Rescue farm looking for volunteers and foster families with plans to expand in 2021

Rescue farm looking for volunteers and foster families with plans to expand in 2021
"Dodge Ram" at Feel Better Farm. (Source: WVIR)

ESMONT, Va. (WVIR) - Feel Better Farm Equine and Farm Rescue mission is in its name: to make rescued farm animals feel better.

Last November, the nonprofit took part in a large-scale farm animal rescue in Greene County, saving a range of animals like horses, ducks, pigs, sheep. Farm Director Sarah Osborn-Barwick said as the farm continues to save animals, it needs more space and public interest, a task that will require more hands on deck.

“Getting a bigger foster circle and spreading our name out there, and getting more known, not just in the equine circles, but in farm animal circles as well, means that we can bring in more foster families into our group, and that provides more opportunity for our animals, not only to get them into foster care, but to get them into adoptive homes,” Osborn-Barwick said.

Osborn-Barwick said since the Greene County rescue, the support from the greater Charlottesville community has been overwhelming. It comes at a good time, too, as the farm hopes to expand its footprint over the next year.

“We plan to rearrange some of our pasturing. Improve the small animal containment areas that we have right now, give them more space. That’s what they want, space, they like to roam, they like to graze, and we want to give that to them in the healthiest way that we possibly can,” Osborn-Barwick said.

To do that, the farm is asking for more donations and volunteers. Given the nature of the work ahead, it’s a safe way to volunteer your time during the pandemic.

“It’s 20 acres, we got a lot of space. All of our stalls are 12x12, so at the bare minimum, you’re six feet away from each other. Most of the activities that we have for volunteers here are all outdoors,” she explained.

Other volunteer opportunities that do not involved getting your hands dirty are also available, like helping with the farm’s social media or website.

For regular volunteers like Luke Bennett, giving time to help with farm duties is a way of showing gratitude. Bennett said as a parent, it’s a way to teach his children about volunteering in a fun and educational way.

“As much as the world is telling you to have a career and make all the money in the world and have all the fancy things, it’s incredibly important to humble yourself to come do some volunteer work and give back to animals who give so much to us,” Bennett said. “These animals are super incredible. All they want is a bit of love and a bit of support, and it’s the least we can do as humans in this world.”

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