Spring Farm CARES is first and foremost a sanctuary for animals who are generally considered "unadoptable" or "hard to place". Most of the animals in our sanctuary will be with us for life. Any animal accepted into our facility is guaranteed a place to stay for the remainder of its life. This is their home and their safe haven. However, sometimes just the right home does comes along. An animal may find that special person or family that falls in love and welcomes it into their home. Adopting a special needs animal is a very rewarding experience. It can be life changing for the animal and for you.
Cats, Dogs, Rabbits and other Small Animals
Cats: Our cats make up the largest portion of our animal population. Almost all of them are considered special needs or hard to place. What does this mean? Many of them are elderly. Many of them are younger but have special medical conditions that require medications or special prescription diets. This includes male cats that have had a history of urinary blockages, cats with thyroid conditions, cats with immune problems that make them predisposed to getting upper respiratory infections, etc. They are wonderful cats but they require a home that is willing and able to care for their varying health needs. Still others have behavioral issues that make them less likely to be adopted. Behaviors such as inconsistent litter box use for example. These cats will live out their lives with us in their communal rooms. Many have formed lasting friendships in their colonies and cannot be separated from them. These cats all know that this is their home and are very happy here. (They do however LOVE to have visitors!) And some of the cats are waiting for just the right person to come in to their lives and offer them a different experience. They have so much to give and share. Find out more about each of our cats on our Cat Page.
Dogs: All of the dogs in our sanctuary are currently permanent residents and are not up for adoption. All of them are elderly and/or have special needs. Occasionally, we will have a dog that comes in that we can easily place but this is very rare. We generally refer adoptable dogs to other shelters and rescues as we do not have the space to house more dogs than we currently have. You can see all of our dogs and read about them on our Dog Page.
Rabbits and Pocket Pets: As of early 2016, we are no longer able to accept rabbits into our sanctuary. Most of the rabbits still at our sanctuary will live out their lives here with us, but a few might potentially be adopted into the right home. Please see more about our rabbits on our Rabbit Page.
Horses and Farm Animals
We do not adopt out horses or farm animals as they are all elderly or have special needs. They live out their lives with us here on the farm. You can see all of our horses and read about them on our Horse Page and our goats can be seen on our Goat Page.
What You Can Do
We would be very grateful to have you sponsor one or more of our animals. You can learn more about sponsoring on our Sponsor Page. Our animals, especially our cats, really love the companionship of visitors. Please do come to spend time to give and receive TLC.
Our Adoption Process
The adoption of one of our animals is a very special process for you, for the animal, and for us as well. The first step is to schedule a tour to meet the animals. We understand that animals are very special in our lives and offer us some of the deepest and most meaningful relationships that we have. We know that you are looking for just the right animal to be your companion, but we also know that the animals themselves are also looking for the person with whom they want to share their lives and hearts.
Our animal caregiving staff knows the animals in their care as they are the ones who see after their needs every day. When you come to look for a forever animal companion, our staff will show you our facility and then will introduce you to our cat rooms. You then will have the opportunity to sit with the cats in their rooms so that you can visit them and get to know them at your own pace. The staff person will be available for you to ask any questions you may have. Our staff will also go over our Adoption Application and Adoption Contract with you, so that you are familiar with what is necessary to finalize an adoption.
After you and an animal have found one another, we will ask you to fill out our Adoption Application. There is a minimum 24-hour waiting period while we process your application. If you rent your home, we will also need a landlord’s statement confirming that you are allowed to have pets.
Once your application is approved, we will arrange for you to consult with our Animal Health and Enrichment Manager who will discuss with you how best to make the transition of your adopted animal to your home go as easily as possible. She will go over any special needs the animal has, will discuss in detail the animal's health records, and will be available to answer any questions or concerns that you may have. We will assign someone from our staff who will be your personal support person as your new animal friend settles into your home. You can call us anytime with any questions or concerns. Our relationship with this animal and with you does not end when you walk out our door. We are always here to help in any way we can. That is our commitment to every animal who enters our sanctuary. If, in the future, for any reason you can no longer keep the adopted animal or properly care for it, as per our Adoption contract, the animal must come back to us. We make a lifetime commitment to every animal that comes into our facility.
Adoption Fee: Our adoption fee is $75 per animal. All animals are spay/neutered (or will be when age appropriate) and are current in their vaccinations.
We prefer you make an appointment to come and visit so that we are sure that we have a staff person available to assist you.
We are open 7 days a week, except for major holidays, from 10am-4pm for adoption tours. To schedule those tours, please call our office at (315) 737-9339, M-F, 8am-3pm.
SPECIAL NEEDS ADOPTIONS
by Dawn Hayman
The rewards for adopting a special needs animal are enormous. Frequently I have heard people say that they don’t want to inherit someone else’s problems and mistakes. They would rather start from scratch with a puppy or kitten so that they know what they are getting into and can form that life from the very beginning. First, to think that we can “form” any life is human arrogance at its best. Each being brings to life their own goals and missions and paths. That we happen to meet them on that path is one of the greatest wonders of life itself.
It is true that the many animals who for whatever reasons have come into the realm of rescue and are dubbed special needs, indeed have problems or issues that need special care. Whether they be physical challenges or emotional or behavioral issues, they await that special home where their healing can occur. It is a healing that will work both ways. For on the journey of them finding their healing, so will you find yours, if you are willing to step forward with them on that path. Some of them have health problems or physical handicaps that may make their lives shorter. This doesn't mean that they still don’t have the same love to give, the same joy to share, and the same desire to be loved and comforted in a family. Their lives may be shorter, but their light is somehow brighter. Many feel that they can not go through the hardship of losing them, can not bear the thought of the death of that animal. But the truth is that all of Life moves from physical to spirit, it is not a matter of if but of when. I have heard people say, “I can’t adopt an animal that I know will someday die.” Yet, I have yet to find any living thing that wouldn’t someday die. Life holds no guarantees. But love holds many guarantees. Whoever said, “it is far better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all” understood this principle.
Life with an animal who has never understood a kind pat on the head, a gentle stroke, or praise, will open your eyes to the world around you in a way that you have forgotten. You will indeed be starting fresh, because the love you have to give them may be the first they have ever known. Once they feel it, that love you have to give them, something somewhere deep inside themselves will open. It will be like a beacon to their soul and they will find their way to trust again. Love eventually dissolves all fear. I have heard people say that it takes so much time and patience to “retrain” an animal from all the bad things done to it. It also takes time and patience to train an animal from scratch, but we seem to forget that. Mostly what it takes is an open heart, an open mind, and the willingness to go into the world of that animal and see how they see your world. Once there, a world of magic opens before you. Every little step, even the smallest imaginable, becomes a success and a joy beyond measure. Each day becomes a milestone and a memory to cherish. The day they realize that their food bowl isn’t going to jump at them. The day they look you in the eye for the first time. The day they master letting you know when they have to go outside. The day they pick up a toy for the first time and play. The day you look into their eyes and realize they are not the same animal you first adopted. The day you understand the power that your love has by looking in their eyes and seeing it reflected back at you. The day you understand the love you feel for them is beyond anything you could have imagined or hoped for. The day you realize the gift that has been given to you simply for opening your heart and your home. And, yes, the day you say good-bye and feel the depth of sadness, the pain of grief, the incredible loss of your dearest friend, yet at the same time, you know the reality that you would have never traded one single day, not one precious moment that was spent with them. Feeling cheated for having dealt with someone else’s mistake is the furthest thing from your mind, because you have been given the greatest gift of all – unconditional love. And you have seen and felt first hand the magnitude of the healing of that love. Looking back at the time you spent with that animal, you suddenly realize who it was who really had the special need and you understand the gifts that they have brought to you and left with you forever.
To learn more about how to Sponsor an animal, please go to our Sponsor An Animal Page.