Safe Haven Farm Sanctuary is home to more than one hundred farm animals rescued from neglect, slaughter, and abuse. Founded by Bill and Ellen Crain in January 2008, Safe Haven Farm Sanctuary is a non-profit organization where these gentle beings can breathe deeply and run around freely without fear.
Turkeys, chickens, goats, lambs, pigs, horses, bunnies, and ducks are among the creatures that make up Safe Haven farm. Many of the animals are overweight and have serious heart and leg problems when they arrive at the farm, so there is a lot of rehabilitation therapy on the grounds.
Located just over an hour away from New York City, this farm is nestled in the hills of the Hudson Valley in Poughquag, NY.
Safe Haven Farm Sanctuary
542 Gardner Hollow Road, Poughquag, NY 12570
About the Owners
Thirteen years ago, Bill and Ellen Crain gave up their professional careers and decided to dedicate their lives to saving factory farm animals. Dr. Bill Crain was once an established Professor of Psychology at the City College of New York and his wife, Dr. Ellen Crain, was a prestigious award-winning pediatrician at the Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx.
Now together they operate Safe Haven Farm Sanctuary full-time with the help of their trusted staff and volunteers to provide the highest level of care and love to more than one hundred animal rescues.
Their mission is to restore rescued animals to health and provide them with a lifelong home where they can live free and happy lives, never to experience the cruelty and brutality of animal abuse again.
According to Bill Crain, ten million animals are slaughtered every year and nine out of ten billion are chickens killed by agricultural industries for meat production. One of the main reasons he leads tours on the farm every weekend is to try to get people to be more conscious and mindful about what they are eating.
After walking around the farm and interacting with the animals, his goal is to get people to think about living a more compassionate lifestyle for animals by making the transition to a balanced, plant-based diet.
Bill has been a long-time animal advocate for years. He has been jailed (as well as awarded) three years in a row for protesting the inhumane practice of bear hunting in New Jersey. Just this past year, Governor Murphy ended bear hunting in New Jersey, marking a big milestone on the path to animal activism.
When Bill isn’t busy with chores on the farm, he takes direct action to advocate for animals suffering in agricultural industries by writing books and articles about them. He recently wrote The Emotional Lives of Animals and Children: Insights from a Farm Sanctuary.
This book is divided into two parts, the first of which addresses six emotional traits that children and animals share: fear, play, freedom, caring, spirituality, and resilience. Part two looks at children’s roles in a culture that frequently undervalues animals. Bill is currently in the process of authoring another book about the stories of the animals on the farm.
The Emotional Lives of Animals and Children by Bill Crain
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Tours and Events
Safe Haven Farm requests that you call at least one day in advance to make an appointment to visit the farm. Face masks are required, and the tour takes place outside, weather permitting, so make sure to check the forecast before making your reservation.
Reservations can be made by calling Bill or Ellen at 845-724-5138. After the tours, donations are strongly suggested, as vet costs are a significant invariable expense on the farm.
The farm also hosts magical and unique ceremonies and events, especially during the holidays. On the Saturday before every Thanksgiving, at noon, the farm holds its “Blessing of the Turkeys,” an annual Thanksgiving celebration.
Visitors are invited to feed holiday pies to the farm’s turkeys, including sweet potato and pumpkin pies. Then, following the feeding of the turkeys, guests are welcome to partake in some delectable plant-based fare on the farm.
My time at Safe Haven Farm Sanctuary was memorable, to say the least. When I arrived at the farm, I was immediately greeted by a sweet, gray, long-haired cat named Salt. As I sat down on the picnic bench in front of the barn waiting for Bill to begin the tour, Salt kept me great company until it began.
Bill began the tour by taking me around the rabbit houses and chicken coops, before leading me through a gateway where I fed Carson the donkey. Then I saw how big the pigs in the pig pens were…
I also met Izzy, a colonial Heritage Narragansett turkey and two newborn baby calves only two weeks old. One of the calves that were rescued was born prematurely and was scheduled to be sent to slaughter. These babies were so sweet and friendly, walking right up to me to play…
At the end of the tour, I left the farm feeling happy and peaceful knowing that over one hundred animals at Safe Haven Farm Sanctuary have found a loving home to live out the rest of their days. Bill and Ellen Crain are the most amazing, down-to-earth people and their sanctuary is truly a special place.
Each animal has their own story and has found its permanent home at the farm. While it might not be possible to save them all, people like Bill and Ellen who have dedicated their lives to rescuing as many animals as they can, inspire us to do our part and live a more compassionate lifestyle for animals by accepting and embracing a more plant-based diet.
Thinking about making the transition to a vegan, plant-based lifestyle? Consider these great reasons to go vegan for the planet, the animals, and yourself.
You may also enjoy a visit to the Woodstock Farm Sanctuary in High Falls, NY where you can hug and pet many of the animals and enjoy a close-up encounter with them to relieve the stress of everyday life.
Contributed by Anna Fiore: Anna is a 2021 graduate of SUNY-New Paltz, majoring in Communications, with a concentration in Public Relations and a minor in journalism. She is an advocate of environmental sustainability, animal rights, and healthy living and eating.