Across the country, thousands of animal sanctuaries can be found — and it’s all thanks to the countless compassionate souls who work hard to give animals a new chance at life.
Some farms have highly specialized functions — like Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary, where handicapped farm animals are fit with prosthetic limbs — while other farms simply give animals a second, and much happier, attempt at life.
Three years ago, Caitlin Stewart opened her little farm sanctuary in New Jersey.
Unlike most of the other farm owners, however, she was afflicted with a dangerous medical condition, and, as a result, found it physically difficult to be near any of the animals.
However, she believed strongly that she had found her calling — that despite the peril caring for these animals brought upon her, she couldn’t stand by while they suffered needlessly.
She is a true inspiration to all, and we hope that you’ll find her story just as compelling as we did…
Scroll further to read Caitlin’s heartwarming story, and let us know what you think in the comments below!
[H/T: The Dodo]
Caitlin has always been highly allergic to animals.
Ever since she was little, contact with animals has had painfully dire consequences: swollen lips and eyes, and nasty red patches on her face, neck, and chest.
Bouts of asthma attacks have sent her straight to the ER, leaving her hospitalized for days at a time.
Anyone else afflicted with such severe allergies would be daunted by the thought of standing next to an animal.
But Caitlin has opened her heart to helping all the lost and hurt creatures that come across her path.
In 2012, she founded Rancho Relaxo in New Jersey, a small sanctuary for farm animals.
To date, she, her father, and her partner have rescued hundreds of animals — including goats, horses, chickens, turkeys, dogs, pigs, and a mini donkey.
Caitlin has learned to manage her allergies more successfully, although she still has recurrent allergic reactions.
“I knew way before I started the rescue and working with animals in general that I had a terrible physical reaction to them,” Caitlin told The Dodo.
But her courage never once faltered at the prospect of this hardship. “What they do to my spirit outweighs what they do to my skin.”
Caitlin’s first recue was a wild horse, who otherwise would have been put down.
She had barely enough space to care for the horse, who kicked her, flung her across fences, and gave her rope burn.
But her heart never wavered.
She went on to adopt another horse, before building a small farm that would become a home for hundreds of abused animals.
According to her Facebook posts, Caitlin continues to have these “deathly” allergic reactions at least once a week.
“I am insane but I would not change what I do on this planet for a single second,” she writes.
“Who cares what I look like? And being a little itchy and tender is nothing compared to what animals in factory farms go through.”
She also collaborates with many animal rescue organizations, and gives updates on which dogs have been adopted by their new amazing forever homes.
She leaves us with a stirring message: “I would much rather suffer mildly forever than have had the animals we have already rescued suffer any longer than they did, or the animals we will rescue in the future suffer until their death.”
May Caitlin’s kindness and incredible selflessness inspire us all in our actions and attitudes toward helpless animals.
Click here to visit Rancho Relaxo’s Facebook page to view more pictures of the rescued animals, or if you would like to make donations.
Please SHARE if you applaud Caitlin’s courage and compassion!