When Mackenzie Sullivan took the University of Connecticut’s Introduction to Animal Science class, she trained a Hereford cow that she named Ellie Mae. Though Ellie Mae was auctioned off to a local farmer at UConn’s beef auction at the end of the semester, she and her calf are now back under Sullivan’s care.
“[Ellie Mae] has had a beautiful baby girl since [the auction] and I’ve gone to visit her at her new home for the past two and a half years,” Sullivan wrote in a post in the Buy or Sell UConn Tickets Facebook group. “The farmer has agreed to give her and her calf back to me so that I can make sure they will stay together forever. I plan to rescue more and more animals as money and time allow.”
Sullivan, a 2018 UConn graduate who majored in psychological sciences and minored in animal sciences, now works full-time at a veterinary office. However, she was inspired by an Instagram page she saw of a farm sanctuary to start a sanctuary of her own.
“After visiting Ellie Mae at her new home in Lebanon, CT, I saw an Instagram page for a farm sanctuary,” Sullivan said. “Right then I knew that this is what I wanted to dedicate the rest of my life to and it would be because of Ellie Mae that I would have the drive to make it happen.”
The Ellie Mae Farm Sanctuary is a farm animal sanctuary dedicated to rescuing, caring and providing a home for neglected, abused and abandoned farmed animals. The animals will be cared for and allowed to live out their lives in peace.
Sullivan said though the sanctuary does not currently have a permanent location, she is looking for a property in Eastern Connecticut and plans to open fully to the public by the summer of 2020.
“As soon as we are ready for volunteers and visitors, we will announce it on our website and social media pages,” Sullivan said. “Once we find a permanent residence we will need many volunteers to come help get the sanctuary ready in order to open our doors fully to the public and in order to rescue more animals.”
In addition to more cows, Sullivan said she is hoping the sanctuary will be able to rescue chickens, turkeys, sheep, goats and pigs.
Ultimately, Sullivan said Ellie Mae Farm Sanctuary’s mission is to create a space where the public can come visit and connect with animals that are most commonly killed, exploited and abused in animal agriculture.
“By giving farmed animals the chance to live out their lives in sanctuary and by telling their stories, we will advocate for veganism in hopes to reduce the suffering of all beings and to educate the public on making better choices for their health, the environment and, most importantly, the animals,” Sullivan said.
Gabriella DeBenedictis is a senior staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.