TOWN OF DOVER — Time is running out for Tiny Hooves animal sanctuary to meet its end-of-year goal of raising $50,000 to support its ongoing efforts and capital projects.
As of Dec. 21, the non-profit organization that is currently caring for 163 rescued farm animals, had raised just $11,379.
“We are struggling a little bit more this year than we have with our year-end fundraiser,” said Beca Thompson, founder and president. She added many organizations that rely on donations are facing shortfalls during the pandemic.
The animals at the sanctuary — founded in Somers in 2015 to help rescue animals seized as part of a neglect case in Walworth County — include goats, pigs, sheep, cows, miniature mules, donkeys, horse and and a host of feathered creatures.
Originally located on three acres off of Highway KR in Somers, Tiny Hooves relocated to 1117 N. Britton Road in Dover, northwest of Union Grove, after Foxconn announced plans to build across the street. The move was made possible with help from a private foundation that purchased a 33-acre farm and entrusted it to the organization.
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In 2021, among other efforts, Tiny Hooves provided more than $50,000 in veterinary care, improved pastures and built new shelters for the miniature donkeys and dwarf goats, purchased a round bale feeder for the sanctuary’s five cows, and planted a new organic garden.
The funds being raised during this campaign will support additional capital projects and be used to help care for 52 new animals rescued in 2021.
“We took in seven goats and two dogs in September from a neglect case in Ohio,” Thompson said, adding some of the animals in that case had perished. “It was a really sad situation. The woman who was caring for them developed dementia and the family stepped in a little too late.”
Donations can be made in support of a specific animal, the biographies of which can be found on the organization website tinyhooves.org.
For example, by visiting the website, sponsors can choose between a one-month sponsorship for $15, or a one-time yearly sponsorship of $180 in support of Jude, the lone turkey at the sanctuary.
Jude, who has severe arthritis, has been living at Tiny Hooves since 2016. He is a slate heritage breed with grey, blue, and white colors and markings.
“We are ecstatic that he will never have to worry for his life, as he is safe forever with us,” Thompson said. “Jude makes us smile daily with his inquisitive vocals and silly personality, and his excitement for treats and meeting new people. His favorite snacks are blueberries, sunflower seeds, chopped kale, and the occasional popcorn treat.”
Sadness over Carl
Thompson said she wishes they could have helped care for Carl the Turkey who had made the Forest Park area of Kenosha is home. However, the sanctuary is not licensed to take in wild animals.
“I so, so wish we could have helped,” Thompson said. “I would have taken him in a heartbeat, but we can’t co-mingle wild animals with domestic animals.”
Tiny Hooves was able to help with a similar case in Union Grove last July. There, residents found a peacock — not considered a wild animal — roaming their neighborhood.
“That is an interesting one,” Thompson said. “He is our first and only peacock. We don’t see a lot of them around here. They are fully flighted birds, so if one want to leave a farm they just go.”
Residents fed the peacock, now named Azul, for several months before one couple was able to lure him into their garage and contact Tiny Hooves. Azul, who had no identification tag, had an open wound on his chest and needed immediate care.
“We rushed him to our avian vet, who was able to clean him up and suture him back together, and we were sent home with fingers crossed all around that he would heal,” she recalled. “Well, it took many months to fully heal, and many, many bandage changes and angry peacock sounds, but he is now healed and slowly learning to trust us.”
Thompson said Azul’s “absolute favorite thing in this world is a bowl of fresh blackberries.”
The increase in the number of birds has created a need for new aviaries.
“We are creating new aviaries for all of our ducks and geese as well as our chickens that will be fully predator protected,” Thompson said. “Hopefully, for the waterfowl, we’ll have an in-ground pool, which we’re really excited about.”
Other projects planned for 2022 include fencing a shelter for seven goats, indoor chicken coops for times of inclement weather, and installation of permanent fans in the barn stalls.
Thompson said they also plan to launch species-specific tours to increase educational opportunities during the summer months.
For a full list of ways to help visit https://www.tinyhooves.org/howtohelp.