The Homestead Project
Please consider supporting Always & Furever with a donation towards our new Homestead mission, for which we are fundraising with a $200,000 matching campaign!
Our rescue/sanctuary focuses on making the lives of the animals we save matter and better right now and not waiting until adoption for them to actually start living. We continue to grow exponentially and only improve upon our vision and belief as well as standard of care in excellence.
By a complete leap of faith and what we can only assume is destiny, Always & Furever recently purchased 40 acres of land adjacent to our flagship Little Red Barn. What started out as a simple letter to the land owners (appended below) has now turned into the manifestation of our wildest dreams. The foundation is literally ours, and now its up to all of us to begin building those dreams from the ground up.
As our founder Jen put it, “With every fiber of my being, I see and feel Always & Furever being the name that changes rescues. Running a rescue should not be just paying a fee with the state, filing a form and taking donations while locking animals’ cages upon cages and waiting for someone else to love them and calling that saving lives and sadly so many rescues do just that. Yes, it may save their life, but if that is the only life they know, IN THAT MOMENT, is that a life worth living? Everything all of us will ever have in this world can be stripped away and will be when we die except for one single thing, love. That is all these animals ever want and pulling them from a kill shelter or accepting them into our care is a responsibility and privilege I do not take likely.”
We are changing the face of rescue by our standard of care, not in the big major things but in the million tiny little acts of kindness towards God’s precious creatures who love us unconditionally and this would be an opportunity for you to be one of the most direct reasons why we can continue to save more and love them like they should be.
The 40 acres of new land has unlocked every possibility that we could have imagined – we plan to build several barns for every dog and cat in need and turn the Homestead into one truly magical place where people from all over the world will come to visit, why? Because they will be able to spend a day at the puppy barn and have 30 little puppies surround them and their kids with kisses, or visit the senior cat cottage for the old beautiful souls hardly anyone pulls and will be our life time residents, they can learn from the best trainers in the world at our behavior/reactive barn, they can talk with psychologists and counselors on palliative care and making the end of life the best of life and counseling to not abandoning your pet but to love them through it. We will be involved in community events with the human seniors who need our animals just as much as our animals need them, we can host Sunday morning pancake breakfasts with the pups and spaghetti and bingo night with the cats. Yoga in one of the many pastures with the puppies and with the oldies. The water treadmill being FREE for dogs who need it yet their families can’t afford it, a swimming pool and play yard open to our dogs to work on socialization, the entire property completely fenced in so we will never lose a dog again, each fence double gated, an entry code at the gate so former owners with criminal records don’t come looking for their dogs (it’s happened). We want to be the model of love and forgiveness and kindness to humans and all animals and one entire community either in person or virtually that would do anything and everything for any soul in need. Barns all throughout the property and paths to each and walkways all with a very specific purpose. We can see these things down to the tiny details. And others who have walked the property with us FEEL it too.
That is already what we are doing right now and what we will continue to do. This is our mission and our future, but the land is ours and the next step is to build one barn at a time and step by step, day by day, continue to change the world for the better.
Our founder Jen says, “The best way I can describe the layout will be like a zoo (except with animals that should be domesticated not those that should be free). I actually never go to zoos because they make my heart sink. But on that point so many people don’t visit rescues/shelters because it’s too sad to see the animals caged and unloved all day. But our farm, this land, our future Homestead will have such an overwhelming feeling of love and peace knowing that we are doing more than anyone has ever done to love them and make their lives matter RIGHT NOW to give the animals the medical and emotional help they need and love them every single step of the way.”
We’re now 3,000 furry lives in, but if we’ve changed just ONE person to treat animals better and they have changed one person, the ripple effect is a beautiful thing and that is how we change the world together. One soul at a time.
Thank you for your time!
The A&F Family
Letter to the Seller:
Dear Sellers, First, thank you for taking the time to review our offers of your beautiful land. Second, I tend to ramble when speaking from my heart, so I apologize now for the length of this. By way of introduction my name is Jen. I purchased the 5 acres adjacent to your property just under 5 years ago. My story isn’t a typical one, life tends to lead us down paths we sometimes never anticipate venturing, but I’ve learned to always follow my heart which led me from Chicago to Boston and now to Spring Hill. I bought a little farm and started a senior dog rescue. I knew nothing about running a rescue and have zero background in training dogs. I honestly just loved them and wanted to find a way to help the ones no one else wanted. Which are the ones that are old, sick, or dying in kill shelters and give them a place to live the rest of their lives in peace. I was always the person who said when I win the lottery, I’ll buy a bunch of land and save animals. I never won the lottery, likely because I never played it, but I knew if I was going to ask others to believe in my dream, I had to go all in myself and prove that we were worthy of every single dollar donated. I took out a bunch of personal loans, maxed out every credit card I had, and took it one day at a time rebuilding the falling down horse barn on my property to an amazing open living style sanctuary today that has expanded beyond even my wildest imagination. And what started with one person has now grown to a movement, or rather a mission, to treat every single homeless or abandoned animal in need like our own, with the same love, respect, kindness, dignity, and grace, especially as they leave this world to journey to the next. After all, I think all every soul really wants in this life is to know that someone on this earth loved them and that their lives mattered and that’s what we strive to do and who we are. From one little red barn became a community, a family, of the most amazing volunteers and staff, fosters and supporters to where over 3,000 animals have been saved since we opened our doors just 3 years ago. If you’re still reading this you’re probably wondering why I share all this… good question. Our dream is to keep saving more lives now and to build more barns to house all the souls no one else wants. No animal deserves to die at a kill shelter just for lack of space or resources and so many animals end up homeless when their loving owners go into a nursing home, hospice care or pass away, we take every single one we can in and love them like their owners would. The goal is always to find them a home but if we don’t then we are their family. Too many rescues just go by the numbers, stack dogs in kennels upon kennels and push them out the door claiming they saved a life. While that is in fact true, in the time those animals waited for a home was that really a life worth living? And what if today was their last day, did they make the very most of it and were they surrounded by love? We’ve learned the very hard way that tomorrow is never guaranteed, and every moment is truly a miracle and life is about treasuring the moments with those we love. While we are a senior focused sanctuary, we also never put an age on saving a life, if there is a way to help, we will find it and that’s where your land comes in. If you were to accept one of our offers it would be the first step towards thousands upon thousands of animal’s new beginnings, a second chance at life and with our mission, love, and support, a life worth living. A place where all lost souls are welcomed and no soul leaves untouched with love. It’s amazing how so many people have found a way to come together and truly make a difference, this would be just one more piece of a bigger puzzle. I know that we are all somehow connected, and you would directly be responsible for not only saving lives but spreading love and sharing the joy, heartache, sorrow, and true beauty of helping a rescue animal. And before I forget, which I always do, we also now save cats as well, so with the new property we plan to put up a kitten cottage, puppy barn, senior barn, behavior barn, and medical barn. We have big, big dreams, beyond our current budget right now but I know this is the first step and every step along the way I’ve never truly known how we would get there but walked each one in faith. If you’re an animal lover you may want to even check our website www.alwaysandfurever.org or on Facebook, Always & Furever Midwest Animal Sanctuary so you can see first-hand how we treat our animals and I will always believe with all my heart it really is never too late for happily ever after. I know if this is meant to be it will all work out and we will find a way. Your land is truly beautiful and would serve an amazing purpose. Thank you so much for your consideration and best wishes to you on your next steps, which I hope are in the same direction as ours.