Q: How do you obtain the animals that come to Happy Trails?
A: Happy Trail’s intake criteria is that the farm animal or horse has been removed from a situation of abuse, neglect or abandonment by a humane officer, sheriff, or other law enforcement officer. Many of them are involved with court cases and have cruelty charges pending against their previous owners. Happy Trails does not take in owner surrenders from situations where an owner simply wants to get rid of their farm pet or horse for any reason. Happy Trails is not an animal broker, and we do not help people to sell their farm animals or horses. We can counsel people on how and where to place fliers and how to word an appropriate newspaper ad to ensure that their farm pet will receive a kind and caring home. We can also offer advice on what to include in the contract you may wish to have a prospective new pet owner sign.
Q: Why doesn’t Happy Trails take in dogs and cats?
A: Happy Trails was originally set up to help abused, abandoned, and neglected farm animals, such as ponies, horses, pet belly pigs, farm pigs, ducks, geese, chickens, turkeys, sheep, goats, and cows, and this is the group of animals on which we choose to concentrate our rescue programs.
There are already a good number of rescue groups out there to help dogs and cats, but where can Ohio’s humane societies and law enforcement officers turn for help with a farm animal? As hard as it is for someone to find assistance for a dog or cat, can you imagine how hard it is for the local humane societies to find someone to care for an abandoned horse, a duck that has been hit by a car, a pig that has been nearly starved to death, or a mistreated goat or sheep?
Happy Trails does not handle wildlife. Anyone handling or rehabilitating wildlife needs to be licensed and certified through the state. Laws are very strict governing this, and Happy Trails mission is to concentrate on the rescue and rehabilitation of the farm animals and horses.
Q: Does Happy Trails have daily hours when we can just come visit?
A: Happy Trails provides (seasonal) educational tours from May through October on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Trained tour guides take you through the sanctuary and you have the opportunity to hear the stories of the rescued animals, how they came to be at Happy Trails, how they are being helped, what types of abuses that we deal with, and what you can do to get involved and make a difference.
Though your trained tour guide will help you to meet and interact with selected animals safely, we do need to emphasize that we are not a petting zoo.
Happy Trails is a working animal sanctuary and our facility is more of a hospital setting or rehabilitation facility. Many of the animals we rescue are injured, ill, or simply afraid of humans (for obvious reasons) and some are not accustomed to being handled. We are constantly aware of both the comfort of the animals as well as the safety of our guests.
Q: How is Happy Trails funded and who pays for all your expenses?
A: Happy Trails relies solely on the kindness and generosity of private donations from our supporters. We have gratefully received donations in many forms from people who care deeply for the animals we rescue. Medical and veterinary expenses, feed and grain costs, fencing, shelter, administrative costs and daily operational expenses certainly add up quickly. Happy Trails occasionally receives grants for specific projects or programs which does help out tremendously.
Q: Is Happy Trails a tax deductible organization?
A: Yes. We are a corporation with a federal tax ID number and are an approved 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. See IRS Documents
Q: I would like to donate feed for the animals, but I don’t know what kind to get or where to get it. (A question frequently asked by people who live in the city, but their hearts are in the country with the animals)
A: We try to provide a healthy diet for the animals. For a list of snacks and treats that are acceptable, go to our “Wish List” section of the website for guidance regarding fruits and vegetables.
Regarding grain, depending on the amount of rescued animals at the sanctuary, we go through anywhere from 30-80 (50 lb.) bags of grain every week, and they cost an average of $15 per bag (though Grow-N-Win can cost up to about $26 per bag for additional protein for the horses in recovery)! We buy our grain from the good folks at Pettigrew Feed And Hardware in Edinburg, though another nearby feed store that you may wish to contact is Western Reserve Farm Co-op in Ravenna. If you would like to provide feed and help us to purchase grain for the rescued animals, you can call either of the stores listed here and tell them you’d like to make a donation to be used by Happy Trails. They will be glad to take your credit card and contact information and the amount you’d like to donate, and will apply that toward our next feed purchase. You will receive a personal thank you letter and a tax deductible form. Here’s the info for our near-by feed stores:
• PETTIGREW FEED AND HARDWARE 330-325-1500
6785 Tallmadge Road (Rt. 14), Edinburg, OH 44000
• WESTERN RESERVE FARM CO-OP 330-296-3424
467 Cleveland Road, Ravenna, OH 44266
Your donation of food helps with a huge expense for the sanctuary!