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Farm animals find sanctuary

November 25, 2000

Farm animals find sanctuary



By RICHARD F. BELISLE / Staff Writer


MARION, Pa. - When Samantha Frey's mother died, she left money to Samantha and her brother to buy homes and "do something with animals."

Samantha's brother, Kurt, bought a home in Newville, Pa. He met his responsibility to his mother's wishes by becoming the shelter coordinator for the Helen Krause Foundation, a no-kill dog and cat shelter in Dillsburg, Pa.

Two years ago Samantha met her responsibility by purchasing a Civil War-era house and 10 acres on Social Island Road and turning the property into a sanctuary for farm animals. She calls it Greener Pastures.

One can find just about any kind of farm animal at Greener Pastures. Many have been saved from slaughter or disease - like the two baby goats that were given up for dead at a livestock auction where they had been thrown on a heap of dead animals, Frey said.

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"When I saw them I said, 'You're coming home with me,'" she said.

Today the goats ramble happily around a large fenced corral at Greener Pastures which they share with three sheep, four white turkeys that came on the place the week before Thanksgiving and a couple dozen chickens.

The turkeys, sheep, geese, dozens of ducks, two steers, two dogs and more than 20 cats roam freely around Greener Pastures. All were rescued by individuals and rescue groups nearby and from far and wide.

Many of the critters, including the two turkeys, the steers, the chickens and some of the sheep, came from the Farm Animal Sanctuary, a huge animal rescue and shelter operation in Watkins Glen, N.Y.

Frey said there is an entire network of sanctuaries and animal rescue groups that share information. She belongs to the national Farm Animal Adoption Network.

Frey said she stopped eating meat two years ago.

"It would be ridiculous to spend all this time and money saving them and then go eat them," she said.

She said she spends about $300 a week on feed for the animals.

While much is donated there is still much to buy, she said. The animals eat two bales of hay a day and several hundred pounds of chicken, cattle and horse feed a week plus untold pounds of dog and cat food.

A local Food Lion store gives Frey boxes of fresh produce that no longer can be sold. She picks up day-old bread from an area bakery at no cost. Other stores donate pet food, and cash donations come in from individuals.

An area pet store recently donated $2,500 in cash.

"I'm going to use it to build another metal barn," Frey said.

Frey recently got her nonprofit tax status, which enables her to accept cash donations.

Her husband helps out, and four volunteers come faithfully to lend a hand, she said.

"The work is never-ending. I couldn't do this without my husband's support or the volunteers," she said.

Frey's goal is to get enough money to expand - in a big way.

"I'd like to sell this house and buy more land," she said. "I want to get the word out about this.

"Maybe school field trips could visit here," she said. "Maybe I could hold vegetarian luncheons, anything to educate people about how commercial animals are treated.

"I know I've chosen a tough path, but it's what I believe in. I've always wanted to be around animals," she said. "There's something very peaceful about them."

In high school, Frey wanted to go to veterinarian school, but having fun always seemed to get in the way of serious pursuits like that, she said.

"I was 19. You know how misguided you are at 19," she said. "All I wanted to do was party."

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