Animal House: Where Farm Animals Find Sanctuary

Aug 30, 2016

Hershey and Snowflake are just two of the farm animals who have found sanctuary at KARA.
Credit Marian Willitts

There are many, many animal rescue groups that help cats, dogs and other domestic animals find a home.  Fewer still are the rescue groups that help farm animals find sanctuary.  In central Illinois, there's KARA, Kickapoo Animal Rescue Alliance, a place where domestic and farm animals can find sanctuary in a no kill shelter. 

  • Helping to guide KARA is Marian Willetts, who said that companion animals tend to get more attention and concern, so the need for farm animal shelters is constant. Establishing KARA was something that she thought  was a socially responsible and meaningful  thing to do,
  • Since farm animals are kept outdoors, there are certain challenges to maintaining a rescue.  Willetts cited the bitter polar vortex that gripped central Illinois  in 2013 - 14 which made it challenging to keep the animals comfortable.  Whether it's raining or there's a threat of tornadoes, you have to worry about the animals outside.
  • Setting up an animal rescue is time consuming, but worth it. There's mountains of paperwork, but the effort, Willets said, is worth it.
  • Fundraisers like T-shirt sales helps KARA keep going.  
  • The animals come from all over, including live stock auctions where the animals where being sold for slaughter.  For example, KARA is home to two chickens who managed to jump off a truck that was on the way to the slaughter house that stopped at  a gas station.