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Abused, special needs animals left without shelter after fire damages Chesterfield farm

Posted at 6:04 PM, Dec 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-28 10:06:23-05

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Just days before Santa was set to deliver presents at the Loving Acres Farm, a fire hit this animal safe haven nestled in Chesterfield County.

"We were out doing nativities with the animals and came home and, surprise, a fire! I was down doing my last check about midnight last night and I said, 'oh, who has a wood-burning stove'? Oh wait, that’s me," said Rachael Loving, the founder of the farm for abused or special needs animals.

The fire started from a chicken coop heater that was being used to keep two of Loving's special needs pigs warm.

"It was eight degrees the other night and it was just super cold and we used these chicken coop radiant heaters," she said.

Describing the flames as massive, she said in less than five minutes, the entire pig home was burned to the ground.

"One of them is deaf, so he was kind of freaking out and didn't know what to do. He kept trying to get back in his house. We had some electrical run over there for them so they could have heat and a fan in the summer and that's all gone too," she explained.

The heat from the fire also melted some of the sidings of her own home, with Loving saying that the entire incident was very terrifying.

"It was scary, I tend to do okay in the middle of an emergency and then I break down afterward. I broke down afterward," Loving said.

Grateful no one in her family or any of the dozens of animals she helps was severely hurt, Loving said her pig 'Oatmeal' is recovering quickly.

"We were very fortunate that it was no one was hurt, the one pig was burned a little bit but not terribly and they have thick skin so he’s doing fairly well," Loving said.

Now focused on rebuilding and replacing from the bottom up, Loving says she hopes with the help and support of the community, the animals will soon have a new home filled with even more love than before.

"What I bought before for them for $3,000 is now $6,000 but I'm a very positive person and I believe in the power of good and that good things will come. And they deserve and they’ve been through enough," she said.

If you are hoping to help these animals, you can donate on their website.