Sanctuary One, an animal rescue and educational farm in the Applegate Valley, had a banner farm tour season this year. Over 1,000 people visited the farm to meet the animals and learn more about Sanctuary One. For the last couple of years, the tour season capped off with Open Farm Day to celebrate all the farm fans and supporters. This annual event is a chance for the general public to visit the farm free of charge. During the event, visitors meet and interact with the resident animals, visit the farm’s permaculture-inspired gardens, and learn about the Sanctuary’s educational, volunteer, and service-learning programs. Sadly, Open Farm Day has been cancelled due to public health safety concerns. This morning, the board of directors and staff announced the cancellation of the popular Open Farm Day scheduled for Saturday, October 28.
The cancellation is attributed to the discovery of a mild infectious disease among Sanctuary One’s herd of rescued farm animals. Staff are working closely with a team of veterinary consultants to pin down the exact nature of the disease; it is most likely a case of either Orf virus or Ringworm. Several animals are symptomatic, but are expected to recover fully. However, both diseases are transmissible to humans, which will require full quarantine of the large farm animals until further notice.
Sanctuary One’s Executive Director, Megan Flowers, says “We are heartbroken to have to cancel Open Farm Day this year. We enjoy showing off the farm and meeting new friends every year. However, in the best interests of visitors and our resident animals, this cancellation is absolutely necessary.” Melissa Hamre, the organization’s Animal Care Manager, concurs and adds, “Think of this as an outbreak of chicken pox, except that people can catch this from animals. We’re being abundantly cautious for the sake of all people and animals involved.”
Sanctuary One staff will be contacting all those who have made prior reservations via the organization’s website. Due to scheduling conflicts with other activities planned this year, the event will not be rescheduled this year. We sincerely appreciate the understanding of all those impacted by this cancellation.