The holiday season has wrapped up and the new year has been rung in, which means people are getting rid of their Christmas trees.
Happy Tails Farm Sanctuary in Harrowsmith is willing to take those trees.
Carla Reilly Moore founded the registered charity six years ago. She says they weren’t up and running for very long when they learned a number of pine trees were a popular snack with some of the animals they rescue.
“We learned pretty early on with goats that they love to eat the evergreen trees when they started eating all our trees,” she said.
Sheep and pigs also like eating the needles off the trees.
The sanctuary quickly put the word out in the community that the farm would help dispose of Christmas trees when people are done with them.
So far this season, about 25 trees have been brought in to Happy Tails and Moore says the charity will take more.
“We go through probably 50 or 60 trees through the winter season.”
There are a few conditions on what qualifies as an acceptable tree for the animals to consume. Moore says the tree can’t have been sprayed with pesticides.
“We can’t have any tinsel or decorations or hooks still on them, of course,” she added.
No charity will turn down a financial donation, but Moore says there are many ways people can give to help them in their goal of saving animals that have been abused, neglected or abandoned.
“We’ll take animal feed, or if you have an extra bag of corn,” Moore said. “Vegetables, so if you’re making a big dinner and you have all your veggie scraps, you can just come and drop them off.”
Happy Tails also runs a number of education programs and Moore says even outdoor and winter wear is appreciated.
“Mittens or gloves, so we work with our veterans, they come into our animal therapy program and everyone’s always needing rubber boots and hats and gloves.”
Moore says they also offer educational programming for schoolchildren from May to October.
“We teach them about animal safety, the importance of being compassionate and empathetic, not only to the animals but to each other.”