding goes to help feed and care for all of the animals here at Edgar’s Mission, as well as our outreach work.

We would love nothing more than to expand our Best Buddy program to include the everyone’s favourite residents. However, the administrative logistics of running the sponsorship program with the current animals, while also caring for 350 animals with only sporadic volunteer office support is almost more than we can handle. So, we apologise that we are unable to open the Best Buddy program up to include all of our residents but hope that you understand our reasons. We, and all of our animal residents, very much appreciate your support.

Fundraising (yours and ours) and sharing information

Can you please share my…

First of all, we would like to thank you for working so hard to make our world a better place. It is through the hard work of people such as yourself that we are hopeful of a kinder future for all. We do however, trust that you can understand we regretfully are unable to promote your cause on our Facebook page or website. On a daily basis, we receive an enormous number of similar requests from those seeking to create change and if we were to say yes to one, we really would have to say yes to them all.  This places us in quite a difficult position of bombarding of our supporters with multiple posts, which would see posts losing their important impact. We do however invite you to share your link on our Facebook wall where those who follow our page will be able to see it. This means that we are able to go ahead with our scheduled content for the day (we plan days, weeks and months in advance for many posts), whilst you share your cause alongside it.  This will allow visitors to our page to see both. Again, we are sorry if this is not the answer you were hoping to receive, however we adopted this policy some time ago in the name of fairness and we really must stick by it. Thank you again for continuing to do the work that you do and for supporting Edgar’s Mission, it really does make a world of difference.     

Hey, I want to fundraise for you!

We are indeed heartened to learn of the enthusiasm by caring individuals and groups who wish to help us meet our ever-present need for funds. We are always on the lookout for fund raising ideas that raise money (obviously) but that also give us the opportunity to spread our message of justice and kindness for all animals.

We do ask that any activities you are considering as a fundraiser for Edgar’s Mission are consistent with our values of kindness for all animals, as such we request that they are animal friendly. This would extend to avoiding activities that cause harm and distress to animals, activities that see animals as part of the menu or activities that involve products that have been tested on animals. For example a meat sausage sizzle would be terribly inappropriate for a farmed animal sanctuary, a rodeo that involves live animals or a makeup party that involves cosmetics that were tested on animals or contained animal ingredients would be equally inappropriate.

We understand fully that everyone is at a different stage in their journey of life and while we never wish to tell people what to do or not do in keeping with the spirit of the aims of Edgar’s Mission we cannot support the harming of animals in our name.

This is often something people may not consider but one that is deeply important to us. Even if we were not present at an event, we could not accept donations that cost animal’s lives or contributed to their suffering…the very ones we are trying to save. We hope you can understand our sensitivity to this issue.

Please understand that we do not want to discourage people from considering fund raising for us. It means a lot to us that Edgar’s Mission is important to you and that you support our mission and want to help us in our work.

Animals

I’ve seen an animal in trouble/I want to report animal cruelty or neglect, what should I do?

We sincerely thank you for caring about animals, please never stop doing that. And we commend you for wishing to help an animal in trouble. Sadly we receive many requests such as yours to help animals in need and given our limited resources (that are already pushed to the max) coupled with our lack of legal powers to enter property, compel people to act or seize animals we feel we are not the best place to assist. Please consider also that as we have not witnessed the situation as you have, you really are in the best place to speak up and relay the circumstances of the animal/s concerned. So here’s how. Your first contact could either be with the owner of the animal/s direct, if you are comfortable doing this and can readily contact them or contacting both the local ranger/shire or council and the RSPCA. If the matter is a priority and you have been unsuccessful in making contact with any of the aforementioned parties, please contact the local police as a matter of urgency.

If no action has been taken and the animal/s remain in peril contacting the media may be of assistance in rattling the necessary cage to get the matter resolved. You may also wish to contact the 1800 cruelty hotline number, 1800 751 770, this number applies Australia wide.

For more information about reporting cruelty please click here.

Once again we sincerely thank you caring and understanding our position on this important matter.

Can you take my animal?

We can fully understand why many people turn to Edgar’s Mission when they can no longer provide for an animal in their care. This is especially so for those who have been to the sanctuary and have seen the great lengths we go to in order to provide animals not just with a life but life worth living. However, if we were to even attempt to accommodate every request we would be over-run in a day.

The sad reality is, the ark is just about full, and we too have reached the point where we need to rehome animals where possible. Despite the animals thinking we are superhuman, sadly we are not. Should we attempt to provide sanctuary for every single animal that came our way, the reality is we would be of no service to either the animals in our care or the not so fortunate animals for whom we are an advocate. The physical, financial, logistical and emotional duty would cripple us and diminish the care we were able to provide.

When Edgar’s Mission Farm Sanctuary was created, in part, our motivation was to open people’s hearts and minds to what truly wonderful creatures farmed animals really are, rather than merely thinking about them when their lives have ended or the commodities that they can produce. Studies have shown that people will only care about the things that they know about, and if you never have a chance to get to know what farmed animals’ lives are really like, you will never fully understand how the choices we make in our life affect them. As we have found in their ability to suffer, farmed animals are little different to the cats and dogs that share the hearts and homes of so many people. As such, outreach has become a very important part of the work of Edgar’s Mission. Every animal we take in impacts on our ability to fulfill this important charter. And while we would never ever begrudge helping an animal in need we do not wish to encourage people to abdicate their responsibility to the animals in their care. Rescued animals, those who have absolutely not a friend in the world to look out for them – the lost, abandoned and neglected ones, (many who may require many hours days, weeks and even months of care in the path to their rehabilitation), these are the ones for which Edgar’s Mission was created.

We actually would like to think that a day may come when places like Edgar’s Mission are no longer needed, the day when we humans have fulfilled our role as good stewards of the animal kingdom. We do not want to think that in 100 years from now people are still doing the same things we are doing today and trust people will still be working to make the world a better place, but they will have moved on, having conquered the challenges we face today and that this has, in part, been brought about because of the advocacy work organisations like Edgar’s Mission are doing today.

The daily task of caring for the many residents of the mission, many who have special needs, is no small one indeed and rests with but a few. With this in mind we must be truly watchful to not let our hearts rule our heads and simply keep on taking in every single animal. To do this would see us hurtling down the path of many a hoarder and it would not only severely affect the care we could provide to the animals here but also on our ability to be an advocate for all animals. One of our great challenges is working out which animals need our care and which owners need a hand.

Another important point to be considered is, that if we are truly advocates for animals, we must ensure people realise that animals are not like library books that can simply be put back on the shelf or passed to another when we have finished with them. Animals are living, breathing, thinking and feeling creatures who require a lifetime of care and commitment. As a charity and given our 153 acres, our ability to house animals is limited.  Taking in an owned animal someone, for a variety of reasons can  no longer wants care for can take the place of an abandoned animal who has no one looking out for them. We do, however, encourage people to take ownership of their situation and we will work with them in finding ways to assist with the rehoming process of their animal – after all they are in the best position to know the needs and nuances of the animal in their care. Further it simply does not make sense for a charity to take in an animal someone wishes to rehome, then Edgar’s Mission take on the task of rehoming that same animal. It is not the best use of our limited resources and most importantly not in the best interests of the animal being moved more times than necessary.

So here’s a good start for securing the best outcome for the animal you are responsible for. Be wary of advertising “free to good home” on Internet websites or forums. Often people looking for free animals do not have the animal’s best interests at heart. We strongly advise that, where possible, your animal is desexed to ensure that only genuine animal lovers enquire and not someone looking for a breeding proposition. Social media is a great tool for connecting with people, so why not use it to help find a new home for your animal friend.  If you are concerned about the questions you need to ask potential new carers please take a look at our prospective adoption application for some ideas.  Another idea to cast a wider net in finding a new home for your animal friend/s is contacting your local newspaper.  They are always on the lookout for human interest stories, and an opportunity exists to raise awareness that farmed animals are indeed companion animals too or in the case of roosters the dire situation that face in our society (this is especially so if the roosters have resulted from ill-conceived chicken hatching programs).  Such is our commitment to helping find homes for animals we have created a Facebook page – Edgar’s Mission Farm Animal Adoption Friends to connect those wishing to rehome animals with those who are able to accommodate, love and cherish the animals for the remainder of their years. Animals featured on the Edgar’s Mission Farm Animal Adoption Friend’s Page are in urgent need of safe, permanent adoptive homes – please like the page to join this network. Please note these rehoming/adoptions are independent of the work of Edgar’s Mission and both parties are to conduct due diligence.

We further highly recommend The Animal Rehoming Service, they offer great tips and advice on rehoming also. If you have obtained your animal from a breeder (who is not breeding animals for food or fibre), we recommend contacting them as they need to be made aware of your situation. They, too, have a duty to the animal they have brought into this world.

Although it may take patience and time to find the right home, as a duty to the animal you have taken responsibility for, it is the least you can do for them. Remember they will have come to see you as a part of their family and will not understand the circumstances calling for their relocation. It will be difficult for them also – they rely on you for everything.

Can you take my rooster?

Please read in conjunction with our Can you take my animal? FAQ

Sadly, this is a request we are hearing all too often and we have reached a point where we simply cannot accommodate every request to take in a rooster. Our ability to take in roosters is really strongly subject to how many we have here at one time. To go beyond this carrying capacity would severely impact on the quality of care we can offer the roosters and the myriad of other rescued animals, as well as the most important animal advocacy work we engage in. It is not as simple as just adding another rooster to the flock as is the case of hens. Large numbers of roosters are problematic to care for, for a number of reasons. Crowing aside, roosters will fight and compete with one another for the hens. Hens can become injured and/or stressed as a result of this. Roosters cannot be safely kept with hens when the ratio imbalance favours the males, a good mix would ideally be one rooster for every five to ten hens, with plenty of room in between. One is unable to safely surgically castrate a rooster and chemical castration, in a bid to reduce aggression, has been shown to be a very costly exercise with an equally poor result.

In cases where we are not able to provide a suitable home for an animal, we work with individuals to assist in the rehoming of the said animal. However, in the case of roosters, chances are the very reasons why you no longer are in a position to keep the rooster will be the same reason no one will wish to take them on.

As an organisation dedicated to the protection of farmed animals, it pains us greatly as we struggle to find a solution for the ever growing problem of unwanted roosters. This is compounded by the fact we personally know what wonderful and quirky little guys roosters are, each and every one an individual. We are most hesitant in regards to rehoming roosters as the only people who tend to want them either wish to eat them, or breed with them, either case is not acceptable to us. In the case of the former, we could never allow this, and in the case of the latter, we would simply be moving the problem on as 50% of the chicks that would hatch would also be roosters and we could then well expect more calls down the track to take in more unwanted roosters.

Something that should be borne in mind by all those involved in breeding animals is, what becomes of the offsprings? As guardians of animals we have duties to those we care for, and also those we bring into this world. It is for this reason we most strongly advise against hatching out chicks, unless you are able to personally provide, or secure, lifelong homes for the resulting chicks, be they hens or roosters. It is totally irresponsible to expect someone else to take on the responsibility for a creature you have brought into being simply because it did not meet your expectations.

We most certainly have nothing against roosters for we have found they have wonderful personalities and most, particularly, endearing ones. They, like any other creature, want to have a good life; one worth living, of meaning and purpose, and we have found them to be intelligent and fun loving and can even learn their name. It is heart breaking to know that our society treats these intelligent birds with such disdain that right now, for every laying hen, a rooster was killed before it got to see the light of its second day of life. Deemed unproductive by the egg laying industry, baby roosters have become an inconvenient by-product so much so that around 16 million are killed each year.

Part of our concern for roosters has seen us embark on our ‘Hatching a good idea‘ campaign – a campaign that seeks to end chicken hatching projects in schools, another huge source of unwanted roosters.

Many of the problems associated with people needing to find a new home for their rooster could have been avoided with a little forethought prior to taking the animal on. Please always remember that animals are not like library books and we cannot simply return them to the shelf when finished with them, nor can we swap them for something more interesting when we desire.

Social media is a great tool for connecting with people, so why not use it to help find a new home for your animal friend.  If you are concerned about the questions you need to ask potential new carers please take a look at our prospective adoption application for some ideas.  Something that also helps you cast a wider net in finding a new home for your animal friend/s is contacting your local newspaper.  They are always on the lookout for human interest stories, and an opportunity exists to raise the point that farm animals are indeed companion animals too or in the case of roosters the terrible lot they receive in our society.

We have created a Facebook page – Edgar’s Mission Farm Animal Adoption Friends to connect those wishing to rehome animals with those who are able to accommodate, love and cherish the animals for the remainder of their years. Animals featured on the Edgar’s Mission Farm Animal Adoption Friend’s Page are in urgent need of safe, permanent adoptive homes – please like the page to join this network. Please note these rehoming/adoptions are independent of the work of Edgar’s Mission and both parties are to conduct due diligence.

Although it may take patience and time to find the right home, as a duty to the animal you have taken responsibility for, it is the least you can do for them. Remember they will have come to see you as a part of their family and will not understand the circumstances calling for their relocation. It will be difficult for them also – they rely on you for everything.

Please note we are currently not able to take in any more roosters.

Edgar’s Mission Farm Animal Adoption Friends

Over the years we have recognised the need for safe havens for farmed animals and on a daily basis members of the public, councils and even farmers contact Edgar’s Mission seeking a forever home for animal/s. Sadly we are not able to accommodate them all.

We have created a Facebook page – Edgar’s Mission Farm Animal Adoption Friends to help these animals. The aim of this page is to connect those wishing to rehome animals with those who are able to accommodate, love and cherish the animals for the remainder of their years. Animals featured on the Edgar’s Mission Farm Animal Adoption Friend’s Page are in urgent need of safe, permanent adoptive homes – please like the page to join this network.

Please note these rehoming/adoptions are independent of the work of Edgar’s Mission and both parties are to conduct due diligence.

Do you take horses, dogs, cats and wildlife?

Whilst Edgar’s Mission cares deeply about all animals it has been determined that our limited resources must be directed to rescuing and caring for farmed animals in need. We truly believe through our outreach and advocacy work we shine a light on caring for all animals regardless of the shape they are, our familiarity with them or our use of them. We promote kindness without borders.

Do you take animals on agistment?

No. As a not for profit sanctuary for rescued animals we do not undertake commercial activities such as agistment. To do so would take time and space time away form the essential work of rescuing, caring for and advocating of behalf of farmed animals

What formula do you feed the lambs and kid goats?

The formula we feed the lambs and kid goats are of the highest standards. The lambs drink Wambaroo Sheep Milk Replacer and the kids Passwell Formula One, both give the orphans and their compromised immune systems the best fighting chance possible.

The formulas are made from cow milk derivatives, unfortunately we, like every other sanctuary, are stuck between a rock and a hard place in this regard. We could allow the lambs and kid goats to perish or we can save them, if they are to live we must feed them formula. If there was another option to products that contain dairy, we would certainly use it.

The sad reality is orphaned lambs and goats should not be in this situation to begin with, they should be drinking their own mother’s milk. But on that note, the fact that they have arrived at our sanctuary means they have been spared the dire fate of most commercially bred animals. We only hope that as the message of kindness spreads and concern for farmed animals grows, bottles of formula will no longer be needed.

Can I adopt an animal?

Please visit our adoption page for more information.

I want to start one too!

Whilst it is very commendable that people wish to start a sanctuary for rescued animals there are many things to consider beforehand that can prevent much heartache down the track. Here is but a snapshot of a few considerations.

Edgar’s Mission was established, almost unintentionally, under the watchful eye of our inspirational and much-loved first resident, Edgar Alan Pig. The feelings that inspired me to found Edgar’s Mission are likely to be the same feelings that inspire you to start your own sanctuary for rescued farmed animals – our abhorrence for the scale and injustice of suffering inflicted upon many individual farmed animals around the world and the need to not only offer those we can safety, compassion and lives worth living, but to be a much needed voice for those we cannot. We strive for our residents to be ambassadors for their kin whose suffering behind closed doors and gates is out of the sight and minds of most people. And we strive to offer a means for people to learn about farmed animals and what their lives are really like, allowing them to make informed choices that reflect their own sense of justice, kindness and compassion.

While these reasons for starting a farmed animal sanctuary are entirely sound, the undertaking of such a mission must be very carefully considered. It must be understood that in order to provide the best level of care for the animals dependent upon your care, the dedication required is all-consuming.

As the person who is responsible for the entire functioning of the sanctuary, it requires that you spend varying amounts of time cleaning, medicating, socialising, feeding and watering the animals, answering emails and telephone calls, collecting animals, conducting the financial affairs of the organisation, co-ordinating volunteers, promoting your organisation, fundraising for the sanctuary, and a myriad of other day-to-day tasks that take up time, as well as catching a few hours sleep. Not only does this require an enormous physical commitment but an emotional and financial one as well, not to mention an enormous amount of knowledge. The days are long and tiring and days off are few.

None of this is to say that the joy we can bring to these animals’ lives is not worth it, but in order for sanctuaries to provide the best lives they can to their residents, those who operate them must forego most of what most people would call ‘normal lives’.

The practicalities of starting an animal sanctuary are many fold. Firstly, it is essential to own land that is suitable for the animals who will live in your sanctuary. A recent case in England of a sanctuary facing eviction after many years in existence, highlights one of the problems that can be encountered when one does not have clear title to the land. You must also consult the local council to ensure your planned activity complies with council regulations and bylaws. You will also need to consider neighbours. Will they be receptive? The cost and practicalities of installing/erecting suitable housing and fencing, maybe different for each species, and must also be taken into consideration.

Your selection of land will be of critical importance. Things you will need to consider are, but by no means limited to; rainfall, carrying capacity, water supply, natural shelter, distance to veterinary assistance, accessibility, bushfire threats, existing use of the land, existing and proposed use of neighbouring land and current infrastructure.

Once you have the necessary infrastructure, you must have the necessary funds to ensure that you are always able to feed, water and medicate as necessary, all of the animals in your care with a back-up of at least two months’ outgoings in case of emergency. Securing funds involves fund-raising, establishing and encouraging monthly and one-off donations and applying for grants, all of which are labour-intensive.
The administration of a sanctuary must also be considered and this will include applying for, and operating under a not-for-profit or charitable status, obtaining tax-deductible status, and buying public liability insurance if you wish to allow people to visit your sanctuary. You must also ensure that financial matters are taken care of, including receipts for donations, fulfilling statutory requirements, payment of bills, purchase of supplies, etc.

Of course, you will also rescue animals to live in your sanctuary and they will come from many situations. You will hear about terrible situations of neglect, cruelty and abandonment, and you may rescue from stockyards and farmers who would otherwise slaughter the animals. The problem is not finding animals in need of rescue; it is hearing of those who desperately need help and being unable to offer it to them. You will receive many calls from people who want you to help them, and you may find, with a heavy heart, you will have to say “No”. You must know how many animals you are able to care for at any one time and not exceed this limit in order not to compromise the welfare of the existing residents. This will be one of your greatest challenges.

Record keeping will form a large part of your work, both for the farm and animals you care for. For each rescued animal you will need to keep extensive records, where they came from, health status, other pertinent information along with any veterinary treatments you provide.

I hope this information is of use to you, but because of differing circumstances please don’t take it to be an exhaustive account of the requirements of establishing and running a farmed animal sanctuary. Each case will, of course, be very individual.

From experience, I can say with certainly that the mission I undertake now is the hardest path I could have taken in life. It requires dedication to the point of exclusion of many other aspects of life, and frustration, sadness, anger, despondency, tiredness and desperation are felt alongside the joy, satisfaction, pleasure and sense of privilege, that are experienced when spending all day, every day, working on behalf of rescued farmed animals.

Establishing a place of safety and compassion is one of the most rewarding undertakings you could consider. It will bring an enormous amount of joy into your life as well as an enormous amount of hard work. However, the most important thing to consider is that once the animals are in your care, they are your responsibility and they will rely on you for everything. You must never let them down. This is an enormous undertaking.

With very best wishes for your venture – the animals need as many compassionate people working on their behalf as possible. Please also consider lending a hand or interning at existing sanctuary first to gain valuable insights.

The legal requirements of establishing a not for profit group are very strict, and for good reason.  If you are in Australia and would like more information on the legal requirements of establishing a not for profit group please visit http://www.nfplaw.org.au/beforeyoustart

Other

Are you able to send me pamphlets to place in letterboxes around my neighbourhood?

Whilst we sincerely thank those who wish to help us spread our special message of kindness with the world, we are unable to send out flyers for the purpose of letter box dropping. There are many reasons for this decision, the foremost being that as a not for profit charity, we are funded solely by donations and need to ensure that our resources are wisely allocated. Printing is expensive and a combination of our own research and anecdotal evidence tell us that letterbox dropping is not the most effective method to spread a message such as ours. Additionally, flyers placed into private letterboxes are considered ‘junk mail’ and many individuals (even those who care deeply about animals) place such notices directly in the bin.

If you would like to distribute some of our flyers, we recommend seeking permission to set up an information stall in a public place where interested passerbys may accept brochures if they choose or organising a display at a local library, with pamphlets on offer. These are both great ways to help spread our special message of kindness far and wide.