Farm Animal Rescue
Heartland Farm Animal Rescue
Interview with Jen Korz, executive director
Download a free animal-themed booklist!
This booklist covers books about animals suitable for babes to adults. Many are Newberry award-winners. I have personally read almost every one of these to our son or myself and I know you will enjoy them for your family or as gift ideas.
It covers dogs, cats, raccoons, hawks, pigs, cows, bunnies, mice, owls, hummingbirds and many other animals that make up our world.
People helping animals and animals helping people is the modus operandi at Heartland. Neglected, abused and traumatized farm animals help neglected, abused and traumatized children. These animals with their similar histories and life stories can help unlock a child’s emotions in a unique way. In caring for and loving these pigs, goats, cows, ducks, emus and more, children learn compassion, empathy and that in some places, there is a safe place to let their guard down and grow into the kids they were meant to be.
Children on the spectrum learn to communicate with and have empathy towards animals in a mutually rewarding and growing environment. Even adults that aren’t all that interested in Heartland’s mission find their attitudes changed by what they witness happening here.
Winnie, the famous pig who fell off the back of an agricultural transport truck. I go into more details on the podcast about her story of being kicked off the highway and suffering from traumatic internal injuries and subsequent healing is utterly heartwarming. Her 600 pounds don’t stop her from loving kids and adults with her intelligence, gentleness and soft grunts of happiness. Pigs are very intelligent and on the podcast you can hear about how they train Winnie with dog training techniques to help her be able to go out and about and meet people. Listen to the podcast to hear how the pigs prefer pillows and being snuggly wrapped up in blankets.
Winnie, the lost, abused piglet who grew up to be a 600 pound love bug.
Despite having horns, none of the goats butt or hurt kids. And obviously, the kids adore them!
Volunteers prepare salad dinners for the animals with food donated from food banks, restaurants, pantries and other sources. It’s like a salad bar extravaganza!
Although emus are native to Australia, Heartland has a herd of 7! They also make a wild, bizarre, deep drumming sound that you can hear on the podcast. Jen talks about how they didn’t know if they could handle a herd of emus, but then when the local roller derby girls said they were sponsoring them one night, they decided to have them out to help build fences! After that, the emus were named after the derby darlings—names like Donna Stunner and Goldman Smacks and other silly names. Listen to the podcast to hear them all.
It’s not just the kids that benefit from hanging out with these animals. The volunteers and visitors also report having their perspectives changing as a result of interacting with the loving animals here.
On Heartland’s website, you can learn about volunteer and internship programs. Since I grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, I can attest that it’s a great place to be! When my husband visited here for the first time he remarked, “The people here are so nice!” Yup.