Horsin’ Around: Rescue Takes All Kinds: HoofsnHorns Farm Sanctuary

Story By Kelli Van Nuys      Photo Courtesy of HoofsnHorns

HoofsnHorns Farm Sanctuary is not easy to find, but it is more than worth the trip. After winding through seemingly endless dirt roads, Kia and Nia, two staggeringly large Great Pyrenees, stand ready to greet their new visitor. From outside the car, they may seem intimidating, but both dogs melt as soon as they see a smiling face and excitedly push themselves into the new visitor’s arms. This warm welcome into the sanctuary is only the beginning of this amazing rescue.

Shelby Brawley founded the rescue more than 16 years ago, working with her mother to save countless animals from harsher lives. Her passion for taking care of each and every rescue is clear as she talks about the lives and rescue stories for each horse, cow, pig, goat, dog, cat, and bird in her care. They earn a new name at her sanctuary, and a better life.

HoofsnHorns Farm Sanctuary is one of the few rescues in Tucson that takes in cows, pigs, and goats. Their most recent rescue is Anabel, a baby goat who was saved at barely 24 hours old. Spunky and playful, Anabel brings life to the sanctuary as she prances through the paths at top speed, performing jumps and kicks along the way. Every one of the other sanctuary residents watch Anabel with curiosity, but she does not let the attention make her nervous! Anabel, like many of the residents, has access to endless toys and structures, and she quickly conquers one of the most fun creations: the “Roller Goatster!”

Shelby provides plenty of space and activities for each of the rescues. Two colorful Macaws have their own outdoor enclosure, with indoor access to get human interaction. Bonnie, the blind cow, has her own pen where she can roam around without worrying about bumping into anyone. Shelby separates the intact male goats from the general goat population, preventing more unexpected births, and calls their special zone “the Frat House.” There’s a separate space where Potbelly pigs happily roam and squeal while eating their hay. There is even a full-sized pig, a testament to the HoofsnHorns mission to provide sanctuary and care to any animal in need.

In the back, against an indoor shelter with an overhead heating lamp, Shelby keeps the special needs animals. She provides attentive end-of-life care to some of her rescues, as well as special food and medicine to those with medical needs. There’s a chicken house with its own Great Pyrenees protector, and at least five rescued feral cats who keep the mouse population under control. Kia and Nia, the sanctuary’s main greeters, perform the important job of protection and patrol; their hulking size and impressive instincts keep out coyotes, snakes, and even bobcats!

One of the most admirable things about HoofsnHorns Farm Sanctuary, in addition to their individualized knowledge about each rescue’s story, is their creativity. When visiting the sanctuary, it is clear that every possible tool and housing structure is used. There are fences supported by rope, wires, boards, and extra fence to ensure some of the more adamant escape artists are safely contained. Hand-painted signs around the sanctuary give it a rustic feel, and there are areas with extra materials awaiting use to fix future problems. The sanctuary has a great relationship with the surrounding community and with other rescues throughout Tucson and Phoenix, each contributing materials, supplies, and extra space when sudden needs arise.

Last year, HoofsnHorns participated in Arizona Gives Day, and received a generous donation for new, stable fencing around their corrals. The sanctuary has worked hard to put up this fencing. They are grateful for the substantial security and relief the sturdier fencing provides all the animals. This year, HoofsnHorns is reaching out to the community for help with an even more vital project: a new barn for the rescues. Winter temperatures cause the goats and sheep to huddle together in piles, and hot summer temperatures make it impossible for them to enjoy moving around. HoofsnHorns would like to provide a shelter from the extreme heat and cold. The barn would provide rescues like Anabel with even more safety and security.

Please vote for HoofsnHorns to receive their barn for Arizona Gives Day 2019, and make difference for this incredible sanctuary!

There are many rescues that work with dogs and cats in Tucson, but very few that step outside the norm and build a forever home for some of the community’s needier animals. People may forget to think about what happens to goats like Anabel when their mothers cannot provide them with proper milk, or Potbelly Pigs who are too spunky to be house pigs. HoofsnHorns provides them with a life and a home, and caretakers who give each rescue their entire heart. The rescue survives off of donations, without any sponsors. HoofsnHorns needs extra support to purchase hay and feed bags.

Email hoofsnhornsfarm@gmail.com to set up a visit to the sanctuary, and consider volunteering or donating to help HoofsnHorns rescue even more animals in need. www.hoofsnhornsfarm.org

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