Sanctuary Moon | A Home for Animals

Sanctuary Moon is a charitable 501(c)(3) non-profit animal sanctuary dedicated to helping animals live harm-free lives with full individual medical care. Sanctuary Moon is west Michigan’s only true animal sanctuary founded on vegan principles. Our residents are ducks, chickens, goats, and roosters. We advocate for their protection, provide them safe haven, and show the world that animal exploitation of any kind is unnecessary.

What is a Microsanctuary?

We had been doing this kind of animal care on our property for years before we realized there was a name for it – the microsanctuary. When we moved outside the city limits, we started finding even more and more animals that needed help. The microsanctuary concept suggests that you do not have to be a giant operation with 20 acres of land to do good work – We can accomplish a lot on a small scale. We have 3.5 acres, a full polebarn, the means for further growth and the know-how to run a small sanctuary. Ryan has over 4 years experience working at a state-licenced farm & wildlife sanctuary specializing in the care of deer fawns. Rachel was recognized by the founders of the ‘microsanctuary movement’ for what we have built so far. Along with support from compassionate people who want to support endeavors like ours, we can make it something even more.

Population: Growing

So far, our residents have been stray cats found on the curb, domestic ducks dumped in a field, chickens otherwise doomed to for someone’s dinner plate, and eventually some mistreated goats that were seized and rehomed with us. It has since grown into a menagerie of very loved individuals who are our family – Currently, 35 hearts.

Although we currently care for many types of animals, we began leaning toward specializing on rescuing roosters – because male chicks are the most unwanted. Many communities ban roosters, so often roosters get abandoned, discarded, or worse. We want to build the means to offer refuge to these wonderfully misunderstood individuals.

Our 3 Microsanctuary Goals

#1: To Financially Sustain Our Cause – We have been doing this the way most people do – the best way we can – out of our own pockets. We started doing the math…with 33 animals in our care, if even a few of them required emergency care, it could financially burry us. Incidentally, two of our hens had to go to the vet one right after the other. Veterinary care for chickens can be anywhere from $45 to $200 a visit. The money that we were spending just to keep our 33 animals ‘status quo’ in nutrition, shelter, and health was becoming non-sustainable. Then we asked ourselves, “How do others do this?” and it then dawned on us, not many farms would go to any lengths to help their animals, or treat chickens as anything other than expendable commodities and acceptable losses – not as individuals. We treat each resident here the same as any pet or family member – uncompromising in zero shortcuts of their care. We knew we needed to create a more sustainable system to ensure that each one of our residents has the security and safety that they deserved – to be cared for just like any other pet or family member. Lastly, to be sustainable also opens efficiencies that can allow us to increase growth in capacity and in facilities.

#2: To Build a More Compassionate Michigan Animal Sanctuary – After working with many Michigan “animal rescues”, and assisting them in financial care, we witnessed many unsettling paradoxes. The biggest difficulty, (that we lost much sleep about), was that many organizations were not consistent in their view on animals. We would work very hard raising money for groups that did not uphold principles that define what sanctuaries should be striving toward. Instead of helping organizations that demonstrate moral gray areas, we chose to instead create an organization that demonstrates the highest values toward animal welfare, free from exploitation and advocating freedom and liberation.

Sanctuary Moon will be the only official farm animal rescue group in the greater Grand Rapids, MI area that abides by true vegan principles. All animals in our care live their life non-exploited in any way. We will never compromise their care or look the other way. We will never release our animals for someone’s meal. Every individual matters.

#3:  To Educate About Our Mission – Our cause is really simple. We want to show the world that animals are individuals, they want to live, and they are just like us. We want to protect animals from situations where they would be harmed, exploited, used, abused, discarded, and show them a happy life.