When Lisa Miskella, owner of Connecticut-based Freedom Farm Animal Sanctuary, learned about a chicken wandering the streets of a small town in Maine, she knew that she had to help.
“In February of this year, I received a call from a woman in Maine who had found a chicken walking around the neighborhood,” Miskella told TAiLS & toys. “She eventually was able to catch it and bring it home. It was cold and starving. She named the chicken Cardi C. She kept the chicken warm and fed it but she knew she could not keep it. She looked online at different rescues and found us. She thought we would be a perfect fit.”
Miskella drove up to Maine in a snow storm in order to bring Cardi home. When she first laid eyes on her, she could tell that Cardi was a battery hen, bred for the egg laying industry. Her beak was sliced and she had frostbite on her comb. “I kept her in quarantine for 30 days and then she was introduced to the other chickens here at the sanctuary,” recalled Miskella. “Cardi fits in nicely. She is the sweetest little hen—so friendly. She follows me all around the farm.”
Cardi is just one of many different types of farm animals that have been rescued by Miskella, who knows what it’s like to be given a second chance at life.
“In 2012, I was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and had to undergo a few operations,” she said. “After a year of treatment and recovery, I looked at life differently. I wanted to do something meaningful with my life. There was no doubt in my mind that it would be working with animals in one way or another.”
After attending a livestock auction, Miskella realized that she wanted to help mistreated farm animals.
“I rescued six goats that night and have been rescuing animals ever since,” she said, adding that in 2018, she set up Freedom Farm Animal Sanctuary, where animals are taken in, examined and given medical treatment as necessary. “They are quarantined for 30 days to make sure they are not contagious with any disease,” said Miskella. “We then begin to rehabilitate them. Some have never known human interaction or what a loving touch feels like.”
Freedom Farm Animal Sanctuary does not put its rescues up for adoption.
“We feel our animals have been through enough trauma, pain and suffering,” said Miskella. “Once they arrive here, they will call this their forever home and will live out the rest of their lives free from pain, suffering and fear.”
To raise awareness about farm animal abuse and neglect, Freedom Farm Animal Sanctuary sets up tables at various events and asks veterinarians and pet supply stores to allow them to distribute information. It is also developing programs to educate children and adults on factory farming versus humane farming and what they can do to help. In addition, the sanctuary is planning to purchase land and expand the farm substantially.
“We are planning several fundraising events and have also applied for some grants to help with the cost,” said Miskella. “We are at full capacity right now; expanding to a larger facility would allow us to rescue hundreds of more animals. It takes a lot of money to feed and care for the animals and to build their new barns and shelters. We are hoping that people will hear our story and be willing to help.”