We often read about pets such as dogs, cats, and even the occasional rabbit being abandoned, but we’ve never stopped to think that the same thing can happen to farmyard animals. Just like with the owners of your standard pets, owners of farmyard animals can suddenly become unable to look after their furry friends for whatever reason, and in these situations, they urgently need someone to take over their care.
Luckily, in Ford Bend County, Houston, help is at hand. One amazing woman has set up a three-acre patch of land to take in a whole range of animals in need, and she uses a healthy dose of humor which really helps to make light of the situation.
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Erin Mahaffey lives with her husband, their five children, and dozens of rescued animals.
She created the Mahaffey Funny Farm, a non-profit animal sanctuary designed to give another chance at life to a range of species, and the numbers just keep on growing. Erin wants to point out that just because the animals are now with her, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they had a bad start in life.
“All of our animals have a story and I think that’s what makes this place so special too,” she told Click2Houston. “Many of these animals were always loved. It was not a situation where the owners did not want them.”
Most of the animals ended up at the farm after their owners became unable to take care of them for reasons beyond their control.
Elvis and Bandit are two pig brothers that were taken in from a loving home when the husband sadly had to become the primary caregiver for his wife.
“Elvis, he is kind of our mascot, because he is everybody’s best friend. This is the most social, sweetest pig you could ever imagine,” said Erin.
Next up is the chickens, who live in a coop hilariously named “The Chick Inn” featuring a gate painted with the words “last one in is a rotten egg.”
Amongst the chickens is a special girl named Little Mama. This one-of-a-kind feathered friend makes sure that she’s always working hard – even when she doesn’t need to be.
“Her favorite thing to do is to sit in the coop and try to hatch all the eggs.” said Erin. “We don’t have a rooster so none will ever hatch, but she tries really, really hard.”
The farm doesn’t just contain your average farmyard animals. There are also smaller species like turtles and rabbits that will go up for adoption. On the other end of the scale, Erin has taken in miniature horses, playful goats and even an alpaca or two – though apparently, the goats are hard work!
“These goats are like toddlers,” Erin said. “They love slides, climbing, they jump in the dog houses.”
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It must be a lot of hard work running such a big farm, but Erin takes it all in her stride.
When asked how she manages to keep on top of everything, she says:
“Simple answer is I don’t stop. I love busy work. I love being out with the animals, feeding, cleaning, sweating, working my buns off, and I enjoy that.”
We think that Erin is doing an amazing job! The world needs more people like her.
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