Happy Herd: A Loving Home For BC Farm Animals
One of the residents of Happy Herd Farm Sanctuary
You & Me BC
February 7th, 2022
Aldergrove's Happy Herd Farm Sanctuary is a place of unconditional love.
Started to provide a safe place for abused and abandoned farm animals, it's now home to over 100 animals, each with their own personalities, but all with love in their hearts.
When Desi Met Lucy
For Diane and Steve Marsh, it started 9 years ago.
They'd just moved to a large retirement property, and with extra time on their hands, they decided to put their lifelong love of animals into action.
Having been disturbed by what they learned of dolphin slaughters in Japan, they began attending local slaughter auctions, with the plan of purchasing animals up for auction and then nursing them back to health.
Diane hadn't attended with plans to buy any particular animal, but it was at one of these auctions that a week old calf stole her heart.
"It felt like I was hit by a car when I saw the poor little thing."
That little calf, who's now 9-years-old and known as Desi Moo Moo, became Happy Herd's first animal, but certainly not the last.
The next week Diane returned to the auction and picked up a piglet, now known as Lucy, and the little piglet quickly became best friends with Desi.
Happy Herd's first pair of animals - and best friends - Desi Moo Moo and Lucy
"It got into my heart and I wanted to do more and more and more."
And that she did.
With much love and care, as well as help from the community, Happy Herd's now home to 60 chickens, 24 goats and sheep, 13 pigs, 5 turkeys, 3 cows, as well as cats and donkeys.
Everyone Has A Favourite
Among this happy herd are a number of colourful characters.
There's Gibbles, who Diane calls 'kind of our ambassador.' A goat with only 3 legs, he's the plucky leader of a happy little family, caring for Bubba the lamb and Pickles the pig.
Then there's Gordie, a stray pig brought to the sanctuary after being found roaming nearby, who's the sweetie of the herd and steals everyone's heart.
Happy Herd ambassador Gibbles (top left) with other Happy Herd friends
But each animal has a unique personality and is loveable in their own way - and offers love in their own way.
"Every one of them, they'll love you if you give them love, even the turkeys if you call their names. Once you get to know the animals you'll always love them; you'd have to be a hard-hearted person not to."
The Best Lives Possible
Diane credits the surrounding community for helping make Happy Herd a reality, and as such, the sanctuary welcomes visitors with open arms.
"People from all walks of life come to the sanctuary, and they all leave saying it was the happiest hour of their week."
To help keep it open and offer a safe, happy home to more farm animals, Diane says community support's needed now more than ever.
"We're desperately looking to expand, but prices of land have gone way past what we can afford."
"So we're trying to use land smarter, building better areas for animals, finishing new barns, and making sure they have the best lives possible."
BC's farm animals having the best lives possible - now that's something to be happy about.
To support the animals, visit www.happyherd.org/donate
To get in touch with Spencer van Vloten, editor of You & Me BC, please send an email to email@example.com