A Metro Vancouver organization that pairs unwanted and abused animals with children and youth in need of emotional support is now in need of rescue itself.
The Kindred Community Farm Sanctuary was recently notified it will have to vacate the South Surrey property it has occupied since 2014 within months.
The organization adopts and cares for farm animals surrendered to B.C. animal welfare groups, while providing a place for children and youth to work through emotional trauma.
The farm also offers programs for front-line health-care workers and firefighters.
“I probably would be in a different place if I didn’t have the chance to come and spend time with the animals,” 19-year-old Lizzie Peck said.
Peck has been coming to the farm for about four years, and credits it with helping her overcome anxiety about talking with others and working through her grandfather’s death.
“I was having a real hard time in school and I didn’t want to go to school, but I would get up every week to come here. I fought to come back each time,” she said.
“It was a form of therapy for me without having someone sit across from me and tell me something is wrong with me. To go there and connect with something and feel a love and a caring for something.”
The land the farm occupies has been sold for development, and its operators have been given until the end of September to move out.
The farm is now making a public appeal for the donation of either a piece of land, or enough money to buy one.
“Please help us find our forever home,” program director Chris Mayworm said.
“We’ve provided a forever home for all these animals and given future for the children and the girls who come here. We need a chance to continue.”
Kindred is looking for a parcel of land at least 10 acres in size, which it says will allow for a public office, a large barn and event area, outbuildings for animal shelter and storage and enough land for grazing.
They’re hoping to keep the sanctuary in the Surrey-Langley area.
So far, donors have contributed about $100,000.
“Connecting with animals has made me connect with myself,” Peck said.
“It would be such a shame if something like this couldn’t continue just because they can’t find a place.”