The Greene County Sheriff’s Office received a community tip about a property holding over 100 animals in abysmal conditions. The animals were languishing, with many reportedly near death. The property was littered with trash and debris, and the animals had limited access to food and fresh water.
The deputies planned to raid the property and seize as many animals as they could, calling in four animal rescue organizations for help. This included a call to Sarah Osborn Barwick.
Barwick runs Feel Better Farm Equine and Farm Animal Rescue with her husband, Jason, and their children, Wyatt and Lily. The rescue farm took in the majority of the abused animals, including a goat, pigs, sheep, and a variety of birds.
“We went in and we seized what eventually ended up being 131 animals, who were living in just absolutely horrible conditions,” Barwick told UVA Today.
After spending six hours identifying and tagging the animals, the rescue teams began the process of loading the animals for transport. Many of the animals were injured, including sheep that were too weak to walk and needed to be carried to their trailers. Feel Better Farm ended up taking in 114 animals that night, all with food and shelter waiting for them at home.
Barwick established Feel Better Farm in 2016. She says she’d always wanted to create an animal rescue and so, as a self-proclaimed “horse girl,” when she saved her first horse from slaughter, there was no turning back. The farm sits on 20 acres of pasture, housing five stall barns, two outbuildings, and a 600-square-foot chicken coop.
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Barwick’s goal for the rescue farm is to house and heal abused and dejected animals, in hopes of one day finding them all great adoptive homes.
“Anyone who does not find a home stays with us,” explained Barwick. The farm runs entirely off of donations ranging from veterinary care to food and supplies. They also provide ample opportunities to volunteer, though they have seen an immense drop in the volunteers due to COVID-19.
“We’re always happy to teach you about horses or other animals,” said Barwick of the volunteer opportunities. “There’s always a horse that needs to be groomed. There are always animals that need to be fed.”
To learn more about Feel Better Farm and ways to donate, check out their website!
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