current authorHope Haven Farm Sanctuaryoriginal authorBeth Helmstetter

Animal Welfare organization

Hope Haven Farm Sanctuary

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Hope Haven Farm Sanctuary

From the Owner: The idea of Hope Haven was born in 2008 while I was driving to Pittsburgh from my hometown in Vermont. I was thinking about my career as a veterinary surgeon and how I loved performing spay/neuter to help stop the pet overpopulation problem.

But recently I was feeling upset by the number of unwanted ducks, pigs, and roosters being surrendered at the shelter where I worked. Most of these farm animals could not be properly housed in the stainless steel cat cages or long dog runs so I had been taking many of them home to care for myself.

Rehabilitating a tiny pot-bellied piglet named Isaac opened my eyes to the exuberant love-of-life farm animals feel. Isaac would romp and jump like a puppy, seek me out for companionship, and give me looks that were so expressive I always knew what he was “saying”. I shuddered at the thought of what would have happened to Isaac if he had gone to auction or to a worse fate.

So during that long drive through New England I asked myself this life-altering question, “What would I do with my life if I KNEW I couldn’t fail?”
That question opened my eyes to my life’s purpose! I would start a farm animal sanctuary and raise public awareness to the plight of thousands of voiceless animals.

Karen, Founder of Hope Haven
After more than 4 long years of searching, I purchased an overgrown and neglected 6 acre property in June of 2011. It was a diamond-in-the-rough; its potential made my heart sing! The land was close enough to the Pittsburgh to welcome city visitors, but also had the perfect mix of pasture land and woods to keep many needy animals happy and safe. A beautiful bank barn was built to home to larger animals and a big abandoned shed was renovated into a cozy condo for pigs. Over the years other improvements have been added. A large outbuilding has been altered into a sturdy and expansive poultry house. A pond was created explicitly for the pleasure of ducks, geese, and even swans! There is a beautiful walking trail on the property, as well as environmental updates such as rain water barrels, a veggie garden, a small fruit orchid, and compost units.