Farm animal sanctuaries across the country have had to adapt in these unprecedented times. Here’s a case study of how one has innovated.

Since its founding in 2016, Charlie’s Acres—a farm animal sanctuary in Sonoma, CA—has been a place where visitors can make personal connections with animals who’ve been rescued from traumatic circumstances.

But in March, when Sonoma County issued shelter-in-place orders to contain the spread of COVID-19, in-person tours were cancelled. Overnight, a major source of income evaporated, and layoffs of part-time staff ensued. That, combined with a volunteer freeze, left fewer people to provide animal care.

Within a couple of weeks, “We started to realize we needed to adapt,” says Charlie’s Acres founder Tracy Vogt. Indeed, the innovations that Vogt and other sanctuaries’ leaders have spearheaded to survive in the COVID-19 era demonstrate that animal sanctuaries, while vulnerable, are also resilient—just like the animals who call them home…

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