A Safe Haven for Farm Animals: R.A.S.T.A.

By Emma Koeniger, SPCA International staff Lucie Cerny founded the Rescue and Sanctuary for Threatened Animals (RASTA) in 2001. Located on the east coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, R.A.S.T.A. provides a no-kill and cage-free permanent home to farm animals, as well as dogs and cats. Offering an interactive experience to the visiting public, Lucie and the RASTA volunteers aim to educate and promote compassion for all creatures great and small. R.A.S.T.A. is addressing an underserved animal community by providing advocacy and shelter to abused and neglected farm animals. The sanctuary is currently home to over 50 Pot Belly pigs; a steer by the name of Theo who was an abused veal calf, 2 goats, 2 donkeys, a miniature horse, geese and ducks. Each of these beautiful animals was the victim of abuse, neglect and/or saved from slaughter. Recently our Program Manager, Lori Kalef, visited Lucie and the animals she cares for at R.A.S.T.A.. She learned about the heartbreaking stories of these animals, the abuse that they’ve gone through. One that stood out in particular to her was Rudy, a potbelly pig who was over-bred for the “Micro Mini” and “Tea Cup Potbelly Pig” fad. No potbelly pig is meant to stay small, and uneducated fad fans quickly abandoned their pigs as they grew too large for their space. Because of the abuse Rudy endured, he walks with a terrible limp and a rounded spine, but he is still the most affectionate and gentle animal you could ever meet. Having recently moved to a new location, the R.A.S.T.A. team has a lot of work ahead of them. Having built all the enclosures and gates by their own manpower, they now plan to refurbish a barn on their new property with the help of an SPCA International grant. SPCA International is proud to support such a dedicated group of individuals giving homeless farm animals the love and attention they need to safely and happily live out their lives as they are meant to be. Want to know even more?! Visit their website: http://www.rastarescue.org/