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 & Margaret
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.
Thanks to the generosity of whole food plant-based charcuterie company, Renegade Foods, Hannah & Margaret are fully sponsored! In addition to creating delicious animal-free, organic salami, Renegade has committed to support Hannah & Margaret's care at Charlie's Acrea.
Honey came to Charlie’s Acres, after spending 10 years being used by the dairy industry. Cows used for dairy are kept nearly constantly pregnant so that they continue producing milk, and typically have their babies taken away within 24-48 hours after giving birth. After Honey was rescued, she gave birth to her final son, Benjamin, in 2018. She is happy to finally be able to nurse and raise a child and spends her days grazing with her son.
Thanks to the generosity of plant-based dairy company, Eclipse Foods, Honey is fully sponsored! In addition to creating delicious ice cream made entirely from plants, Eclipse has committed to caring for Honey for her entire life at Charlie's Acres.
Simon was born on a dairy farm and sold to a petting zoo where he became very ill with 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 generosity of one of our donors and volunteers, Simon was able to receive the vet care he so desperately needed. By March, Simon was ready to meet our other resident cows and 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.
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.
Gretel + 8
In July 2021, we received several messages from individuals in a nearby neighborhood that a potbellied pig had been abandoned and that they were worried due to the busy road and mountain lion sightings in the area. Our staff spent days gaining this pig’s trust and eventually convinced her to climb into our trailer for treats. We named her Gretel and quickly noticed that she was pregnant! Gretel soon showed her friendly and gregarious personality and two weeks after arriving at Charlie’s Acres, she gave birth to eight healthy piglets! Welcome home Gretel plus 8!
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. Despite her terrible start in life, Ginger constantly amazes us with her resilience and friendliness.
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 the farmer’s girlfriend 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.
Esperanza or Espy as she’s affectionately called is loving, goofy, and always getting into strange positions. She came to us from a sanctuary in Southern California that was closing and needed to find new homes for some of their special-needs animals. Espy was born without back hooves and has a mild neurological condition. Her best goat friend Zipper is always nearby and keeps a close eye on her, calling out if she’s not able to see her. Hombre the turkey is also vigilant about looking out for Espy and is very tolerant when she tries to play with him or chew on his feathers. Espy brings a smile to everyone she meets and is excited to get her new leg braces soon, which will help her to walk more comfortably.
Louie started out his life as a pet in Paradise, CA and brought joy to his loving human family. Sadly, during the devastating Camp Fire of 2018, Louie’s family lost their home. Needing a new forever home, Louie came to live at Charlie’s Acres. Louie immediately showed his goofy personality. He loves to play with human children as well as his goat friends and is a show stealer during goat yoga classes!
Mitch is a Miniature Dexter cow mixed with a Texas Longho, making him a little cow with big cow horns! Mitch and his older sister Judy were born on a beef farm in Oregon and were both headed to slaughter, when a local woman stepped in to rescue them and had them join her herd. Judy sustained a leg injury some time later, and had trouble walking down the large hill to pasture. Mitch saw this every day, and after he nursed from his mother, he would walk back up the hill to be next to Judy for her slow walk down. The two have been inseparable ever since. When Mitch and Judy’s rescuer downsized her property, they came to live at Charlie’s Acres.
Hope began her life being used by the egg industry. By the time she was three years old, her body was exhausted to the point that she was no longer laying enough eggs to be considered profitable, so she was loaded up on a truck with 1,000 other hens and headed to the slaughterhouse. On the way, this truck crashed on the highway and caught fire. Many of the chickens did not survive and most of those who did, suffered severe burns. Fortunately for Hope, a passerby picked her up off the freeway and took her to the vet so her burns could be treated. Hours later, Hope arrived at Charile's Acres, ready to heal and begin her new life.
Monroe is an albino duck who was found alone in a pond in Alameda as a one day old duckling. Unlikely to survive on her own, she was rescued and came to live at Charlie's Acres. Ducklings do not like to be alone at all, so for her first 3 weeks of life, Monroe went everywhere with her human caregivers. As we saw Monroe's other duckling companion surpass her significantly in size, we realized that Monroe is not a Pekin Duck, but a Call Duck, a miniature breed. Because of her small size, it is unsafe for Monroe at the big open pond, so we created a new aviary for her with the rest of our "Misfit Crew".