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This Chesterfield farm gives animals a second chance: 'They are our whole world'

Posted at 10:55 AM, Dec 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-13 15:07:58-05

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- A Chesterfield County woman is making sure abused and neglected farm animals have a place to call home.

Four years ago, Rachael Loving started Loving Acres Farm Sanctuary, known as the "animal place that puts a smile on your face."

“Something needed home, something else needed a home, a big pig fell off a truck," explained Loving.

The three-acre farmette is filled with goats, pigs, sheep — and even a pardoned turkey.

“I probably get honestly four to five calls a day, saying we need to re-home this pig," said Loving.

From Curly the pig, whose tusks were so long they curled back and cut into his face, to Israel the sheep, who had breaks in his legs and was deficient in vitamins, Loving spends her days nursing these animals back to health.

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Loving Acres Farm Sanctuary

"It just, it changes you," she noted.

Loving also takes in animals with special needs, like Major Sparkle Pants, a three-legged goat.

“I think we're all kind of led to what we're supposed to do in life, and this is my gig," she explained.

But this isn't a paid gig.

“You have to really love doing this," said Loving. "You don't make any money having animals period. You don't. If anything, you lose a lot."

Inflation has caused the cost to care for her furry friends to rise significantly.

"The prices of feed have gone up crazy," she noted. "You know, they're one and a half times what they were."

Loving Acres is run entirely off of Loving and her family’s income, as well as community donations. Thankfully, the past few weeks, she’s been able to cut back on feed costs because of pumpkin donations.

"We are really, really blessed in the community that we have," she explained. "Instead of feeding two times a day, we can give pumpkins as one whole meal, and then we can feed again later, our grains and our everything else that we feed."

But as winter approaches, Loving Acres is in need of several repairs, including water leaks and secure fencing.

“I put up a lot of these fences, and I'm not the girl I used to be," she laughed.

The cost of vet bills for injured animals can also be daunting.

"It can get really, really crazy and expensive," said Loving.

But despite all of this, Rachael is confident she will find the means to keep the farm alive because the animals are family.

"These guys will eat before before we will, I can tell you that," she explained. "They are our whole world. They really are. This is where I'm supposed to be. No question.”

Loving said their call volume increases around the holidays with people looking to re-home pets that may have been given as presents.

She asked that before you buy a pet, you make sure you are prepared to commit to that animal for its entire life.

Loving Acres is working on its nonprofit status, but if you’d like to help feed the animals and help put up secure fencing, you can visit this website.

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