Inspirational Animal Sanctuaries: Wildwood Farm Sanctuary – Newberg, Oregon

Shauna Sherick, Founder of Wildwood Farm Sanctuary

Sanctuary Bio – located, founded date, etc. 

Wildwood Farm Sanctuary is located on 100 acres in Newberg, Oregon. The land, originally acquired by my (Shauna) grandparents in 1930, was established as an eco-animal sanctuary in 2012 and officially recognized as a 501c3 nonprofit organization in 2014.

Follow Wildwood Farm Sanctuary online here:

Website, Instagram, Facebook

What was the impetus that prompted you to found a sanctuary?

Growing up around farm animals and wildlife at the sanctuary inspired me to want to help animals more by becoming a veterinary technician in 1994. Wanting to put my veterinary skills and experience to a good cause prompted me to then found Wildwood. 

How did you find the land/space?

My grandparents settled on our family farm across the road from Wildwood then purchased these 100 additional acres in the 1930s and began farming. I spend most of my childhood summers on the farm, I  then moved permanently onto the property in 2008. 

What about funding?

Wildwood is completely sustained by donations. 

How do the animals come to you usually?

Wildwood works with law enforcement by taking in animals from cruelty and neglect cases, other sanctuaries, and requests from the public regarding injured or abandoned animals in need. 

What has been the strangest way you’ve obtained an animal?

Our heifer Miss Charlotte was born by C-section following the slaughter of her mother. The man who was hired to slaughter her mother and owned the slaughter company saved Miss Charlotte and delivered her to our sanctuary. 

Miss Charlotte

Who are the Rockstar animals on you farm?

Ferd our steer rescued from an organic dairy farm, Miss Charlotte whose mother was slaughtered for meat.

Ferdinand

Ruby Roo our rooster who was rescued from a chicken farm by an undercover investigator. All are well known at Wildwood and true ambassadors for other animals. 

Ruby Roo

How do you name them?

Usually, our regular volunteers name our new animals. 

What is the toughest thing about running a sanctuary?

Never getting used to one of our animal family members passing away. 

What do you do with the eggs from the chickens you have?

Because eggs cooked or raw carry high levels of salmonella, for health reasons we do not feed them back to our hens or other animals but rather dispose of them in the trash. 

What is on your wishlist?

More time!

What are three facts about any of the animals that you think people should know?

1. All our animals each have distinct personalities and characteristics special to them.

2. Farm animals know their names and respond when talked to and called.

3. Our animals form lifelong friendships and bonds with their regular caregivers here at the sanctuary.

The advice you would give to someone trying to start a sanctuary.

My advice would be to take a few years and learn all you can not only about animal care but running a nonprofit organization, volunteer for at least a year at an accredited animal sanctuary, talk to other sanctuary founders to get their advice and experience. 

What are your visiting hours?

Wildwood is open to the public during our every other Sunday volunteer days 10 am-12 pm and during our special events held here during the year. You can find more info about visiting on our website

Why do you think sanctuaries are important?

Sanctuaries are important first and foremost for the animals we take in and heal. Sanctuaries can also help more people understand how unique and special farm animals are through education and outreach. 

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How has your relationship to animals changed since you started a sanctuary?

I’ve always had close relationships with many animals growing up, sometimes working as a veterinary technician you lose the closeness to animals and put up barriers to the pain and suffering just to get through the job.  Running a sanctuary requires you to stay up close and personal and that means feeling the sadness of loss and experiencing the happiness of saving an animal, it keeps you real. 

 What happens to the animals when they pass away?

Our animals are sometimes buried at the sanctuary or cremated and their ashes are spread on the sanctuary grounds.

What are some of the basic rules of a sanctuary?

Good and reputable sanctuaries do not let their animals breed, sell any parts or products from the animals or use their animals in any type of farm labor or take their animals off-site for show or display.

What is the biggest myth about sanctuaries?

That it’s easy to raise funds to run a sanctuary, you’ll always have volunteers to help, and that most of the time we are playing with and petting the animals. 

How can sanctuaries better work with one another in the same community?

Getting to know other sanctuaries in the area, realizing that at one point we were all in the beginning just starting out, working together ultimately helps more animals in the long run. 

Ruby Roo

What animals do you take and how can people get ahold of you?

We take in farm animals except for pigs and horses. You can find our email info located on our website or message us through Facebook. 

What one question would you ask another sanctuary owner?

What kind of backup plan do you have in case you become ill or incapacitated and no longer able to care for your animals?

Make sure you have a strong board members support who are looking out for your sanctuary and always have a plan. 

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