Today I visited a local farm animal rescue called Pasado’s Safe Haven with a group of friends for something Pasado’s calls Compassion Day. Compassion Day is when a group of volunteers come in for the day and donate their time in any way that the staff there needs. Their facility is amazing! It is tucked away in a beautiful rural mountain town in western Washington. Their 85 acre refuge is home to cows, donkeys, sheep, goats, alpacas, pigs, turkeys, chickens, ducks, and even cats and dogs; all of whom are available for adoption.
Pasado’s Safe Haven has an incredible, heart wrenching story that exemplifies the power of compassion as it arises from tragedy. Pasado was a 21 year old donkey that lived just outside of Seattle. He was known and loved by many of the locals. One night in 1992, he was senselessly tortured and killed by several teenagers, whose only punishment was to be charged with breaking and entering because that carried a heavier sentence than animal cruelty. In an attempt to not let Pasado’s death pass by in vain, the very next day there was talk of creating a safe haven for farm animals to protect them from cruelty.
Today, their volunteer coordinator gave us a tour of the facility before putting us to work. We met with curious chickens and a rooster, fed lettuce to a small herd of sheep as well as their goat and donkey friends, said hello to three large lazy pigs, and were reminded by three gorgeous turkeys to not tread on their territory. We met this ever-so-charming cat named Oreo who was lounging in a bridge that lead to an outdoor cattio. We also had the pleasure of spending some time with a group of adorable baby goats. These babies are all males that came from a dairy farm. Their fate was to meet death by a hammer, because males have no place in the dairy industry. A local woman managed to acquire the babies and save them from this awful fate by bringing them to Pasado’s.
After the tour, we spent about two hours pulling weeds and weed whacking around the FIV+ cattio as well as the turkeys’ area. We laid down wood chips over the areas we weeded, and rescued some giant slugs in the process. They have a nice lunch area with indoor and outdoor seating that they kindly offered to us when we were ready to take a break.
Volunteering with a group at a farm animal rescue is an awesome way to spend a day! The whole day consisted of spending time with animals, lending a helping hand to an amazing organization, and picnicking outside on a beautifully scenic piece of property. I can’t recommend it enough!