Jenna was intended to be shipped off to a veal crate or be killed simply because she is seen as useless to the dairy industry. She was born a twin with a male calf which means there is a 90% chance she'll be infertile. And if she can't have babies, she'll never make milk (yes, cows have to have a baby to produce milk - and most of the male calves are killed early because they are not valued by the diary industry). Because Jenna would be infertile, she is seen as no different than a male calf and would have suffered the same fate were it not for the compassionate daughter of the dairy farmer (her name is Jenna and thus who Jenna is named after) who helped her escape this fate. And now she gets to live out her life happily here at Life with Pigs Farm Animal Sanctuary.
Beatrice the chicken thinks she's just one of the pigs. She follows them everywhere and sleeps on them every night. And they love having her around. Beatrice truly is the pig that can fly.
Meet Ramona. Ramona was a Tractor Supply chick that was born with a non-functioning leg and another leg that only semi-functions. So, she could not be sold and was going to be euthanized. But, thanks to our friend Christine Mariani Egidio, this would not be her fate. Ramona was rescued and raised by Christine until we could bring her home to live with us at Life with Pigs Farm Animal Sanctuary. Because of her leg issues, Ramona will likely always have issues with walking and getting around. She is getting bigger and struggling to carry her weight on her legs, but we have options we are exploring to ensure that she has a long and fulfilling life here. And fortunately, her big sisters- the pigs - seem to do a good job of not stepping on her. Someday she may have to write a book called "A Chicken's Guide on How to Survive a House Full of Pigs"
The opening of our sanctuary made the news!
You can read the great article here!
If you'd like to meet our animal family, we are having our first visiting hours this Friday from 12-2, but please e-mail by clicking here to let us know you are coming to make sure we will have parking spaces available for everyone.
We will post information soon here and our the Sanctuary tab of this page regarding when we will be opening for visitors and more very soon!
Warning: You may end up a chicken roost
At Life with Pigs Farm Animal Sanctuary, you have to be prepared to share the bed with all sorts of visitors. You never know when a chicken may use you as a good place to perch. Or a pig might decide you are in the perfect place to cuddle. So, be prepared.
You can help an animal in need!
Sponsor an Animal at Life with Pigs' Farm Animal Sanctuary
As much as many people would love to rescue a farmed animal in need, most of us don't have the space in our homes and our yards. But, you can do the next best thing!
Making a monthly donation towards the care of the animal with a special place in your heart, you can make it possible for us to give your sponsor animal the life they deserve. From food, housing and medical care, your donation will make sure that your special animal is treated like family.
With your pledge to sponsor one of our special residents, you will receive a framed photo of your animal and the chance to come and visit your sponsor animal in person at your convenience. Know someone that loves animals? Sponsor an animal for them as a gift.
It is only through your support that we can continue to do what we do!
Monthly $5 / Yearly $60
Monthly $10 / Yearly $120
Monthly $20 / Yearly $240
To start sponsoring an animal now, click here
Life with Pigs Farm Animal Sanctuary in Williamsburg, VA
How Did Life with Pigs Farm Animal Sanctuary Come to Be?
In 2016, I (Ryan Phillips) got a message in the middle of the night asking if I would be willing to adopt a former breeder pig named Pumpkin that had just had her last round of babies. We were told that if we didn’t take her she was unlikely to have a happy ending. The problem was, my family lived in a 2-bedroom condo on the second floor up a flight of winding stairs in the City of Williamsburg where the laws related to minipigs are such that I wasn’t sure if mini pigs would be welcomed. Of course, not taking this pig meant she could end up without a home or worse. So, I asked my wife during the middle of the night while she was half awake if we could adopt a pig. She sleepily said yes. Fortunately, she never regretted that half-conscious approval. And soon after we decided to ask to bring one of Pumpkin’s babies, Charlotte, with her (since we wished she never had to be separated from any of her children). And then came Millie, a piglet that was being booted from her home and needed a place quickly. She was followed by Tesla the rabbit and then Beatrice the escaped farm hen. It was the arrival of Beatrice the chicken that made us realize living in a second story condo was probably not a good fit for what had become nothing less than a condo micro sanctuary. And it was at the time our good friend Heather, a local librarian, tipped us off to a piece of agricultural land going on sale nearby. Knowing there was a fenced in open yard ready for us, we knew we had found our home almost without needing to see the house.
What is ‘Life with Pigs’ and ‘Life with Pigs Farm Animal Sanctuary’?
Life with Pigs is a 501c3 nonprofit dedicated to educating people about the injustices faced by animals and how we can better coexist with our fellow earthlings. We operate under the guiding principle that animals are our equals and deserve equal consideration for their needs and desires.
Much of our outreach involves bringing people into contact with animals often seen as ‘food animals’ and helping them to realize that these animals deserve the right to live happily just as much as dogs and cats do. We met and impacted thousands of people by simply taking our pigs and eventually our chicken out to places like Colonial Williamsburg and college campuses. While the pigs and chicken grazed on grass, many people came to meet them and were changed forever. We had so many people tell us in the moment that they would never see these animals the same again. Many pledged to no longer participate in the abuses happening to these animals by going vegan or vegetarian.
Located in Williamsburg, VA, a huge part of our mission is providing a happily-ever-after home to the animals most abused by human society. While our name refers to our life with pigs, our sanctuary will be a home to animals of all species. Here is a look at our immediate plan for the near future:
Plan for Fall/Winter 2018-2019:
Build a Barn for Turkeys and Chickens divided in the middle to keep them separate but save on building costs by having it be one structure.
Host our first visitors (including school groups, homeschool groups and locals wanting to come and see what we are all about).
Host a thanksgiving event to raise awareness for the victims of our culture’s current violence driven holiday that results in the death of 40 million turkeys.
What Makes Our Sanctuary Special?
Our sanctuary is special because every animal given a forever home will be a known individual and integral member of the sanctuary family. We will never grow so large that animals will be anything less than an adored and loved family member. The physical land size of our sanctuary makes it impossible to grow too large and our goal is that every individual living with us will be a known personality whose story will help transform the world’s understanding of the animals we so commonly take for granted as mere commodities.
One advantage of being a small sanctuary is that our overhead costs are low. Our house is a family home and so no expenses related to the sheltering of humans have to be factored into our existence as a sanctuary. And this also means that the land upon which the sanctuary is located comes without cost to the sanctuary. Our only costs will be the building of structures specific to animal shelter and care and the food and medical needs of our non-human family. This means every dollar donated to our sanctuary can go further towards the mission of providing homes to these amazing beings and educating the public on how we must transform our world to one without animal exploitation.
Another great benefit of our Life with Pigs Farm Animal Sanctuary is that we are located in the heart of Williamsburg Virginia. We are not far from places like Colonial Williamsburg and Busch Gardens and believe that this means we are easy to access for tourists coming to the area. This will allow us to reach people that might just think of us as a vacation stop but end up finding that we were a life changing moment for them.
And this is where having animals whose personalities and stories are so near and dear to us becomes a huge benefit. With each of our animals being a true family member who is known as well as any companion animal or beloved house animal, we will be equipped to make the most convincing case for seeing these animals as the individuals and sentient beings that they are.