With the New Year just beginning, we want to reflect on the incredible year that has passed. 2023 was a huge year for AFS with many lives saved, the integration of a new education program, and raised funds to sustain the 208 current residents, enabling them to live their best lives at the sanctuary. Some key highlights from this year are outlined below but if you want to delve deeper into the strides made at the farm in 2023, you can read the full 2023 Impact Report.
A key highlight of this year was the 55 lives saved including (but not only) Laverne and Shirley, who were rescued from medical testing, eight calves (Zoe, Ferdie, Nox, Pax, Chance, Boo, Pokey, and Charlie) who required bottle feeding, and 36 chicks who saved from ritual sacrifice.
AFS continued offering tours, events, and educational content online throughout this year. Additionally, AFS became a participating sanctuary of LEAP (Leaders for Ethics, Animals, and the Planet), offering high school students an alternative to programs like 4H and FFA. Students dedicated 100 hours to learning compassion for farm animals through hands-on experiences.
Thanks to the committed donors and our community of fundraisers, AFS was able to continue rescuing new residents and supporting existing ones, addressing their daily needs and aiding in medical emergencies. We were able to purchase a medical transport van and pig lift, have Wally’s broken leg repaired, and build infrastructure to ensure residents safety and comfort during the excruciatingly hot summer and freezing cold winter months.
Looking Forward to 2024 (with our new 2024 calendar)
AFS experienced incredible growth in 2023 within our family of residents, farm infrastructure, and community connections, and we can’t help but be excited for 2024 and what is to come! Mark your calendars for our Hay Bale Fundraiser kicking off on January 8th. It’s all about stocking up on hay to ensure our residents have plenty of hay to munch on and snuggle into. The sanctuary goes through about 30,000 pounds of hay each month in winter months which costs nearly $5,000.
With early frosts and the grass going dormant, our heard of nearly 30 bovine are taking in over 1,000 pounds of hay each day. We need it to raise $8,000 so we can buy enough hay to get us through the winter months. Keep an eye on our social media for its launch. If we hit our hay goal to ensure our current resident’s feed needs, we will be able to commit to bringing Rufus, a water buffalo in Northern California, home to Austin.
For other ways to get involved, you can make a one time donation or sponsor a resident on behalf of yourself or a loved one! Looking to get even more involved this year? Volunteer at the farm with us! For an amazing experience getting to know and care for the residents alongside our community of volunteers and staff. There are numerous opportunities to get involved, whether you’ve never cared for an animal before or have years of experience. Sign up for our next volunteer orientation happening on Saturday, January 20th at 10:30 am.
Here’s to a fantastic 2024, thank you for being a part of it!