Board Spotlight: Leslie Miller

Leslie Miller couldn’t have any animals in her home while growing up, a necessity intended to mitigate her father’s asthma.

Fast forward to when she turned 18 and moved out, and she got her first cat. The longtime Sanctuary One Care Farm volunteer and Board of Directors secretary has been enjoying animals ever since. She’s amassed quite a brood: a fur-and-feathers squad made up of five goats, ten chickens, two cats, and three dogs.

Some of them came from Sanctuary One.

“(I like) the fact that they take in animals, try to rehome them, rehabilitate,” Leslie says of the 55-acre Applegate facility dedicated to providing a healing environment for animals and people. “That’s very important that the animals always have a place to go.”

Leslie Miller, volunteer and board member on left, Debbie Lyons, long time volunteer on right attending a dog handling training at Sanctuary One

She first heard of the care farm through her veterinarian. Fresh off the loss of a goat, she’d inquired if he knew of anyone giving other goats away.

“He mentioned Sanctuary One,” Leslie says.

Some quick research revealed the farm conducted tours, and she signed up for one with her husband. Eventually, she’d end up adopting not one, but three goats, a trio with names that sound like they belong on the main stage of a deep south music festival: Dolly Parton, Billy Ray Cyrus, and Reba McIntyre.

“That’s essentially when I decided I wanted to volunteer out there,” Leslie says.

About six months after she started volunteering, Leslie joined the Care Farm’s Board of Directors. She continues to serve as a volunteer, out at the farm an average of every other week.

“Leslie is a truly valuable member of our volunteer team at Sanctuary One,” Executive Director Megan Flowers says. “She does it all — animal care, gives tours, helps new volunteers; and on top of that, gives her time and talent as a board member, too. I’m so thankful that she adopted from Sanctuary One and decided to join us in our work to serve our community. Professionally and personally, I simply adore Leslie.”

Recently, Leslie has also been helping to get the new care farm docents program up and running, which consists of a more formalized training for volunteers who give tours.

“Until I can’t make it out there anymore, I will be out there,” she says. “Even if it’s just to sit in the dog or cat cottage.”

Leslie, second on the left, volunteering at a Sanctuary One dog adoption event at Red Dog Pet Supply in Jacksonville in 2023

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