Meet the Herd
HeartsHerd will sponsor wellness days at the sanctuary as a way of sharing our love and the healing benefits of human-animal interaction, along with our passion to educate the public. If you or someone you know would benefit from spending time with one or all of our herd, please let us know. We would love to have you! Meet the Permanent Residents of our herd below.
Oscar – Our Gentle Giant, he is a Clydesdale horse. He was born in 2000 and came to us in 2005. He was originally acquired to be a lead horse in a draft team. He could not “pull his weight” so he came to the Sanctuary and has been our lead companion ever since.
Gretchen – Our resident donkey. She came to us in 2005 when unbeknown to us, we had a first-hand experience with a livestock auction. We thought we were viewing equipment, never realizing people could auction animals. Naive and then enlightened, Gretchen came home with us rather than an unbearable fate.
Cherokee – He is a registered quarter horse who came to us in our first neglect case and gave us reason to go from individuals wanting to help into an organization, registering in NY as a 501c3 and becoming a Sanctuary in 2010.
Peanut – She is an Appaloosa mare and came to us in 2010 at what we believe was the age of 20yrs old. She had been originally rescued from neglect only to be adopted and then neglected again. She has found her forever place of life, love and her pursuit of happiness.
Buddy – Our Arabian gelding. Came to us in 2011 at we believe was 10 years young. He came from the same horrible auction Gretchen did. He was very scared of people and still needs some work however he absolutely LOVES children and welcomes all who have a kindred soul.
Sky – She is a quarter horse paint and one of our newest residents. She came to us the fall of 2019 with Coppertone our miniature horse. She was severely underweight. They were left after owners moved believing “someone’ was taking care of them. She is still adjusting to her new pasture mates but has gained to her normal weight again.
Coppertone – He is our miniature horse who came with Sky. He had an injured eye, so we did have to have his right eye removed. He is doing quite well, he resides with our alpacas which is not his favorite however this is where we can keep him safe, he’s too small for the rest of the herd.
All of these gelded boys came to us in the spring of 2018 from a wonderful breeder who unfortunately due to health and age needed to find other accommodations for their herd.
Ollie – Our most special soul. He is a beef steer and was born blind and now is practically deaf. He has an amazing story which has been captured by our most special friend and news anchor, Ayna Tucker. Do check out the story of Ollie & Sunny at Heartsherd on You-Tube or linked to our website. Unfortunately, since it’s airing, our beloved Sunny has crossed the rainbow bridge. She taught her pasture buddies well and they have become Ollie’s guides
Isabella and Lily – They are mother, Isabella 12 years old and daughter, Lily, 10 years old, Jersey cows. They came to us with the perils of the 2020 pandemic and their farm being shut down. We could not let these two beautiful friendly ladies meet an unthinkable fate at the livestock auction they were headed to if not for our availability to take them in.
Honey, Ginger and Ebony – These three were a rescue which brought the idea of us being a part of the Albany County DA’s animal cruelty task force in 2017. Helping them was a boots on the ground effort with the Sheriff’s department for a hoarding case in Berne.
Honey is the mother of Ginger and Ebony. She was so malnourished she did not have enough milk to feed her kids. They were only days old, needing bottle feeding. All are thriving now and we are now a part of the Task team to help in further well-being for animals.
Our Shining Star, Tiny Dancer – How do I truly capture the essence of her? She came to us the spring of 2019 from a local petting zoo for baby animals. She clearly had a disability of walking, using mainly her front legs, resembling a ballerina, hence the naming of her as Tiny Dancer.We have had her observed by many doctors, Cornell has diagnosed her with an inoperable lesion her spine, thankfully not painful to her, however it does cause this permanent disability.
She was a companion, heart and soul to our beloved blind lamb, Justice, before his passing in November 2019.
She has taught us so much about resilience and honest gumption! She needs her own Instagram to capture her antics! For now, she is our Facebook star!
Our geese, Blake and Coco, are a bonded pair and Chanel is their daughter. They love their pond and are the watch patrol of the pasture. During winter months they are integrated in the chicken coop with the rest of the fowls.
Our Ducks – Eight of them currently from the same flock, farm life can be hard and wildlife can get hungry so they, as well as the flock of chickens and guinea fowl are not named but are very well cared for and protected as best as we can possibly do.
We also have recently acquired Thatcher, a domestic Peking duck, found wandering about at, you guessed it, Thatcher Park. She was very cold, hungry and in rough shape when a wonderful woman found him. She rehabilitated him for a few days until she realized she needed her bathroom back! Thatcher is quite smitten with James Brown, a beautiful brown duck, who came to us with several chickens in a neglect case this past fall of 2020.
All of the fowl come to us from various situations.
Copper – Our larger-than-life hog. Originally was purchased to feed a family however the children fell in love with him and made him a pet. The family split up, dad was in charge of Copper and thankfully his mother found us and convinced her son to spare his life. He has been with us since 2015, we thought him to be about 3 years old when he came to us. He is quite a character and is the best scented pig around, he smells like maple syrup!!!
Petunia – She is our potbelly pig who came to us in 2016 from a home in Schenectady. They were raising her with their domestic animals as a pet without the proper knowledge of how to care for her. She was severely overweight to the point of situational blindness from a fat ridge above her eyes. We have since put her on a weight loss regime and she is living life in the state she was meant to be, a beloved farm animal.
The Barn Cats:
Thankfully we do adopt out most of the cats that come to us. At this moment, we have several barn cats: Alice, Ralph, Gray Ghost, Sketch, Titten and O.K.
Occasionally, we have visitors such as PJ and friends. Everyone has different ways of coming here with the same story, feral or community cats. We try out best to domesticate all cats who come to us, however, if they truly cannot be “pets,” we will care for them by providing food and safe, warm housing for them.
The House Cats:
Mezzi – She was feral at first, found as a kitten in 2006. we would hear her cry usually around midnight, hence naming her Mezzinotti. We eventually caught her in the wheel well of our car. Once caught, we brought her into the house where she lived in the box spring of our mattress for almost six months. She is now living life very well adjusted as our beloved companion in the entire house, well almost…away from the dogs!
Tippy – Came to us in 2017, supposedly feral and was told to be so mean she killed her kittens. The moment we picked her up from being vetted through operation SNIP she seemed friendly to us. We let her out of the trap, purring and rubbing our hands. She looks at the barn from the top of the counters and tables…never to be feral again!
Dublin – Our old man. Thinking he may be close to 18-20 yrs old. He originally was at our friends at MHHS in Menands in 2011 and was told to be close to 10 then!
We met him at an adoption clinic we held at Pet Spas. Friends wanted to adopt him and took him home, but it did not work out due to him biting. We didn’t have the heart to bring him back so he stayed. He was a very quirky cat and did not socialize well, he seemed to do better as a barn cat… until 2019. Happily, he is now living inside with us, seemingly very happy!
Mama is our personal dog now however she was originally rescued from a cruelty case of which Michelle, was the lead investigator. She is our beloved companion however due to the situation in which she came from she does not integrate well with other dogs so for now, any domestic animals we take into our program we depend on foster homes, boarding facilities such as Pet Spas or staying in their current homes until we can place. We are still very successful in our adoption program through these resources.
We must keep an honorable mention for our beloved Adam, he crossed the rainbow bridge 10/6/20, He had the most terrible start to life and was misunderstood at times but throughout his life he strived for trust and love, his one true guardian was always Michelle, kindred and beyond missed, a soulmate forever until they meet again.