When we arrived at the animal sanctuary we were so excited to enter into their space and meet all the different characters. Kelly first took us over to the cows and introduced us to one she had saved when it was pregnant and going to a slaughterhouse. As we patted the beautiful cow and its cute young calf we felt such admiration for Kelly’s effort and achievement of saving their lives, along with all the many other animals living at the farm under her care.
There were so many stories she told us about the animals, some heart-breaking and some heart-warming, and it amazed and inspired us to help Kelly by sharing her story with our community.
When asked how it all began, Kelly told us back in the early 2000s she had a passion for adopting and caring for domestic pets that people no longer wanted such as dogs and cats. However, in 2013 she crossed paths with a man who had found a tiny baby goat in a rubbish bin and having only taken in domestic pets previously, she was hesitant but felt it in her heart to help the little goat. She nursed it back to health and named her Sunshine.
Shortly thereafter, Sunshine was joined by Sugars, a (not so) mini piglet from a failed mini pig breeding business. She and her family had been sold to a man who bought pigs to butcher for meat. Coming from poor conditions, and now separated from her family, she was covered in lice, cold and stressed. Once again Kelly’s tender loving care and quick thinking kicked in, and Sugars’ health was restored.
These two animals, Sugars and Sunshine, were the inspiration for Sugarshine Farm Sanctuary, and thereafter many others began to find their way there too.
After meeting with Kelly and hearing about the amazing work she volunteers to do, and in the spirit of World Vegan Day, we are donating 10% of online sales today to Sugarshine Farm. Support today by making a purchase online here or by donating goods or funds directly to Sugarshine Farm here.
Keep an eye out on our Instagram stories today here to meet all the Sugarshine Farm animals, and read on below for our Q&A with Kelly from Sugarshine Farm.
We really respect and value the non-judgemental approach you take with the foundation. What would you say the farm’s mantra is?
While we don’t have a specific mantra we decided from the start that we would never be negative about the people who cared for the animals before they came to us. Sometimes we don’t know what they’ve been through or how they came to be unable to care for the animal so we just decided to think the best of them. We saw no value in deciding the goodness or lack of goodness of another’s soul. As a result, there have been people who have opened their hearts to us, who we could’ve easily judged harshly if we had assumed we knew their story. We thought we would be rescuing animals when we started the sanctuary but we’ve inadvertently rescued some people along the way which has been very special and unexpected.
It's wonderful how much the Sugarshine farm family has expanded since 2013, how many animals live on the farm today?
Our numbers wax and wane but we have the largest number of pigs and roosters of any sanctuary in NSW and Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania that we know of. We have a soft spot for the hard to rehome animals and animals with disabilities. A lot of people think that an animal with a physical disability has a poor quality of life but that just isn’t always true. Many adapt and thrive just like humans do.
How do you see the farm evolving in the future?
We hope that the farm will evolve to being more eco-friendly with less waste and more sustainable. It’s my dream to have a little village of people caring for the animals, sharing their stories, teaching others how amazing these animals are and how we don’t need them to suffer for human convenience.
We can imagine working on the farm and taking in animals of neglect can be challenging and even emotionally taxing at times. What makes it all worth it and brightens up the day?
The other day I was exhausted from caring for a sick pig, I’d tripped and hurt myself, we had hardly any money in the bank and I’d just had to say no to taking in six cows. I was sitting on the ground having a cry and my little goat friend Early came up and rested her forehead on my neck until I stopped and gave her a hug. There are many moments like this. We focus on the happy stories
Any funny stories (I'm sure there's many)? Best rescue story?
We don’t always get things right. When little piglet Bella was brought to us with a horrific facial injury we were so focused on getting her to surgery and helping her heal it took us two weeks before we realised she was a he! By then it had stuck and Bella remains a girl to us, she doesn’t seem to mind.