Pig Petunia Buttercup, at 550 pounds, still sleeps in the kitchen every night. While other rescues fundraise and solicit donations (they do have a 501(c) 3 that they have not relied on for more than a few small donations each year,) Kathleen and David opted to fund the work themselves, putting every penny they earned into the animals and the farm. At any given time, they have between 130 and 150 rescues on the property, most of them special needs, and the cost of hay and feed alone is $10,000 a month. Vet bills, farriers and other necessities add up to nearly another $10,000, and that doesn’t include the mortgages.
Those animals that can work are trained to do very important jobs. The farm offers riding for special needs individuals at a nominal price, and many autistic and Downs syndrome adults have learned to ride independently on incredibly gentle horses, all of which came to the farm as throwaway or slaughter animals. Kathleen has offered programs for adolescent girls who suffered from bullying (at no cost to those who couldn’t afford it, which is most of the participants.) Working with Kathleen’s very special horse, Captain, the girls learned how to stand up for themselves and regain their confidence and self-esteem.
Fifteen years ago, Kathleen Schurman and her husband, David, purchased 15 acres in Bethany, CT, (in two parcels of land) and began to rescue animals from slaughter, neglect and abuse situations. Over the years they have saved hundreds of horses, dozens of sheep, goats, hens, roosters (many from the cock fights,) dogs, cats, veal calves and more. Long before the world went wild over Esther the Wonder Pig, Locket’s Meadow farm had Ozzie Osboar, who weighed about 400 pounds and followed Kathleen everywhere.