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As the only no-kill, non-profit 120-acre animal sanctuary of its kind serving Austin, San Antonio and surrounding Texas communities, SARA seeks by example to illustrate the value of companion animals; and thus the irresponsibility of allowing an unending cycle of reproduction, neglect and abuse of these animals. We have not waivered from our original goal of a true no-kill policy - the animals live out their natural lives regardless of age, temperment or health.
Formerly an old dairy farm, the Sanctuary is in the middle of 380 acres. The original buildings, still in existence today, consist of a milking barn turned into living quarters, a kitchen and a special needs facility; a large outhouse with a clawfoot tub; and a guest house, now the study. Over the last eight years, several mobile homes have been added to accomodate staff and to provide a climate controlled environment for our elderly animals.
We've also built over 100 outdoor enclosures which house the two catterys (one with healthy, adoptable cats and the other with our FIV/Leukemia cats), the dogs (which live in communal groups of two to six), and our rescued factory farm animals (goats, pigs, donkeys, chickens, and cows). There are about 850 animals here at any given time. Other original features are the old watering tanks, one now converted into a goldfish pond, and the water tower.
For miles around there is no one, unless you count the occasional tractor plowing the nearby farms or the infrequent sputtering of a battered truck's exhaust. Instead, the days are punctuated by sounds of barking dogs, meowing cats, the grunting of pigs and the baying of a single donkey. We take in a variety of animals including factory farm animals such as cows, chickens, turkeys and pigs, as well as domestic animals who settle in and live out their lives at our sanctuary if they cannot be adopted. Many of the animals are terrified of people when they first arrive because of their traumatic histories, but they soon learn that they are safe at the sanctuary.
- Brandy Cykala
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