Since 1991, executive director Daniella Tessier has run the 15-acre Peace Ridge Sanctuary in Maine as a haven for nontraditional animals. With the help of donors, the sanctuary acquired a big new property of 800 acres where Tessier hopes to expand existing services and provide new ones. The cost of building shelters on the new facility and moving a growing population of animals, which numbers 250 as of June 2016, has caused her to reach out for community support to help realize her vision.Tessier operates Peace Ridge Sanctuary as a haven for neglected and abused livestock such as horses, cows, goats, sheep and pigs. The facility also takes in dogs, cats, rabbits and farm birds. Peace Ridge accepts animals from situations where they would not otherwise survive, such as factory farms, hatcheries, holding facilities and high-kill shelters. For instance, the Animal Welfare Office rescued 18 neglected goats in 2014, many of which were pregnant. Peace Ridge took them in and nurtured them, and as of late 2015 the herd had expanded to around 40. Besides providing shelter and a respectful space for animals to live in peace, Peace Ridge has adoption, foster and education programs aimed at placing animals in appropriate homes.
In the new, much larger facility, Tessier plans to continue existing activities and increase educational and service programs. The plans include expansion of companion animal rescue, equine rescue and farm animal rescue programs. She plans to open a pet food pantry and a community clinic that offers veterinary service such as spaying, neutering and other special care. She hopes to provide humane education and work collaboratively with other organizations such as shelters, animal rights groups, law enforcement and environmental advocates.The ability to make the move to the larger facility and realize these larger dreams for the nontraditional animals in her care is dependent on finding donors that can provide the necessary funding. To understand her passion for such animals, read this article on why people are so fond of goats.
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