Hey everyone! I know, I know, we’re finally getting our butts in gear and getting this site going again. The whole one computer thing kinda killed things last month but we’re back and rearing to go! I am very excited to announce our new Rescue of the Month: The Funny Farm. I’m sure lots of you have at least heard something about them from their twitter account @gafunnyfarm. If you haven’t and you’re on twitter then they are a MUST to follow. There are always the cutest pictures of the sanctuary’s cats and other gems such as a puppy & a deer making friends. There are also cute tales from the Farm such as Colleen falling asleep alone and waking up with 16 kittens on the bed! Seriously, follow them and there will always be something to cheer you up when you need it.
Of course, what really matters most is not what they can offer you but what they are doing for animals in Georgia. The Funny Farm rescues animals of all sorts but their main passion is kitties. I believe they have something nearing 70 cats now after the last rescue (one time not long ago they rescued ALL of the cats due to be euthanized at one shelter that day – no lives lost!) The reason this is so important is that while there are animals dying in shelters every day, cats have the worst of it. I’ve seen statistics saying only 1 in 12 cats will ever find a home. That staggering statistic is incredibly sad but rather than scare people off from trying to rescue them it should get them highly motivated to help great people like those at The Funny Farm. Our philosophy here at ILRA is “The Starfish Effect“: every ONE counts. That being the case, just look at how incredible what the Farm has done is!
Now here’s the part where you can help: they are currently trying hard to raise funds to build a fence around an entire TWO ACRES of their farm. This will be an open area for all of the cats to live & play in and once completed will allow for even more cats to be saved. They’ve currently raised just over $2000 of the $6000 they need to get it all done. Anything you can do to help is greatly appreciated both by them & the rescue kitties! Visit their main page to donate (at the bottom). And now (finally!) I present you with the interview!
What’s the name of your sanctuary?
The farm is called The Funny Farm, and if you have ever been here you understand why. The cat sanctuary is going to be called The Heaven On Earth Rescue Cat Sanctuary. It is being built in honor of all of the kitties who never made it out of the shelter and for those that did.
Where are you located?
We are in Wilkes County, GA. If you draw a line between Athens & Augusta we are right in the middle.
When was your sanctuary established?
The non-profit was established in 2006. That is the year we moved to Georgia.
What types of animals do you help?
We mainly focus on cats, but we have dogs, goats, pigs, ducks, rabbits, 1 rescue horse, a ferret & a guinea pig. There are about 100 animals at the farm.
What is the mission of your sanctuary?
Our mission is to help as many animals as possible. We started PALS (official name of the non-profit) to try and make people aware that they need to provide for their animals if something should happen to them. Most people never even consider that their animals may outlive them. This results in many once loved animals being put in shelters due to no other option.
How is your sanctuary run? Is it all volunteers?
At the moment my husband and I run the sanctuary with the help of my brother-in-law, Marco, and my mother Sharon. We have friends who come over to spend time with the animals, which to me is much more important than picking up poo.
Where do you get your funding?
We have no outside funding aside from donations. When you first open a non-profit it is very difficult to survive because it takes time to qualify for your 501©3 status which makes you unable to apply for grants. A lot of people think that being a 501©3 is what makes a legitimate non-profit. This is just not the case . Luckily our 501©3 is in the works which means soon we will be able to give tax forms for donations.
Tell us more about your sanctuary. What makes it unique?
The Funny Farm is a free-roam sanctuary. We think of our animals more like family than rescues. They, for most part all get along regardless of species. Of course there are a few that need their own space. People are always surprised to see things like a rabbit & cat hanging out together.
We have also set up a program called PALS that allows people to will us their cats so that if something should happen to them, their cat will come to The Funny Farm.
Do you have a favorite story you’d like to share?
I do but it’s not a kitty story. One day I was talking to my brother-in-law on the cell phone and I went outside. Cody, our rescue horse was standing next to the lean-2 we had built for him & the goats. One of the baby goats had somehow jumped up on the doghouse and onto the top of the lean-2 next to Cody, or so I thought. Cody took a step sideways and I realized that the baby goat was standing on Cody’s back! Of course I could not get a camera fast enough, what else is new.
Is there anything else you’d like us to know?
We are truly grateful for everyone who supports what we do. We would probably not have survived the first year if it weren’t for wonderful people who love the critters as much as we do. Thank you all for your continued support.
Colleen & John Palladini