Young goat’s antics uplift farm workers

This article appeared in the Poughkeepsie Journal on June 3, 2017

Link to article in Poughkeepsie Journal.

Photo courtesy of Donna Scott

Late one night in November, our farm animal sanctuary received a phone call from a police officer in the Bronx. He asked if we would adopt a small male goat being held in his precinct.

The officer explained that he and his colleagues had been sitting around the precinct that night, mourning the fatal shooting of a fellow officer, when a resident brought in the goat. The goat had been roaming the streets.

The officer said he loved animals and worried that if the goat went to a city shelter he might be euthanized. The officer added that after the death of his colleague, he couldn’t stand the thought of more dying. We agreed to adopt the goat, and the officer and a partner drove him to us early in the morning.

When the goat arrived, we saw he was just a baby and of the Nigerian Dwarf breed. He was thin and frightened, and his head and horns were covered with wax, suggesting to the officers that he might had escaped a ritual slaughter. Our vet immediately came over and told us the goat was anemic and had pneumonia.

Despite his fears and ailments, the little goat began to show signs of a lively curiosity, and everyone who works on our farm quickly fell in love with him. We named him Cesar in honor of a cheerful construction worker who has made numerous repairs on our farm.

Cesar soon recovered from his illnesses, and he is one of the most adventurous and fun-loving animals on our farm. He goes everywhere. He leaps over stall gates, climbs stairs and jumps on any structure that will take him to new places. We never know where we might find him.

My wife, Ellen, who co-founded our farm sanctuary with me, told me about the following strange event.

One morning, Chris, one of our staff members, came over to Ellen and asked, “Why is the ceiling fan in the back barn running?” Ellen said she didn’t know. After all, it was a bitterly cold winter day — much too cold for the fan to be on. So Chris turned it off.

Later that day, Ellen heard the fan running again. Puzzled, she entered the barn. There she saw Cesar, high up on a narrow ledge, pulling the fan’s cord with his teeth. He was actually varying the fan’s speeds. She knew that getting him down would require some effort, but she found the sight hilarious.

Farm work can be tiring. But when we feel a bit worn down, Cesar’s amusing antics often cheer us up.

Bill Crain is co-founder of Safe Haven Farm Sanctuary in Poughquag.

Animals find “safe haven” on couple’s farm sanctuary

This article appeared in the Poughkeepsie Journal on March 22, 2017

Here is an excerpt from the article.

When Maddie, a goat who lives at the Safe Haven Farm Sanctuary in Poughquag, laid her head on Bill Crain’s lap, he knew he had made a difference.

“Every time she saw a human it meant possible death,” said Crain, co-owner of the Sanctuary with his wife Ellen. “It took a long time, but it was one of the greatest moments for me. She finally trusted me.”

It’s exactly the kind of feel-good moment that Crain was going for ever since he and his wife decided to open Safe Haven.

Their desire to rescue farm animals came while the couple, living in Manhattan at the time, drove by a live meat market — otherwise known as a slaughterhouse — and saw two goats peeking their heads out.

“I thought that if I ever had a farm sanctuary, I was going to get those goats out of there,” said Crain, a professor of psychology at The City College of New York.

According to the Humane Society, approximately 9 billion cattle, chickens, ducks, hogs, sheep, lamb and turkeys are slaughtered every year. The Crains wanted to do their part to save the animals, so in 2006, they purchased a 40-acre farm in Poughquag that came with a barn and two houses.

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Link to original article in Poughkeepsie Journal


Bantam rooster reveals unexpected side of personality

This article appeared in the Poughkeepsie Journal on May 16, 2015

Here is an excerpt from the article.

BurdockMy wife, Ellen, and I founded Safe Haven Farm Sanctuary to provide a home for farm animals rescued from slaughter, neglect and abuse. In the process of caring for the animals, we have learned many new things about them. One animal in particular — our little Bantam rooster — taught us there can be much more to an animal’s personality than first meets the eye.

We adopted this rooster six years ago, when we received a phone call from the director of the Beekman Recreation Department. She said a petting zoo had brought several animals to the town’s community day, but when the event ended, the zoo’s workers couldn’t catch their Bantam rooster. So they left him in the parking lot. The director was worried because there were coyotes and other predators in the area. She also was concerned about the danger posed by cars. She wondered if we could capture the rooster and give him a home.

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New Book by Co-Founder Bill Crain

Book cover

Bill Crain’s New Book

The Emotional Lives of Animals & Children: Insights from a Farm Sanctuary

Divided into two parts, this book first discusses six emotional behaviors that are shared by children and animals: fear, play, freedom, care, spirituality, and resilience. Part two considers children’s place in a society that so often devalues animals.

Children do not set themselves apart from animals, but rather experience them with an  instinctive empathy. They have to be taught to detach themselves from animals and view them as inferior to humans. Bill urges us to give children more opportunities to develop their spontaneous feelings for animals and nature.

Whether you are a parent, a caregiver, a teacher, or an animal lover, you’ll find a gentle and reassuring truth throughout these pages: the connection between the natural and human world is not illusive – it is instinctive – and it still exists within all of us.

You can purchase this book on Amazon and other fine booksellers.


Questions Answered

Questions Answered

Printable Brochure: Questions Answered

Answers to commonly asked questions about an animal-free diet.

Download this double-sided pamphlet as a PDF file, print, and distribute to your community, friends and family.

Questions Answered Brochure






Dinner Recipes

Dinner Recipes

Printable Brochure: Delicious, kind, healthful and easy.

A few of our favorite recipes from animal-free cookbooks.

Download this double-sided pamphlet as a PDF file, print, and distribute to your community, friends and family.






2013 Open House Recipes

2013 Open House Recipes

Printable Brochure: Fall 2013 Open House Recipes

Dedicated to compassion towards all beings. These delicious dishes were served at the 2013 Fall Open House at Safe Haven Farm Sanctuary.

Download this double-sided pamphlet as a PDF file, print, and distribute to your community, friends and family.