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Susquehanna Life

Farm Animal Sanctuary to Hold Canvas Painting Fundraiser

Jul 01, 2015 03:41PM ● By Kevin

Roy and Lorie Hernesh relocated to the Mifflinburg area in 2007, following Roy’s retirement from a law enforcement career out of state.  The couple chose the Susquehanna Valley as their new home for a variety of reasons, including its proximity to their friends and family in the northeast, the semi-rural environment that still offers easy access to shopping and entertainment and a much more affordable cost of living than where they had been living. 

Retirement provided the couple with the time to devote to causes they find important. Roy spent 5 years as a volunteer CPR instructor for the American Red Cross, 5 years as a volunteer First Responder/EMT for the Mifflinburg Community Ambulance and he is in his fourth year volunteering at T & D’s Cats of the World Wildlife Refuge in Penns Creek.  Lorie has worked as the Children’s Program Coordinator for the Herr Memorial Library since 2012.  Lifelong animal lovers, the couple decided in 2012 to utilize their nearly 14 acre property to fulfill their longstanding desire to help animals in need.  They began to take in and offer permanent homes to smaller farm animals, such as miniature horses, goats and llamas, from people who no longer wanted them or were unable to keep them for some reason or another.  It became apparent very quickly that there is a real need for this type of sanctuary. 

Many people in the region have farm animals that they have raised or acquired as pets, 4H projects or for hobby farming but due to changes in their situations are no longer able to keep them.  Oftentimes these owners care deeply for the animals and do not want them going to auction or potentially unsuitable or unstable homes.  Roy and Lorie offer these people peace of mind that their animal will be in a permanent loving home.

After 3 years of adding shelters, building fences and reclaiming pasture land from weeds, Roy and Lorie decided that the time had come to formally create their nonprofit farm animal sanctuary.  As of January, 2015 the Farm Animal Rescue of Mifflinburg (FARM) was incorporated with its stated mission of providing permanent homes, quality feed and care to unwanted, abandoned or neglected miniature horses, goats, llamas and alpacas.  The organization also advocates for the humane treatment of these and all animals through outreach programs.  The Farm Animal Rescue of Mifflinburg was granted 501(c)3 status as a public charity by the IRS effective February, 2015. 

One of the questions often asked of the FARM is, where do you get your animals?  We have animals that were breeding stock from failed farms; pets that children outgrew or the family lost interest in; animals that had been companions to other livestock that died or were sold; and we have animals that were loved by their families, but were in need of re-homing due to financial challenges.  The animals’ stories, along with their photos can be viewed on the Farm Animal Rescue of Mifflinburg website, and on the organization’s Facebook page. 

There are many animal rescue organizations in Pennsylvania and many more animals in need than space available in those organizations.  Just about every nonprofit animal rescue director will tell you that the greatest challenge their organization faces is collection of financial assistance.  At the Farm Animal Rescue of Mifflinburg, this situation is made more difficult by the nature of the FARM as a permanent sanctuary.  Traditional rescue organizations rehabilitate surrendered animals and then re-home them, charging the adopting family a fee.  These fees can range anywhere from under $100 to more than $1000 depending on the type of animal and the policies of the rescue organization.  At the Farm Animal Rescue of Mifflinburg, animals are not adopted out or re-homed, so the number of animals using resources continually increases and adoption fees never received.  The reason the FARM refuses to adopt out animals is that the organization believes providing a permanent home to animals, particularly herd animals that are interdependent on each other, is a crucial component in enhancing the animals’ quality of life and psychological stability.  Every resource available to the organization is managed to maximize benefit to the animals.  No person affiliated with the FARM receives a salary, honorarium or financial benefit of any kind; but support from the public is urgently needed to provide FARM services to more animals in need.

Donations to the FARM may be made online through the organization’s website, or you may support the FARM by attending the Art for Animals Painting Party Fundraiser which will be held at the Barn Owl Art Studio in Lewisburg on Sunday afternoon, July 12 from 1 – 3.  The fundraiser will include the opportunity to paint and take home a canvas painting inspired by the animals under the guidance of studio owner Annie Izumi along with a chance to win some great prizes in support of the FARM.  Registration information is available online at

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