Nicholas, Victor, & Gilbert
Nicholas, Victor, and Gilbert were saved by a truly incredible kid. When a rancher purchased their mother, he was surprised to find out that she was pregnant. Eleven-year-old vegan, Nicholas, was able to convince the rancher to let him try and find homes for all her piglets and was successful! We named one of the piglets Nicholas after their amazing rescuer. These three brothers have always been close, snuggling tightly together under straw and blankets every night. Now, they’re making new friends and getting bigger every day! They love meeting visitors and are quick to flop for a belly rub!
Like most of our potbelly residents, Tofu was purchased as a pet. His owners loved him but realized that they did not have the time or resources to devote to him, so they looked for a new home. Cute internet videos of so called “teacup pigs” has resulted in a trend of purchasing pigs from breeders, when owners are unprepared to care for them. Tofu is a favorite on tours, approaching visitors with a shy expression but happy to receive a belly scratch.
Hannah was living at a small-scale backyard dairy that specializes in goat cheese. After having four babies at once Hannah developed mastitis and was deemed no longer useful for breeding and milk production. Shortly before she was scheduled to go to slaughter, Hannah and her daughter Margaret were evacuated due to a wildfire and took refuge at Charlie’s Acres. We were thrilled to be able to offer them both a permanent home. Hannah enjoys meeting new people and greets visitors by rubbing her face on them. Margaret, once timid, has come out of her shell and is happy to receive head scratches as long as Mom is nearby.
Honey came to Charlie’s Acres at 10 years old, after spending her life in the dairy industry. Like most female cows used for dairy, she was taken from her mother shortly after birth, and raised to suffer the same fate. Cows used for dairy are kept nearly constantly pregnant so that they continue producing milk. Unlike most cows used for dairy, Honey found a happy ending. She gave birth to her final son, Benjamin, in 2018 and they were taken in by a small homestead before ending up at Charlie’s Acres. Despite her tragic upbringing, Honey is incredibly sweet. She is happy to finally be able to nurse and raise a child and spends her days grazing with her son and enjoying a well-deserved retirement with her beautiful family.
Simon was born on a dairy farm in late September, and then brought to a petting zoo where he eventually developed pneumonia. When some kind observers saw him sick and emaciated, they knew he needed help and negotiated with the petting zoo owners for him to come to Charlie's Acres. Thanks to the generousity of one of our donors and volunteers, Simon was able to receive the vet care he so desparately needed. By March, Simon was ready to meet our other resident cows and have him join the family.
Petunia spent the first year of her life in a laboratory, used for testing. We do not know exactly what she was used for in this lab, but she arrived covered in scabs and rashes. She came to live at Charlie's Acres on her first birthday and touched grass for the very first time that day! Now, she loves being outside and is the last one to go to bed each night, always far out in the field snacking on grass until the last bit of sunlight disappears. Petunia became a quick favorite as she grew to be more confident and outgoing, coming up to visitors and nudging them with her nose, asking for belly scratches. Her skin has improved thanks to regular skin conditioner treatments (and frequent mud baths).
Hombre was in a wedding ceremony as a part of a traditional Oaxacan dance and was intended to be the feast afterwards. A member of the wedding party asked to rehome him instead. Now, Hombre lives with our special needs goat crew and has wholeheartedly accepted them as his family. Hombre is very protective of his goats and is often first to greet guests when they arrive, showing off his impressive size and coloring, and making sounds with the air sac on his chest to ward off potential danger. He keeps an especially close eye on Johnny, yelling at care staff when they go too fast with Johnny’s wheelchair and escorting out anyone that he’s not so sure about.
Roger & Mama
Mama and Roger are one of our most heartwarming couples. Mama came to Charlie's Acres after being attacked by a dog and losing one of her legs. She had settled in as the matriarch of our sheep group and was gaining confidence on three legs, when Roger joined the group. Roger, recently blind due to neurological damage, was understandably fearful and confused, finding comfort in Mama's calm presence. Roger would become distressed when he could not easily find Mama, so we placed a bell around Mama's neck so he can always know where she is. He relies on Mama to find his way back to the barn at night and she sticks close to him, occasionally leaning on him for support.
Bernard is quick to attract attention on tours because of his unique look. This silkie rooster was living in Oakland when his family realized he was a male and began crowing. Roosters are often misunderstood and unwanted. Whether they were a classroom hatch project, or a family pet or backyard hen that turned out to be a rooster, their loud crowing leads to them not being allowed within certain city limits or no longer being wanted by their home. Rescue organizations and shelter find themselves overwhelmed with requests for roosters. Fortunately for Bernard, his family wanted to find a safe home for him so he wouldn’t be euthanized and reached out to us. Bernard may be small but he has not seemed to notice and will always stand up for his friends.
Ginger was brought to Charlie’s Acres by a young activist who negotiated with her former owner to relinquish her. She arrived at Charlie’s Acres in extremely poor health due to severe neglect; emaciated, full of parasites, and suffering from a life-threatening udder infection. Ginger arrived accompanied by her adopted daughter, Mary Ann, who had been rejected by her own mother and whose development was stunted due to nutritional deficiencies. We feared for Ginger’s survival during those first weeks and were thrilled as we saw her put on weight and gain strength. Ginger runs to greet us and takes all her medical treatments in stride, amazing us with her friendliness and positive attitude, despite her terrible start in life. This inseparable pair spends their days in the grass and sunshine as they continue to grow stronger.
Lucy was born on a farm which raised Katahdin hair sheep for their meat. Shortly after she was born, her mother died. Lucy was bottle fed and hand raised by a foster mom who couldn’t bear to send this sweet girl back to be slaughtered so she reached out to us to provide a safe home for her. Typically lambs like Lucy would be killed between the ages of six and eight months, however Lucy's natural lifespan is about 12 years old. Lucy is still young and very goofy, often getting the “zoomies” and springing around the pasture before bed, encouraging the younger lambs to follow suit.
Johnny is a special little goat who requires extra care. Born to a breeder, Johnny’s brain did not develop properly, and he has significant difficulties balancing. Because he has special needs, Johnny was not considered profitable and so was rescued and bottle fed. Our incredible team of staff and volunteers use a custom wheelchair to help Johnny walk and do regular physical therapy with him. This little goat has made great progress and doesn't let any setback get him down. Though we’re unsure if he’ll ever walk completely on his own, he's eager to explore and is quick to get back up again when he falls.