Farm animals available for adoption
By Brittany Llorente
INDIAN RIVER COUNTY -- When dogs and cats have nowhere to go, they usually take a trip to the Humane Society of Vero Beach and Indian River County.
What happens to the farm animals though?
The Humane Society of Vero Beach and Indian River County, fortunately, has the facilities for farm animals and currently houses a horse, two goats and a pot belly pig.
The largest of the animals is Cindy, a 9 year old bay quarter horse, who was a stray wandering around Fellsmere when she was picked up by animal control.
Cindy showed some signs of abuse and has a few trust issues, but according to staff, once bonded, she is very affectionate.
"She has been with us for about a year," said Janet Winikoff, the Humane Society of Vero Beach and Indian River County's director of education. "We've had volunteers coming in to help with her training and socialization. It's time for her to move on to a better and brighter home."
Cindy's companions in the barn followed with Peanut and Mac.
Peanut is a male 4-year old chocolate colored male goat who was rescued by animal control for abuse.
"He had a choker collar on him," Ms. Winikoff said. "It had to be partially surgically removed."
Mac is a three month old tan and white goat. He was found as a stray, already growing healthy and strong from the care of the shelter.
The smallest, yet arguably cutest, of the farm animals is a 6-year-old pot belly pig named Hammy Faye Bacon.
"She's not terribly big," Ms. Winikoff said. "She was surrendered because her family couldn't keep her any longer. She loves to be petted and brushed."
The shelter usually has horses available for adoption or individuals looking to place horses.
Each applicant needs to speak with Ilka Daniels, the director of animal protection at the Humane Society of Vero Beach and Indian River County.
The applicants will have to make sure that they are zoned agriculturally to be able to keep the farm animals, an issue for a lot of potential adopters.
"One of the reasons we get a lot of pot belly pigs into the shelters is because they're sometimes sold as house pets," Ms. Winikoff said. "When people come in to adopt an animal, Ilka sits down with them and does the chat for counseling and adoption. She helps them to understand the costs involved. There are a lot of costs that come with pigs and you should have a vet that is good at taking care of pigs."
The same goes for equine animals and small farm animals.
There is also planning that goes into having a farm animal, especially for those on the Treasure Coast who may encounter issues with hurricanes and other types of emergencies.
"You have to make sure you can provide them with proper care if there is an emergency," Ms. Winikoff said. "I can load my dog into my car, but I can't load Cindy into my car."
Anyone interested in adoption will need to come to the shelter and fill out an application.
For more information on adoption, contact (772) 388-3331 or visit www.hsvb.org.