Betty came from a small petting zoo in California, where piglets are kept until they are too big to have the public interact with, at which point they are sent to slaughter. When she was two days old, Betty’s mother accidentally stepped on her and she was badly injured. She was nursed back to health and eventually found her forever home at Charlie’s Acres. Now, you can almost always find Betty right next to her adopted “sister” Minnie or playing gently with the new, smaller piglets who have recently joined the group. Betty loves attention from her human friends and will across the yard towards you if she thinks she might score some belly rubs.
Bella was purchased from a breeder to be a family pet. She was fed an improper diet of canned dog food and candy and became so overweight that her belly drug on the ground and the fat folds on her face blocked her vision. When she first came to Charlie's Acres, she was very nervous but with a lot of love and patience, she eventually came to trust us. We immediately put her on a strict, healthy diet and encouraged her to exercise daily by walking around the barn. Bella gradually began to lose weight, gain more confidence, and venturing further from her stall each day. She has lost a significant amount of weight and continues to live a healthier lifestyle with her new friends!
Scotch is a 20-year-old painted mare, who came to us after the death of her friend and pasture mate when it became clear that she wasn't thriving by herself. She has a painful hind leg, which prevents her from being ridden. Unfortunately, the odds are often stacked against horses who can no longer be ridden, as they're no longer deemed "useful." She's also completely deaf! Scotch met Dakota, a 16-year-old painted gelding, on her first day at Charlie’s Acres and they quickly became close friends. It’s been incredible to see her place her trust in Dakota and to watch their friendship blossom!
Honey came to Charlie’s Acres at 10 years old, after spending her life in the dairy industry. Like most female cows used for dairy, she was taken from her mother shortly after birth, and raised to suffer the same fate. Cows used for dairy are kept nearly constantly pregnant so that they continue producing milk. Unlike most cows used for dairy, Honey found a happy ending. She gave birth to her final son, Benjamin, in 2018 and they were taken in by a small homestead before ending up at Charlie’s Acres. Despite her tragic upbringing, Honey is incredibly sweet. She is happy to finally be able to nurse and raise a child and spends her days grazing with her son and enjoying a well-deserved retirement with her beautiful family.
Penny was rescued with a group of over 1,000 hens from a “pasture raised” farm. Terms such as "pasture raised", “cage-free”, and “humane” can be misleading and are often not what consumers expect. In this case, hens were living in a dirt field, with an open-ended shed. Lower ranking hens weren't able to make it into the shed at night so and many hens were killed by predators every night. At three years old, these hens were “spent”, meaning their bodies could no longer produce enough eggs to be considered profitable and they were destined for slaughter. However, this lucky group was rescued and given a second chance.
Petunia spent the first year of her life in a laboratory, used for testing. We do not know exactly what she was used for in this lab, but she arrived covered in scabs and rashes. She came to live at Charlie's Acres on her first birthday and touched grass for the very first time that day! Now, she loves being outside and is the last one to go to bed each night, always far out in the field snacking on grass until the last bit of sunlight disappears. Petunia became a quick favorite as she grew to be more confident and outgoing, coming up to visitors and nudging them with her nose, asking for belly scratches. Her skin has improved thanks to regular skin conditioner treatments (and frequent mud baths).
Michael came to Charlie's Acres when he was only 11 days old. He was headed to auction when he was rescued by a woman who couldn’t stand the thought of letting him go to slaughter. She convinced the farmer to give him to her and bring him to Charlie’s Acres. He was bright and happy from the beginning and loves human attention. Now that he's grown up, Michael is still known for his goofy personality and is a social butterfly among humans and goats. He loves having other goats to play with and is always encouraging his best friend, Norman, to play with him. Michael's favorite games are head butting and bouncing on the trampoline.
Roger & Mama
Mama and Roger are one of our most heartwarming couples. Mama came to Charlie's Acres after being attacked by a dog and losing one of her legs. She had settled in as the matriarch of our sheep group and was gaining confidence on three legs, when Roger joined the group. Roger, recently blind due to neurological damage, was understandably fearful and confused, finding comfort in Mama's calm presence. Roger would become distressed when he could not easily find Mama, so we placed a bell around Mama's neck so he can always know where she is. He relies on Mama to find his way back to the barn at night and she sticks close to him, occasionally leaning on him for support.
Mei Li made the long journey from Utah to Charlie’s Acres along with her two companions, Daisy and Sapphire, Just days before these girls were scheduled to be killed for Thanksgiving dinner, animal rights activists and Oscar-nominated actor James Cromwell, negotiated the release of 100 turkeys from a Utah farm in "act of Thanksgiving mercy" that aimed to show the world "that even adversaries can show compassion this holiday season". These 100 fortunate turkeys all went to sanctuaries, where they can live the rest of their lives without fear. Mei Li amazes us all with her resilience and her trust towards humans, despite her callous start in life. She adores people and will hop up on any lap that is available, sometimes even settling in so well that she falls asleep while being held.
Ginger was brought to Charlie’s Acres by a young activist who negotiated with her former owner to relinquish her. She arrived at Charlie’s Acres in extremely poor health due to severe neglect; emaciated, full of parasites, and suffering from a life-threatening udder infection. Ginger arrived accompanied by her adopted daughter, Mary Ann, who had been rejected by her own mother and whose development was stunted due to nutritional deficiencies. We feared for Ginger’s survival during those first weeks and were thrilled as we saw her put on weight and gain strength. Ginger runs to greet us and takes all her medical treatments in stride, amazing us with her friendliness and positive attitude, despite her terrible start in life. This inseparable pair spends their days in the grass and sunshine as they continue to grow stronger.
Lucy was born on a farm which raised Katahdin hair sheep for their meat. Shortly after she was born, her mother died. Lucy was bottle fed and hand raised by a foster mom who couldn’t bear to send this sweet girl back to be slaughtered so she reached out to us to provide a safe home for her. Typically lambs like Lucy would be killed between the ages of six and eight months, however Lucy's natural lifespan is about 12 years old. Lucy is still young and very goofy, often getting the “zoomies” and springing around the pasture before bed, encouraging the younger lambs to follow suit.
Johnny is a special little goat who requires extra care. Born to a breeder, Johnny’s brain did not develop properly, and he has significant difficulties balancing. Because he has special needs, Johnny was not considered profitable and so was rescued and bottle fed. Our incredible team of volunteers use a special harness to help Johnny with his physical therapy. This little goat has made great progress and doesn't let any setback get him down. Though we’re unsure if he’ll ever walk completely on his own, he's eager to explore and is quick to get back up again when he falls.