Jennifer Sale is the Founder and Executive Director of Sale Ranch Animal Sanctuary. Her love of animals started at an early age with her first horse, Patches – who taught her about commitment, loyalty, and compassion. These values became the framework in which she would approach all animals to this day. After raising a family her lifelong dream of opening an animal refuge that is 100% off-grid was realized in 2011 with the purchase of property in the country. When she and her husband Dave began seeking their first horse to bring to the ranch, they were dismayed by the number of abandoned and neglected horses in their area. Being in proximity of dairy farms, they also learned of farm animals in these dire conditions. The need was impossible to ignore, so Sale Ranch Animal Sanctuary was born.
Jennifer has a background in medicine. She entered the field as a scheduler in the radiology department of a hospital. Her experience in this setting and interest in the OR inspired her to become a nurse. During her coursework at Concord Nursing School, she fell in love with cardiology. Following graduation as an LVN, she continued her education specific to cardiac patient care, including CVICU and Telemetry. She became certified in ACLS and Telemetry. After a decade of working in acute care hospitals, she entered the mortgage industry for several years before returning to patient care at a wellness center. Jennifer left the medical industry in 2016 as the ranch grew and needed all her time.
Her experience with horses and background in nursing has been of great benefit to the ranch. She has the skill to reassure incoming rescues who may be traumatized and provide preventive care to a range of animals which often reduces or eliminates large veterinary bills.
Does the individual in need of rescue meet our mission statement?
If so, is the current situation dire such as neglect, starvation, unsafe conditions, or facing slaughter?
Are there other viable options for this animal?
Does the person contacting us have legal ownership and willing to surrender to SRAS?
Do we have the secure space and financial resources to meet the needs of the animal for a lifetime? If so, the case is discussed with our board and care team.
Do we have the physical team with the knowledge and skills to meet incoming needs?
Will this individual serve as ambassador for his or her species?
The end of quarantine is an exciting time at the ranch because it means progress. If appropriate, our new resident gets to integrate with the herd of their own species. Feedings are based on individual needs since we have a diverse population of metabolic, neurological and genetically modified residents who require a specific type of feed and others who require daily medication. We provide high-quality hay and supplements and our barnyards get fresh, clean produce. Food prep, medication and feeding can take up to five hours per day. A clean barn is just as important as good nutrition, so we supply fresh, high-quality bedding every morning.
The atmosphere at the ranch is one that is conducive to healing and rejuvenation. We open our doors to youth who have experienced trauma from neglect, abandonment or abuse or come from disadvantaged backgrounds of poverty, high crime rates, under performing schools, single parent households, or households with low level parental educations. Any number of these family or life events can increase the risk of poor life outcomes and lead to anti-social behavior such as bullying, skipping school, joining gangs, committing crimes, living on the streets, or falling victim to human trafficking.
At the ranch troubled youth can begin to heal by engaging with the animals who have had troubles of their own. After hearing stories about their lives before finding refuge at the ranch, it is astonishing for them to see the once-broken animals living happy lives with unconditional love and pure trust. This is a relatable moment when they realize that change is possible through kindness and understanding. Studies show that when you are kind to animals, you are kind to other people so a visit to the ranch makes a difference in the life of youth who feel like they never mattered at all. The visit ends at the compost garden to learn more about nurturing and second chances for the earth.
In the United States alone, almost 100 percent of farm animals come from industrial “breeding mills”, or CAFO’s (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation), where individuals are seen as inventory of product instead of living beings. Cows, pigs, and chickens are packed into confined spaces where they are unable to move or even turn around and languish in misery inside warehouses until they are slaughtered. Laying hens do not fare much better. They are locked inside wire cages without room to spread their wings or padding to shield their lower bodies from the bare wire. In all cases, the lack of movement, unnatural environments, and no access to fresh air and sunlight causes severe physical and mental distress to the animals. The end to their existence is just as unkind.
EQUINE MEAT TRADE
It is illegal in the U.S. to slaughter horses for human consumption, but not illegal to send American-bred horses to other countries as a food source. This obscure trade can be lucrative. According to Humane Society of the United States, over 100,000 horses are live shipped to slaughter each year. The USDA documented that 92.3% of horses sent to slaughter are in good condition and otherwise would have been able to live out productive lives if they had a home. As commodities, horses are crammed into trucks where they suffer without food and water during transport for 24 hours or more, then are subjected to a terrifying and painful death. There is currently no law in place to ban this practice so until one is enacted by U.S. Congress, every horse in America is a target for the people who supply the market.
To stay green every resource at the ranch is recycled or repurposed, including organic matter collected from the rescues. This natural fertilizer is used in our compost garden to grow fruits and vegetables to be used as feed. Our efforts mean less demand on commercial produce which means less demand on the earth. The compost garden also serves as a learning tool for the community on how to steward the planet to give resources a second life, even with something as unappealing as manure.