Greyton Farm Animal Sanctuary offers a forever home to orphaned, sick, disabled, abused, neglected or retired farm animals where they can live their full natural lives with all their needs met. The whole farm is dedicated to the animals and they are able to roam free during the day, returning to their large paddocks to feed, shelter or sleep.
The Sanctuary started life in 2005 shortly after Nicky Vernon and Rohan Millson purchased Tabularasa Farm, just 7 kms outside the village of Greyton in the Western Cape of South Africa. They built their homes out of straw bale and clay. The farm is off the grid and solar powered.
It wasn’t long before Nicky and Rohan realised that many lambs being born in the fields surrounding the farm were struggling and that most were left to die. They started picking them up and restoring them to health. The farmers allowed them to keep the weakest lambs to be raised at the farm and rehomed there permanently. However, it wasn’t until November 2014 when the idea of creating an official sanctuary was born – initiated by two events.
The first was the arrival of Bella the pig, a pet who had outgrown her home in Kalk Bay and who had attracted the attention of the municipal authorities. A home had to be found quickly and she was welcomed to the farm. Word got round and soon other mini pig owners, who had discovered that their piggies were anything but mini, approached the farm for help.
Six weeks later, on December 31st, Nicky saw a black and white heap lying in the field below the farm. She raced down and found a newly born calf. She had witnessed a bellowing adult cow being taken away from the field and surmised that this was her calf, very fragile, who, it appeared, had been left to die. She picked the calf up and took him home where he was fed with milk from another farmer’s dairy cow who had recently given birth and was still producing colostrum.
Sadly the calf died peacefully, with a warm, full tummy, in Nicky’s arms just after midnight. She called him Heaven and buried him the next day. At that moment Nicky decided she wanted to dedicate the rest of her life to doing all she can to reduce such tragic and unnecessary suffering.
The sanctuary is now home to nearly 150 rescued animals. Vets attend the farm regularly. Absolutely no breeding of any animal is allowed to take place in the sanctuary. The farm is fully vegan. In 2017 the sanctuary became a registered non-profit 187-044-NPO.