HoofsnHorns Farm Sanctuary

Story by Bonnie Craig, Photos Courtesy of Shelby Brawley
Many, if not most Tucson Dog readers have been involved in rescue in some form at some point. Dogs and cats are the most common animals in shelters and rescues, but there are a wide variety of equine rescues, as well as any other animal you can name, from small rodents, to birds, reptiles, etc. Regardless of species, a lot of time, money, and care is necessary to run a rescue properly. HoofsnHorns Farm Sanctuary is in a unique position to understand this.

Farm animals come with their own special set of requirements. Vet care can be much more costly than with smaller domestic animals, and they need considerably more space and infrastructure. Each species of farm animal needs their own type of care, which is not necessarily common knowledge, meaning potential volunteers must be more rigorously trained, and if that isn’t enough, inflation has sent feed bills through the roof. Somehow HoofsnHorns keeps on keeping on, despite it all.

H&H founder and CEO Shelby Brawley cares for many animals residing in the sanctuary, who aren’t just limited to those with hoofs and horns. She estimates over 150 goats and sheep, six cows, two mini donkeys, two mini horses, three full size horses, 38 pigs, 15 ducks, a dozen roosters, one turkey, one tortoise, one macaw, one llama, one alpaca, 14 house dogs and three livestock guardian dogs, and around 15 cats. This is a sizable collection of critters, but Shelby still manages to remember everyone’s name, who is friends with who, and which ones need to give each other a wide berth.

This attention to detail comes naturally for Shelby who, along with her mother Sidney Smith (AKA farm grandma), founded HoofsnHorns which attained 501c3 status in 2013. The love for animals, and farm animals in particular runs in the family. Shelby grew up loving horses, and Sydney kept pet pigs when Shelby was young. She later ended up with two potbellied pigs herself. One even slept in bed with her.

With a background in the retail, legal, and medical fields, Shelby was equipped to handle just about anything. She eventually began helping out a local vet and bringing home animals who were going to be euthanized, usually due to lack of funds on the part of their owners. This was the seed of what is now HoofsnHorns Sanctuary.

Over the years there has been an endless parade of amazing animals in need who have used the sanctuary as a pitstop on the road to recovery or adoption, or just ended up staying to live out their days in peace and comfort. From Chester, Shelby’s first goat and constant companion who lived to the ripe old age of 15, to the sanctuary’s current youngest resident Nya, an indoor/outdoor piglet, they are all living their best lives. Not everyone shows up alone however. A whole herd of Boer goats came from a home where the family had simply left in the middle of the night. The poor desperate goats were getting out and roaming the neighborhood when they were rescued and brought to H&H, where they were able to have some much needed rest and relaxation. Many of them eventually found new homes, but four of them still reside at the sanctuary.

The sheriff’s department brought in another goat herd, this time Nubians, eight of which were pregnant, producing 12 kids. These certainly weren’t the only mothers who found refuge with H&H. When the sanctuary took in a small pregnant goat from a sick man who couldn’t care for her, she ended up giving birth to three full sized kids, but the fourth, was born so small he could fit in the palm of Shelby’s hand. At two weeks, he weighed only one pound. Against all odds, the tiny goat who came to be called Pedro grew up and thrived as a farm favorite, living to be six years old.

So many animals have received help from H&H over the years, and continue to do so, although the farm’s residents aren’t the only ones who benefit. The sanctuary helps community agencies such as the Sheriff’s department and Pima Animal Care Center (PACC), and even taught a class for the Humane Society of Southern Arizona on how to catch and restrain livestock in the event of a natural disaster.

Though they are basically at capacity now, H&H still gets calls all the time from community members in need. They have provided advice, mentorship, and even animal midwifery services in some cases. Despite all the help HoofsnHorns Farm Sanctuary gives, they need help too. With eight to ten bales of hay being consumed per day, as well as all manner of animal specific feed, they can always use donations.

To find out how you can help, or to schedule a tour or visit, go to http://www.hoofsnhornsfarm.org.



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