Deep in the wilds of Haiku, Maui sits a garden of eden for rescued animals. The Leilani Farm Sanctuary, a nonprofit organization, has been making a difference for abused, abandoned, donated, and neglected animals for over sixteen years. On Saturday, April 23rd, some members of the Maui Camera Club and I were given full access to the sanctuary with our cameras at the ready.
I arrived a few minutes early, so I walked down the long driveway, taking pictures of all the colorful plants and animal themed knick-knacks that can be found all over the sanctuary.
I sat down at a picnic table to wait for the other members to arrive and as soon as I created a lap, a cat climbed in, got comfy and wouldnʻt let me get up again. I was only allowed to stand up when some more people began filtering in and the cat sensed a better opportunity to get scratched behind the ears better. Once the members of the camera club arrived, the sanctuaryʻs owner and operator, Lauralee Blanchard, began her tour. We spent the next three hours delighted to meet and photograph the animal residents of the sanctuary and learn about the mission of the sanctuary.
On the tour there were baby goats, adult goats, chickens galore, a huge turkey, a few tortoises, rabbits, geese, ducks, guinea pigs, donkeys, pigs, a cow, cats, a dog, and the sweetest two axis deer Iʻve ever met. You get a sense that all of these rescued animals are loved to the same degree and that Lauralee does not play favorites.
Here are a few highlights from our day at Leilani Farm Sanctuary.
The work being done at the all-volunteer sanctuary is that of pure love for these animals. Set on eight acres of land, the rescued animals have plenty of room to explore and be themselves. I cannot imagine what kind of responsibility comes with caring for and feeding over three hundred animals. I can barely take care of myself when I am left alone.
If you are interested in taking a tour, volunteering, or would like to make a donation to Leilani Farm Sanctuary, please visit their website LeilaniFarmSanctuary.org or visit them on their Facebook page.
Here is one last picture from our tour. I rarely enjoy being in front of the camera, but this candid shot was taken by Tom Savidge.