Hit it off with a hog at this refuge for neglected farm animals in Marysville
We often get so caught up in our daily lives here in the city that we forget we’re in the middle of a quite rural state.
If you’d like to get out of suburbia and see what it’s like to connect with domestic animals – and feel good about helping them in the process – we recommend a visit to Sunrise Sanctuary in Marysville.
As its name suggests, this is a sanctuary for domestic and farm animals that have been rescued from less-than-ideal living conditions. The variety of animals, and their placid natures, surprised and pleased our whole family.
Sunrise Sanctuary, 35 miles northwest of Columbus, is a permanent refuge for more than 170 formerly abused, neglected, disabled, and unwanted farm and companion animals. The menagerie includes rats, bunnies, cats, dogs, pigs, goats, sheep, llamas, cows, horses, donkeys, chickens, ducks, peacocks and turkeys.
We spent a few hours recently walking around in the grass and mud, sitting in hay and meeting farm animals, like Woody and Baby, a one-horned goat and a sunbeam-loving pig.
Mike and Max were happy to pet a turkey and play with several cats that roamed the rustic scene.
The non-profit charity was founded in 2001 by Mindy Mallett as a place where animals can be loved and treated with dignity. Animals roam free, eat regular meals, slop through mud puddles and get lots of affection.
It’s also a place where the public can connect with animals on their terms without asking for anything in return. No rides. No milk. No eggs. No meat. No leather. But you can take your photo with them.
The farm is run by volunteers, and it relies heavily on monetary donations. One way to contribute is by visiting during Open Barn Days, when the public is invited to visit for a small fee that goes toward the care of the animals.
Self-guided tours are held from 1-3 p.m. on select Saturdays, and go on rain or shine. Attendees must sign up in advance via its website, and attendance is kept to a minimum to prevent overcrowding.
Learn more about Sunrise Sanctuary.