We all need a sanctuary, and the most vulnerable among us need that promise even more.
That covers more than just cats and dogs in need of a forever home. Farm animals — from sheep to goats to pigs to chickens — also need a place where they can thrive and be cared for by people who love them.
Thankfully, such a place does exist. Manor Farm, located in Nottinghamshire, England, provides a lifelong sanctuary for livestock that need more help than traditional farms can provide.
A farm haven
Di Slaney, the founder of Manor Farm, worked in marketing until she and her husband gave up city life and purchased some farmland, according to a report from The Telegraph. However, they never intended to make a working farm and decided to create a haven for disabled animals instead.
Manor Farm cares for more than 100 animals, many of which began their lives at petting zoos. Other came from shelters that were unable to meet the animals' particular needs.
One such resident is a sheep named Dumpy. Dumpy's jaw became deformed after he grew teeth fit for a horse. This deformity wasn't even apparent when Dumpy arrived at Manor Farm as his teeth hadn't come in yet. Slaney pointed out to The Telegraph that the deformity probably wouldn't have even appeared at a normal farm.
"The deformity would probably have never been seen because his whole family would have been on a plate before the issue was clear," she said.
Other residents of the farm include an arthritic sheep, a one-legged duck and an overly large goat.
Perhaps cutest of all, however, is Simon.
Simon came to Manor Farm in 2015 from a different sanctuary farm where he was bullied by other pigs. He has poor eyesight and deformed front legs. Prior to arriving at the first sanctuary, Simon was a house pig who wasn't appreciated at all. While the world is a bit scary to Simon, at least according to Manor Farm's Facebook page, he'll now allow belly rubs, and he loves to munch on grapes, strawberries and watermelons. Sounds like he's found a good place to live out the rest of his days.
But it's not just big animals that come to Manor Farm. Last May, Manor Farm welcomed a tiny hen dubbed Imma.
Imma came with a group of hens that she seemed scared of; she'd routinely hide from them, in fact. She also exhibited a pale comb, often a sign of anemia in hens. She was taken to a vet and was given additional vitamins to help her get back up to snuff. Slaney and her team decided it would be best, however, to give Imma her own accommodations in the farm's garden and plenty of one-on-one time. That means Imma get lots of cuddles and nature time each day.
Cuddles, or at least the conception of cuddles as a form of care, is at the core of Manor Farm. The animals that arrive at Manor Farm stay at Manor Farm; it's their forever home. While this means the farm has to cap the number of animals it takes in, it also means the team that looks after the animals isn't stretched too thin or that the animals lack care and shelter.
Life on Manor Farm is hard, but not without its charms, according to Slaney.
"We do have a lot of funny moments especially with the group of sheep who go crazy whenever we feed them! Most days we get a lot of comedy moments and it's certainly a very positive place to be," she told the Mansfield and Ashfield Chad, a local publication.