Shelter Me: Safety Net Sanctuary

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Watch this week's Shelter Me report: David Murphy reports during Action News at 9:30 a.m. on July 22, 2017. (WPVI)

In this week's Shelter Me report, we have the story of how one woman turned her farm into an animal refuge.

Safety Net Sanctuary in Fleetwood, Berks County is home to all kinds of animals, all in need of a second chance.

"I've always had a great love for animals," said Safety Net's founder, Lisa Poper. "When I was a kid I lived on a small farm."

Poper, whose name rhymes with "roper," now has a 12-acre farm of her own, a place she's turned into a refuge for hard-luck animals.

"A lot of these animals are special needs," she explains. "They need a voice, they need someone to take care of them."

There are goats, like Angus.

"I had him as a baby. He was bottle fed," says Poper.

Many of the goats are male.

"Nobody wants the male goats," she explains, perhaps because they cannot provide milk.

But Poper provides a sanctuary for the unwanted, including male goats.

"They can live here and be happy," she said.

She's also got a group of potbelly pigs, most of whom outgrew their former homes.

"Onyx was in an apartment in Reading," she explains. "When they get big and get destructive then nobody wants them in their house anymore."

She's rescued dogs, cats, chickens and even horses, like Lucky.

"She came from the racetrack," said Poper. "She was all skin and bones. She couldn't run (any) more so they just threw her out to pasture."

And there's a donkey named Henry.

"If I hadn't have bought him, he probably would have gone for meat," she says.

Poper works full time as a nurse and cares for the animals with most of her free time.

"I do without a lot of personal things for myself," she said, "because they come first."

But it's a sacrifice she's embraced.

"It can be challenging at times physically, emotionally, financially. But it's okay," she said, gesturing to the animals. "They appreciate. They know. They're very grateful."

Poper oversees an occasional adoption, but most of the animals that land at Safety Net Sanctuary have found their forever home already.

"About 95 percent of the animals that come here stay," she explained. "That's because they had no alternative, no other place to go."

Finally, we met Peanut, a 7-year old dachshund who suffers from a seizure disorder.

His elderly owner surrendered him to Poper at Safety Net Sanctuary, where he has found a lovely home with all the other animals on the farm.

If you're interested in any of the animals featured in this week's report, visit Safety Net Sanctuary's Facebook page.

And, if you'd like us to share your shelter success stories, post a picture to the FYI Philly Facebook page using #6abcshelterme and tell us where you adopted your pet and how much they mean to you.
We'll be featuring your stories on upcoming Shelter Me segments.
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Related Topics:
petsShelter Meanimal newspetsdogsFleetwood Borough
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