Windstorm creates crisis at popular South Okanagan petting farm - InfoNews

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Windstorm creates crisis at popular South Okanagan petting farm

Isla Bitting of Rossland, B.C. gets up close with the goats at Andy's Animal Acres on Three Mile Road. The popular petting farm is facing some tough decisions following windstorm damage at the facility last Sunday night, Aug. 21, 2016.
August 27, 2016 - 10:30 AM

PENTICTON - A popular tourist attraction and animal shelter in the South Okanagan is at a crossroads following losses from last Sunday’s windstorm.

Andrea “Andy” Buyan of Andy’s Animal Acres is seeking donations or corporate sponsorship in order to continue operating her petting farm on Three Mile Road along the Naramata Bench.

Last Sunday’s windstorm knocked over two important shade trees and destroyed the hay shed on the farm.

“We opened the farm in 2013, built it out of recycled materials in the hopes of one day working it into a sustainable business,” Buyan says. “It’s basically been a labour of love, since it opened, and it hasn’t gone past that.”

Buyan says a curly willow and a second tree were knocked down Sunday. The trees provided protection for the rabbits from the sun and predatory birds.

She recently created an online fundraising page in an effort to collect some extra money to keep going.

“It’s a matter of pride for me to keep the farm open for everyone’s enjoyment - we have had many seniors, school kids, and special needs groups touring the farm, but without outside funding we have to make a change,” she says. “I’ve been quitting my job every summer to run the farm. I want it to be a business, but so far it hasn’t been for profit.”

Buyan is hoping to attract local business sponsorship, noting Rite-Way Fencing has already stepped forward to offer materials to rebuild the rabbit pen.

The farm is also home to chickens, horses, lamas, goats, rabbits, pigs and ducks, a number of which are farm rescue animals.

“I’m passionate about these animals and being able to share this. We care for and have respect for these animals. For many kids, it’s their only opportunity to see farm animals.”

If you'd like to help out, check out the GoFundMe page.

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