WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (18 NEWS) - Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen is the country's leading farm animal protection organization.
Its mission is to rescue, educate, and advocate for farm animals.
With Mother's Day coming up, the nonprofit wants the public to know that these animals share family bonds too.
The month of May doesn't just include Mother's Day, but it's also National Farm Animals Awareness Month.
The sanctuary wants to share mother-child rescue stories because, it says, many people have made a disconnect between farm animals and us humans.
"We have used them for food for so many years that you don't realize that they have the exact same bonds, sometimes even stronger, that dogs and cats have with their own children because they're flock and herd animals," National Shelter Director Susie Coston said.
The nonprofit has an abundance of sheep mothers because many of the rescues they do are from facilities raising lamb. Connie was very frightened and protective of her son Ash when first arriving at the sanctuary because, normally, her children would be taken away.
Coston says once the sheep realize the humans are not taking their children, the animals loosen up and fall madly in love with the staff.
Honey, a pig, was a former gestation sow, and she never had the chance to nurture her own babies, which she had dozens of. When she came to Farm Sanctuary, she adopted two piglets, Cameron and Ben David, which she treats just like her own.
This year, Liz, a cow, is celebrating her first Mother's Day with her son Cashew and adopted son Jerome.
Liz gave birth to Cashew on a dairy farm where male calves are considered useless since they don't produce milk. Alternatively, they're slaughtered for veal or beef.
The former owner, a vegetarian, reached out to Farm Sanctuary to give them a better life.
"Just because we made the decision to put dogs and cats in the house, these animals are no different in how they feel and how they act and everything about them," Coston said. "I'm very happy. Happy Mother's Day to everybody, and Happy Mother's Day to all our mothers."
This month also kicks off visitor season at Farm Sanctuary, which means it'll be open this Sunday for Mother's Day.
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