Originally from England, our dream was to eventually 'retire' and settle on a lifestyle block in the countryside with a goal of self sufficiency. Our location came earlier than expected in 2011 when we spotted a run down empty farm for sale (photo top left), and with house prices at an all time low it was too good an opportunity to miss. With a stream nearby, seven large paddocks, roadside frontage and set in a beautiful snug valley only 2km from the sea we fell in love with Little Acres, a privately owned lifestyle block in the beautiful Waikato.
A lot of work was needed to tidy the paddocks, let alone start on the house. We adopted our first chickens and fell in love with them, and slowly as we got to know our neighbours we would hear of various animals or poultry seeking homes etc. We took them in. Word soon got around and just over two years ago various farmers and others would actually call to the farm with an orphan lamb in their arms, or an 'aggressive' rooster that they couldn't tame, and slowly the rehoming farm grew and became established. All done on a budget with only one income, we had become a Rehoming Farm & Animal Sanctuary.
We take in the animals as part of our growing 'family' and besides providing shelter and food for them, we spend lots of 'one on one' time with every single one of them. Needless to say ALL our animals are completely tame - even those 'aggressive' roosters we take in, and we learnt very quickly how to care for and recognise a whole variety of sicknesses and disorders, and how to treat them. Most of all the best thing we do for the animals in our care is give them love. Many times we have had animals in the house, who just need a little extra 'tender loving care' and sometimes this is all that's needed to help coax an animal to suckle, or to keep it warm, or to make them feel safe. By observing the animals in our care closely, we can usually discern any problems they may have and help them to rehabilitate and restore them back to a good health and good behaviour.
Next comes the hard part - finding new homes for them with loving owners to continue caring for these animals that have crossed our gates and been saved from death, nurtured back to health, or rehabilitated and tamed. As we reached out to find new owners, we met some amazing and wonderful caring people. Many kept in touch and remain great friends to this day. Our network grew, along with our skill bank and knowledge base and last year we felt confident enough to reach out to other organizations that also do this type of work and offer some of our space and shelters should they be inundated with those in their care. Working as one big team network we now offer our services to many organisations including our local SPCA, and we continue to make new contacts and meet new carers in this field.
At the end of 2013, we totally revamped our farm with a new layout, irrigation, fencing, pens and shelters by spending our 'matured' pension to shape up the farm. We dedicated it to saving the lives of animals in need, and took down our farm gates to welcome the public and community to share in our rescue work and visit our sanctuary. For this purpose we also had a small car park created (photo top right), and a new double garage erected as a workshop to help with maintenance. (you didn't think it was for cars did you? lol) We've come a long way from "what shall we do with all this land.. " to "how many more shelters can we fit in?" Our work is rich and rewarding in so many ways, despite the hardships we have gone through to make it all happen. We thank too the many wonderful people who have supported our vision, and we thank the many established rescue organisations for their advice, dedication and support while we aspire to do the same. Little Acres Rehoming Farm & Animal Sanctuary has been created, and continues to grow.