CLAYTON, N.Y. (WWTI) — Just in time for the holidays, locally rescued animals are getting a new roof over their heads.
Garnsey’s Feral Acres, a 158-acre animal sanctuary located just outside of Depauville, has been working to construct a new barn for many of its large animals.
This large barn, being built by local Amish residents, will house five different pig communities, two donkeys, two mules and two goats, as well as all the hay and straw for an entire winter. Each paddock in the barn also features an individual door for the animals to enter and exit at night and in the morning.
Jeff Garnsey, who owns and runs the sanctuary, said this will be a turning point that will only enhance the quality of life for the rescued animals.
“The significance of this is huge for the sustainability for the farm,” Garnsey said. “The ability to keep animals healthy, safe, and warm out of the weather in the wintertime, it can’t be overstated.”
The barn is also a major milestone for Garnsey as it will contain a fully-functional 15-foot by 15-foot treatment room, allowing medical procedures to be done onsite and eliminating many costly trips to larger hospital facilities in New York.
“Very often those vet bills will exceed 10 and sometimes $20,000. For a not-for-profit not only do you have to be a good steward for every penny that’s spent because every penny that’s spent is a penny that was donated to take care of those animals,” he said.
However, the project did not come without a cost. In increments, Garnsey Feral Acres has been fundraising to help cover construction costs and fees for materials. But according to Garnsey, the need the support has constantly been met by the community.
An example of this was on November 30, the day designated this year as “Giving Tuesday.” Garnsey first set a goal of $2,000, but by the end of the day raised $6,400, which completely covered the cost of building materials.
Garnsey said this response just reiterates how GFA is now the community’s, which will allow it to expand and focus on sustainability.
“The heartfelt gratitude that you feel when you look and you see people pulling out of their pocket that doesn’t have an awful lot, especially this time of year after what we’ve all gone through, to see that many people giving enough and caring enough to make a difference in these animals lives, can’t be quantified,” he expressed.
In the end, he said it’s all for the 58 rescued animals who now reside on the farm.
“You drive by it and it looks like just a building. But when you walk into the entranceway of the barn and you see the quality of life that’s going to be offered to these animals. They’re going to get what I think every animal deserves,” Garnsey concluded.