"We have never seen anything like this before." - Brad King, Farm Animal Rescue
Farmed animal sanctuaries in Australia are currently experiencing the harshest conditions they have ever faced. The long lasting drought and continuing fires have meant they are facing severe shortages and many are being forced to buy in food and water at great cost. Some are in dire need and are struggling to find enough funds to continue.
These sanctuaries care for thousands of animals, including cows, sheep, pigs, goats, chickens and turkeys.
Many of these animals have been rescued from horrific conditions and are now safe in a sanctuary to be looked after for the rest of their natural lives.
The sanctuaries receive no support from government drought assistance programs nor do they get any help from charities such as Buy A Bale.
If you are able to help out these amazing people who dedicate their lives to caring for rescued farmed animals, please donate directly to the sanctuaries. Every dollar raised will be used to help the animals with food, water, vet fees and other essentials. There are many sanctuaries in need of help in these extremely difficult times. All are listed here.
Below are some sanctuaries that have contacted Vegan Australia for this appeal.
Home to nearly 500 large animals, A Place of Peace has faced relentless drought for three years. When the Braidwood fires hit us three weeks ago, we had run out of water. We stayed to defend. All the animals survived. But we're still on alert for fires around us.
Because of the burnt bushland, we're now feeding and watering all the wildlife who desperately need humans to provide for them. There's nothing left. We're personally living on donated food now so we can keep our sanctuary going. There is no other option but to continue to provide refuge for those in need. Thank you so much for your support. - Billie
We have only just got our animals back to the sanctuary after having had them evacuated for over 2 weeks. The pastures at Little oak are dry and dusty, the creek has stopped, and our dams are drying up. We have to go farther afield to find water so deliveries are more expensive.
Then came the fires. A 37,000ha fire came within 2 km of the sanctuary. We evacuated our animals to safety, but this didn't come without costs: transport costs, feed and water at evacuation locations, vet fees for animals injured during the evacuation. We spent weeks prepared to defend the sanctuary, home to over 180 animals, we lost income from not being able to work, and we're exhausted. - Kate
We have not had significant rainfall since March. The river that flows through the village has dried up and the bores have also dried up. We have to transport water twice a day to the farm in a portable tank. We have had absolutely zero pasture since September, relying now purely on store-bought hay. The animals have stopped going out to graze and simply sit by their feeders waiting for a feed to arrive.
Feed bills are running over $10,000 a month, which is around $5,000 above our budget expectation. We have also been hit with consistently high temperatures and have lost volunteers simply because they can't work in these harsh, dry, dusty and smoky conditions. It is proving a challenge, and we are not expecting substantial rainfall until May, which is after the pasture growth season. This guarantees that we will remain on store bought feed for another year. - Brad
Peanuts Wellbeing Sanctuary provides a home to neglected, mistreated and abandoned animals where they are able to live out a full, happy life. The wellbeing of the animals is paramount at Peanuts, but their care is proving difficult in the current climate.
The drought has made available grass practically non-existent and driven up the price of feed, while available water at the Sanctuary is dwindling. Widespread fires have made air quality poor. Further, as volunteer firefighters, the Sanctuary's human residents are struggling to manage their firefighting and animal care commitments. Any support would make a huge, positive difference. - Tracey
The dam at A Poultry Place stands empty as it has for 18 months. Despite this, the geese do their daily pilgrimage to it. We have been handfeeding the sheep for over a year now and the constant winds and dry ground has seen many trees fall breaking fences.
I've been living here in southern NSW since August 1999 and have never seen it like this. Sure we've had droughts but never one that has lasted this long. We've had less rainfall this year than last year and the year before and all both have been well below average and of course a drought means feed costs have skyrocketed to $2100 a month. - Bede
All Save A Cow Foundation Sanctuaries continue to be in serious drought, with little grass and water. At Maleny Sanctuary there is no grass, hand watering from tanks (buying water in 12000 litre truck tank loads), watering and hand feeding 24 cows. At Glasshouse Mountains Sanctuary 15 cows are in cattle yards where we are hand feeding and watering, need to be moved due to lack of grass. At Cooroy, Wamuran and Caboolture Sanctuaries over 40 cows need to be moved due to lack of grass.
We are struggling to keep everyone going and desperately need funding for hay and other food, buying in water, transportation of cows to pasture, fencing amongst other costs of keeping the cows alive. - Anthony
Where Pigs Fly Sanctuary is in urgent need of funds for the animal residents. Due to the fires in NSW, the sanctuary has had to evacuate and find temporary homes for all their animals. They urgently need help with the costs of the evacuation, providing care and food for their animals.
Most of our animal friends have now been temporarily relocated to safety at various properties around New South Wales and we are eternally grateful to those who have opened their homes to care for our residents during this difficult time.
However, achieving this has been no small undertaking. The amount of effort from everyone involved with the hands on relocation work has been immeasurable, but it's taken a financial toll too, with the cost of transporting everyone to safety, providing feed at their various locations and of course the impending cost of transporting everyone home once the danger has passed. - Debbie
Signal Hill Sanctuary has six dams with nothing but mud in the bottom. We're spending $1,000 a week just to feed the animals, and it won't be long before we start to see wildlife suffering from starvation and dehydration. The property is a safe haven and as the wildlife disperse looking for food and water they're at risk from farmers on surrounding properties.
The sanctuary residents are living on dirt and it's a huge struggle to keep them in reasonable condition. Everybody is losing weight and there just isn't the money to feed them what they need. Any financial assistance would be much appreciated. - Kris
We are on high alert as the Three Mile and Gospers Mountain fires continue to burn out of control, just 10km west of us. In preparation for the fires, we have incurred unexpected expenses with purchases of fire pumps, generators and firefighting safety equipment. The fires pose a significant risk to the sanctuary over the coming weeks and months, so we anticipate transport costs and mounting water bills.
With the relentless period of drought, feed costs continue to escalate. Any funds donated to us will certainly go to great use for the wellbeing of the precious sanctuary animals. - Brayden
Furever Farm is located in the Murray Bridge region of SA and for the last 3 years has suffered drastically from drought and ground feed erosion. We have been down to dirt for 6 - 9 months of each year due to very scarce rainfall and excessive heat resulting in hay and feed costs skyrocketing and hay getting harder to obtain. Prices and associated costs have escalate drastically.
We need help to secure hay while it available despite high costs. With 85 farm animals and zero natural feed, plus the dire forecast moving forward, we certainly need help to fulfil animal feeds. It is sad that places such as ours do not gain assistance from Government bodies. - Darren
I'm a vegan vet nurse who takes in the very needy and special cases. I'm only a small one person operation as I can't afford insurance to cover volunteers at this time. Bumpy's Mission take in mostly sheep and lambs but I won't say no to any species in need. I have many very special needs sheep and lambs they range from disabled, blind, aged (20+ years), amputees, just to mention a few. Bumpy's Mission is currently struggling at the extreme, there are a few major factors causing this. Drought and the high cost of feed (special needs animals need quality feed and hay). No pastures, just dust. High vet surgery costs. I have never asked for help or many donations as I self funded all aspects of Bumpy's Mission Sheep Sanctuary. - Rebbecca
At Hart Acres Animal Haven, we work to create safe, loving homes for the unwanted and otherwise forgotten animals. We work to educate the community on living a compassionate and cruelty free lifestyle.
We have been struggling immensely of late with the drought and now the pending bushfires. Things are pretty tough here and we're back to funding over 90% of expenses here ourselves. - Neva
Maridan's Menagerie is in need of urgent funding to purchase feed. For the bulk of this year we have been completely reliant on purchased fodder. February saw us affected by Townsville's record breaking floods, which stripped our land of any fertile topsoil.
Seemingly overnight we were then thrust into this severe dry and have been for many months now. In order to provide stability and with conditions unlikely to improve any time soon we are urging people to sign up to our $5/week donation service, www.coffee4cows.org. - Marianne and Dan
Dig deep for our animal sanctuaries - they survive only with your support.
Last year we held the Save A Sanctuary Drought Appeal and raised over $30,000. This was allocated to the following sanctuaries:
For more information and links to these and other sanctuaries visit Farmed animal sanctuaries and the drought.