erika decker


Happy Animal Sanctuary Caregiver Day to the Hardest-Working Group of Caregivers I Know!!

Although the first annual Animal Sanctuary Caregiver Day was actually 10 days ago, because we are all so incredibly busy doing that caregiving, I am posting this a week late. And although this may be a long blog post, in reality it doesn’t even touch the surface of the work and dedication of our amazing shelter team does each and every day — 365 days a year. 

Amy Gaetz with Bianca Giolitto bringing new life into the world and giving mom Julie a hand. Dipping Erin’s umbilical cord, giving him a boost of vitamin E and selenium, and ensuring he can nurse on his own was first priority. Our caregivers are there for each birth and ensure that nothing goes wrong!

Not only do they work hard, but they love hard — and so this job is not only physically demanding, but the responsibility is overwhelming at times. You have lives in your hands, and they are the lives of the most innocent beings that you have already grown to love — often from the moment you meet them.

Caleb Bachara does everything from being a farm assistant to maintenance projects, giving tours to volunteers, training volunteers, and helping out on transport and rescues. Here he is also showing his mad snuggling skills with Regina lamb!

And at Farm Sanctuary, we rescue some of the most abused animals in the world: animals used in food production. More than 70 billion land animals are slaughtered each year worldwide, with the U.S. numbers around 9 billion annually. 

Kim Kaspari with her new pal Junip Sydney, getting to know this little piglet and learning just who she is. Piglets like Junip start out at only 2-4 pounds, and by the end of three to four years of growing, weigh in the hundreds. Restricting their diet but also ensuring that they have pain management for early-onset arthritis, which is quite common with industrial pigs, is imperative for a long, healthy life!

And at Farm Sanctuary, we see each animal — from the smallest bantam rooster to the largest Holstein steer — as an individual, and we have worked for more than 30 years to learn exactly what they need to be treated as such.  

Jessica Due, caregiver at our Southern California shelter, with the tiniest of bantams, Peanut. 

Because many of these animals are genetically altered and selectively bred to have traits that make them more profitable in the industry (to the detriment of their health), they are predisposed to having special needs that only the most talented, highly trained, and dedicated caregivers can supply.

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