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 potential 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.

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)



Linus and Leland have been adopted, together! Wohoo! Or perhaps I should say, WoMoo! 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 tiny 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. Please join us in congratulating proud calf parents, Tony and Claude, on their new additions. These two gorgeous Jersey calves not only get to remain together for the rest of their lives, they will be joining two sheep, a few dogs and several horses. I have no doubt that after spending six weeks here on the farm, they will feel right at home.

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. Their fabulous transition not only secures a forever family for these beautiful little guys, it opens a spot for us to step up for another bovine in need later this season. 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., and Christine 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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