Thursday, April 19, 2012

Debra White Founder of Winslow Animal Farm Sanctuary

I have been writing about some outstanding and courageous individuals working to make this planet a better place for all living beings. I call them Unsung Heroes for Our Times because, one day at a time, these folks are quietly making a difference and I hope they will inspire you to do the same.

Debra White is the founder and president of Winslow Farm Sanctuary in Norton, Massachusetts. Debra worked three jobs for more than 15 years to make her childhood dream of creating a sanctuary for animals a reality. She saves neglected and abandoned animals and others slated to be slaughtered or sent to factory farms. Winslow is a “rescue and stay-for-life” sanctuary, home to 300 rescued animals, including horses, sheep, llamas, alpacas, goats, peacocks, chickens, ducks, geese, donkeys, mules, pheasants, cats, dogs, and even emus.

To walk among the animals that reside there is to step into a world of peace and contentment. The animals are free to mingle, roam, trot, prance, and waddle about. Ponies and goats wander up to greet visitors, and it’s all quite a contrast to the abuse, neglect, and “cage stress” the animals have experienced.

Debra's rescue efforts have attracted national attention. The Associated Press featured Winslow Farm in 2004, and the September 2010 issue of Ladies’ Home Journal ran a story on the close friendship between “Waterford the pig” and two farm cats who play tug-of-war with the pig.

In addition to its day-to-day mission of saving animals, Winslow Farm also hosts tours, monthly special events, and visits by some 3,000 visitors a year. Now with a staff of six and 35 volunteers, running the farm commands Debra’s full-time attention, and she describes herself as “CEO, bottle washer, and stall mucker.”

Athena, one of Winslow’s many sheep, fell off a slaughter truck and lived on the median of I-495 for two years. She survived on tree bark and anything else she could forage before she was found and given a permanent residence at Winslow. She is still scared of people, but she’s a lot better.

Winslow Farm needs $200,000 annually to operate the sanctuary for the hundreds of rescued animals that live on its 62 acres. For more information or to donate contact Debra White at Winslow Animal Sanctuary at

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