If you have checked out our Adoption Application, you know we're very picky about who gets to adopt animals from Tomten Farm and Sanctuary. Congratulations to the most recently adopted Tomten Rescues who have left for their forever homes. And congratulations to all the adopters who impressed Tomten's persnickety Board of Directors with their desire to continue our commitment of peace, protection and possibility for those we loved so much and worked so hard to save.

Adopted! Our 4 Special Needs Goat Kids!

Every livestock auction is a gamble and despite our best efforts, we never know exactly what we are bringing home. We have been incredibly lucky. Nine times we beat the odds, nine lives safe in sanctuary. But in Spring 2018, our luck, sadly, ran out. All four of our little goat kid rescues tested a very high positive for CAE. CAE stands for Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis. It is a virus that affects goats and not humans. Goats pass CAE to each other via infected colostrum, milk, bodily secretions or blood. So while this did mean these cuties could not move in with our clean herd, it did not mean they couldn't be great pets for someone without other goats who was looking for a goat to love.

Turns out, after getting to know all the joys and amusement that goats can bring into our lives, their foster dad Scott decided HE wanted a whole herd of goats to love. And why not this herd?? So he adopted the whole group! Just look at them now! A bonded quartet staying together and enjoying hikes and adventures for whatever time they have in this world. We couldn't be happier. Thank you again to volunteer Heather and family for quarantining them and to Scott D. for ensuring that these lucky goaties make the most of every single minute.


Adopted! Tindra Highstocking

Sometimes the perfect adopter can be just a hoof print away.

Such was the case with Tindra, the beautiful paint filly who was surrendered to Tomten along with her mother, Taabe Summer Storm. Tindra was Taabe's her eighth (and last) foal. You can read more about their arrival here.

Enter Jen B.

From horse-loving child to equine professional, her entire life has been centered around horses. And since we arrived in NH, we at Tomten Farm and Sanctuary have been lucky enough to be able to count our equines among them. Her kind, thoughtful and patient handling of our horses, ponies and donkeys during their routine and therapeutic hoof trims is consistent with our care on every level. Every one of our animals, no matter the species, seeks her out.

Now, in addition to being our hoof care specialist, we are happy to welcome Jen B. into our adopter club—a partner on our journey as together we make dreams come true for animals in need.

When Jen B. first met Tindra, she knew the little filly was something special.  There was an instant connection that could not be denied.  They felt it, we felt it and the universe once again watched, smiling from the sidelines as it often does when observing the results of its handiwork. Soon an adoption application from Jen B. was in-hand and, not surprisingly, approved!

It wasn't quite time for Tindra to leave us though. All agreed to work toward ensuring a softer and smoother transition by allowing her to stay at Tomten until she was naturally weaned by her mother, grew content to spend her time further and further away from Taabe* and learned how to enter and exit the trailer like a pro.

 In honor of Tindra's best friend, Uncle Pippilottaspotslongstocking and in reference to her beautiful, high white stockings, adopter Jen B. added the Tomten supporter-suggested name, to Tindra's own, changing it to "Tindra Highstocking." Perfect!

We are honored by Jen's commitment to keep this filly safe and happy in an environment that so few horses get to know. For Tindra, her gifts started early¬–first to be surrendered to Tomten Farm and Sanctuary in lieu of auction and then to be adopted out to an incredible home.

Happy new life, Tindra Highstocking!

*Tindra Highstocking's mother, Taabe Summer Storm, has been TAdopted and will remain in sanctuary at Tomten Farm and Sanctuary for the rest of her life. Click here for details.

Mother and baby off to their new lives

Official greeter
Baby Braymore
became a fast friend

Jen B. and Tindra Highstocking,
a match made in heaven


Adopted! Audrey Heifer and Elliot Steer

First there was Gideon. Then Gilligan, Linus and Leland. Audrey was the first HEIFER that was rescued into Gideon's Gifts Cow Initiative Program.

How did Audrey manage to get into this boys' club??

Well, this little girl was half of a twin birth, a rarity in the dairy world that happens approximately 5% of the time. When a cow is pregnant with a mixed gender pair, the calves share the placental membrane which causes each of them (especially the female) to develop characteristics of the opposite sex. More than 90% of the time, the female is born sterile, a "freemartin," which means she is incapable of reproducing. Because infertile females cannot get pregnant, they cannot produce milk and therefore they cannot earn their keep and are generally considered expendable. Like their twin brothers (and most bull calves), these by-products are usually shipped to sale and slaughter.

Though we were unable to cast our safety net in time to reach Audrey's twin brother, shortly after she arrived at Tomten, we were able to save yet another unrelated bull calf. A handsome Holstein/Jersey now named Elliot Steer, he and Audrey Heifer were both adopted from Tomten by a fellow non-profit, Unity Farm Sanctuary located in Sherborn, Massachusetts.

Thank you, Kathy and John, for opening up your sanctuary and embracing these two at-risk bovines. It's obvious that they have become fast friends and are wonderful ambassadors for their species at Unity. Their placement is an inspiring testimonial that together, side-by-side, our organizations' combined efforts can make a difference for animals in need. Thank you for all you do. Little by little, one by one, (or two-by-two!) we can moo-ve mountains.

Elliot, pre-rescue, pre-name,
at-risk in his outdoor "calf hutch"

Elliot, post-adoption, getting comfortable
at Unity Farm and Sanctuary
 (photo courtesy of Unity Farm and Sanctuary)

 Audrey Heifer enjoying a warm welcome
at Unity Farm and Sanctuary
(photo courtesy of Unity Farm and Sanctuary)


Audrey Heifer (right) relaxing with Elliot Steer

Baby Gilligan—An Adoption A Calf Could Only Dream About

Adopting an animal out is always bittersweet for us; it's sad to say goodbye but so incredible to know that an animal has a life, a home and a future because of all of us. With Gilligan, we were blessed with the knowledge that he went to new owners who fell instantly in love, have had two lifetime cows before and founded an organization that like ours, advocates for animals in need . Knowing he is guaranteed love for the rest of his days, well, that makes everything more than ok even with farewells and that love, it fuels us forward.

Please join me congratulating Audrey and Liz from Smith & Agli's Potbelly Manor on their new addition. We are so honored they kept his name and so appreciative of the extra efforts they made to keep him safe via temporary fencing and updates as he got acclimated to the other animals and his new home- their creativity is fabulous and we know all too well the adaptability it takes to transition and grow.

As required in all Tomten adoptions, Gilligan will certainly not be a "lonely only" in THIS home!!! Our lucky boy will live out his days with llamas, pigs, goats, bunnies, pigeons and lots and lots of friends who have missed a cow in their midst. (Gilligan has big hooves to fill. Audrey and Liz's previous beloved cow, Bettie Davis, spent over 12 joyous years being spoiled by them, many volunteers and countless visitors.) We suspect Gilligan is already receiving more time and attention than he ever dreamed possible.

Thank you, Audrey and Liz, for embracing this beautiful boy and thank you to all who helped save his life. Not only did we save him but his adoption made room for another at-risk bovine in our Cow Initiative Program. Together we are Tomten Farm and Sanctuary and together we make a difference one life at a time -for Gilligan that is all the difference he needed.

Congratulations to Gilligan, Audrey and Liz and all your supporters.

"Fig, I'll Miss You Most of All."
 Gilligan kisses Tomten donkey Fig goodbye (loosening Fig's grazing mask with his enthusiastic affection)



Rescued in 2017, these two beautiful bull calves were saved together. Amazingly they were adopted together and will remain together for the rest of their days! Wohoo! Or perhaps I should say, WooMoo! We couldn't have asked for a more perfect scenario!

It's pretty darn amazing when even one calf is adopted (they are, after all, a bit larger than your typical dog or cat adoption ), but when two are adopted out together, well that's the stuff that makes our hearts swell.  These two gorgeous Jerseys' not only get to remain together for the rest of their lives, they joined two sheep, a few dogs and several horses. I have no doubt that after spending six weeks here at Tomten Farm and Sanctuary that they felt right at home the minute they arrived at Tony and Claude's.

Congratulations, Linus and Leland, on your new family. May you enjoy the blessings of love, compassion and care, and live to a ripe old age together. Your days will never be numbered again.

Thank you to all who have joined us on this journey. They would not be safe without you and thank you again, Tony and Claude, for opening your hearts and home to our little Jersey boys who are not so little any more. Their fabulous transition not only secured a forever family for these beautiful little guys, it opened a spot for us to step up for another bovine in need and then again another and another, To get daily insights on our rescues, please watch our facebook page and this site for exciting announcements!

Together we are Tomten Farm and Sanctuary. Together we made a difference for Linus and Leland. Together our journey continues as little by little, one by one, (and sometimes two by two!), we make an impact. Moo.


Huckleberry Petrichor Chase

We found this horse in the lower aisle of auction, tied with 100+ horses that had little chance of rescue and absolutely no representation. Somehow he had found his way into the pipeline, let down by the very people he relied on, left to, in all probability, face an unspeakable ending alone. He did not look so fancy then, thinner, duller, and with much less expression, but there was something in him that caught our eye and so he made our list of possibilities. We watched him along with several others and when he ran through, we bid but backed out when the price went too high. Later that evening, we found, to our dismay, that he had been purchased by a well-know kill buyer. Thanks to the efforts of several people who scrambled to secure his safety and the man who allowed us to save his life, we purchased him right out of the chute and he became part of the Tomten Farm and Sanctuary family.

If that wasn't enough of a gift, his quarantine provider fell in love and stepped up to provide this horse with dreams come true for the rest of his life. Thanks to the entire TF&S community, he was able to go from the end of the line to peace, protection and possibility. He is shown with his partner, Sarah, participating in an amazing clinic that propelled both forward on their journey. When I asked how he did she answered, "I love him more and more every day." I'll admit, this photo of them and her words, well, they fill my heart with joy.


Huckleberry Petrichor Chase

Sometimes there is a trail. A connecting of the dots that leads to a name. That was the case with "Huck." I will not share the background of the story, it is not mine to tell, but his first name is in honor of the special bond between a girl and a her horse. A bond we watched honored by a follower on this page and so, Tammy, may every horse have a guardian angel like you when they need it most. Thank you for advocating for that horse and for sharing our journey.

This horse's first name essentially means, "I'm the man you're looking for" and he was — standing there so patiently in the dark aisle, alone. His middle name is the smell of the earth after rain and signifies life, and his last name is my grandmother's maiden name. I wish "Nana" were here to see him, this beautiful save of ours.


Reddington Poet of Copperfield

We quietly stepped up to save this gentle horse who had found himself in trouble.

The old, plain, red gelding is the type of horse that most people would walk right by. The kind, safe, veteran who had been there for our children the previous camp season and who probably cared for countless others for many years before. With 22 years under his girth, he is the horse a friend of ours might would say, that "has more past than future."

We had watched him run through auction and thought perhaps he was safe. Sadly, he was not and through no fault of his own, he found himself heading to be wholesaled, destined for a long trailer ride and yet another, larger auction. We had no reason to believe he would have made it through. At a large sale we feared that he would be all but invisible, after all, we were looking and almost hadn't seen him ourselves.

He was thin and banged and bruised and the good looks he must have had in his younger years had been slowly stolen from him. Yet, somehow, he was not soured and a beautiful trust and calmness exuded from him as though he expected to try, try and try again until he landed in the right place—a forever, loving home. A twinkle still lit his eyes, a flirtatious charm that let us know he was going to be special and we were as excited as he was at the future we could offer him. Peace, protection and possibility.

Through a myriad of twists and turns and the kindness of the right people at the right time we were contacted about his plight. In a leap of faith, we pulled together to purchase him. And this is where the real magic begins.

Fast forward two months. Released from quarantine (thank you, Bonnie!), the big red horse went on our "Foster to Forever" trial. It was there that he found his perfect forever home with Gianna C. and family where he is now affectionately known as "Po." Soon after his adoption was finalized, we went to a livestock auction with his Mom to find Po a suitable companion (a resident companion animal being a requirement for all our adoptions).

Gianna ended up rescuing TWO beautiful goats that day (see photo). Turns out, they weren't quite the fit we hoped for, but they WERE perfect for a neighbor and Po instead ended up with his very own equine companion , a cute 22-year young Mini gelding in search of a soft landing himself.

If you are counting, that's one (auction goat), two (auction goat) three (mini gelding) lives saved in addition to the extended hand to Po.  But it doesn't stop there! Those two rescued does? Well, SURPRISE! They were pregnant with two of the cutest and luckiest kids ever! Gaaaahhhh goatie babies! Don't you just want to hug them?

Good deeds really do set the universe in motion. Thank you, Gianna, for stepping up for our beautiful red horse and making our hearts smile. We just love this magical story of peace, protection and possibility generously granted to one, and ultimately benefiting five deserving animals PLUS the humans who love them every day. Thank you for this real-life fairy tale follow-up.




Lottie Mae Lemondrop

September. The end of summer camp season. Which means many of the horses who patiently teach young campers how to ride find themselves dumped at auction.

I cannot take credit for finding this beautiful, kind and inquisitive mare (previously #1645, the auction number on her hip). She first caught Board member Laima's eye. And so, since Laima introduced her to me (and ultimately ended up saving her life), I feel it is only fitting to feature both Lottie and her in the accompanying photo of the two of them in the pasture—one that so perfectly exemplifies the peace, protection and possibility that both horses and people enjoy here at Tomten Farm and Sanctuary.

Lottie Mae is a good example of nice horses who somehow end up in bad situations. She was a last-minute add-in to that auction. Though we cannot be 100% sure, she had many of the earmarks of having been a summer-camp horse. She is a beautiful senior palomino with no visible evidence of illness, lameness or abuse. Tacking, trimming, bridling, saddling, trailering, riding, lunging—she is a superstar. And we can't take credit. She arrived that way. Whether surrounded by the chaos of auction or later at the farm, she was the same horse in both environments: sweet, kind and safe. She never spooked, buck, bolted or reared. She knew new her leads and even showed evidence of natural horsemanship training. And yet...somehow she ended up at auction where stripped of her identity, she became #1645 with an unknown future ahead.

A private party and a well-known kill-buyer bid against each other. The private party backed out of the bidding leaving  #1645 at risk, just one bid away from slaughter. We stepped up, outbid the meat buyer and, in the blink of an eye, Lottie's fate was forever changed.

Since then, Lottie has truly enjoyed the life of a "golden child." She became a "leggy blond supermodel" for our raffle quilt (eat your heart out, Gisele Bundchen!), joined the Tomten herd after her quarantine and has been adopted by Lasell B., a gentle, skilled horsewoman, therapeutic riding instructor and horsemanship coach. Lottie joins "Rusty," a handsome Morgan gelding, in her new home. From what we hear, she is living a life of leisure, "Her favorite activities seem to be eating and rolling (dirt, mud, snow – (she's not picky)," reports Lasell, "and looking out and around the neighborhood." Sounds just like her! Besides, who wouldn't want to take in that view?

Together we are Tomten Farm and Sanctuary and together we made Lottie's dreams come true. Congratulations, Lasell. Thank you for opening up your barn and your heart to this beautiful soul; we are so happy you connected on this journey.




The Rabbit Formerly Known as Prince

Well, that is not entirely true. This cute guy is currently known as Prince, given his new name, by Susan B. his happy adopter.

We rescued this beautiful rabbit (we think he is a young Flemish Giant) at a livestock auction where hearing the "sold" gavel come down is generally not good news for a rabbit, a menu staple for many. It's Kosher, halal and acceptable for Hindus who decline beef for religious reasons and, we are told, "tastes like chicken." What doesn't???

In the U.S., rabbit meat has not been a staple on most family dining tables since World War II when these animals munched on Victory Garden scraps and later landed on the table while other meat products were diverted to the troops.  But that was then, and this is now: rabbit meat is increasingly making an appearance on the cooking channels and in the kitchens of high-end restaurant chefs,  resulting in production and sales of the meat taking off.

But none of that concerns Prince. He not only has a new home, he has a new best friend, Maize the cat. Maizie had been missing her previous rabbit friend for quite some time and took an instant liking to the Prince. As you can see, the two have formed an unlikely but beautiful friendship. True love, it seems, knows no boundaries.

There are far few homes for far too many animals and we are so grateful to Susan B. for welcoming this handsome Foo Foo with open arms. An experienced rabbit owner, she is already spoiling this lucky chap and he has found himself transitioning from hutch to home. Luxury living for rabbits for sure, inside in the winter and a combination of inside and out in the fairer seasons.  Could it get any better? Sounds like a dream come true to me!

Please join me in congratulating Susan (and Maize) on their new addition.




Thank you to our past and present quarantine and foster providers
Bonnie, B., Sarah W., Laima W., Christine P. and Heather P., without whom Tomten Farm and Sanctuary's Rescue and Adoption Programs would not be possible.

Interested in adopting? 
To be considered to adopt future available animals, you must first complete an application which includes references, photos of turnout and housing, site visit details, etc.


Did You Know...

... that many of the camp horses your children love all summer are shipped out to auction at the end of the season?  Surprised?
Read the inside scoop on our
"Reflections of a Professional Horseman, the View From the Other Side of the Fence" blog.

Tomten Farm and Sanctuary
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