Saoirse Pastures - Rem and April, cows

Rem and April at Saoirse Pastures

A Note from GreenStar:  GreenStar Food Co+op is thrilled to be able to support Saoirse Pastures with regular donations of food scraps for the animal rescue organization’s residents. The following article was submitted by Saoirse Pastures.

Saoirse Pastures is the first and only Tompkins County non-profit organization that focuses on rescuing unwanted, abandoned, relinquished or abused farm animals; facilitates re-homings when appropriate, and provides life-time sanctuary in a sustainable, safe, enriched environment.

Saoirse Pastures - Horses

Farm animals are the most unprotected animals in New York State. Their welfare is in the hands of the Department of Agriculture and Markets – the same department that oversees everything from dairy farms to frozen peas. There are no laws that require shelter for farm animals in New York State, despite our harsh winters. Every year, New York State farm animals die in frozen pastures during winter.

Farm animals need protection. Tompkins County is a compassionate community that generously support protection and care for house pets, but there was no organization in the County that was dedicated to the protection of farm animals. These animals need food, water, safety, shelter, medical care, and nurturing – just as dogs and cats do. Saoirse Pastures was created to fill that gap.

Founding Executive Director Shannon Hamilton says that Saoirse Pastures currently has 35 animals in sanctuary or waiting for adoption. There are donkeys, zebu, cows, farm and pot belly pigs. Saoirse Pastures has also rescued and found good, loving homes for horses, goats, sheep, and many other pigs and cows. Saoirse Pastures has accepted several pet pigs who have outgrown their homes; or whose families have fallen on hard times or become ill. There’s a great need in the pet pig world for this service. We will continue to do this as space and placement allows. We encourage people not to buy potbelly pigs from a breeder, and to make sure you have the appropriate setup.

Saoirse Pastures

Saoirse Pastures

Saoirse Pastures has had several informal visits from groups and individuals since incorporating in 2021. We currently have two weekly partnership programs with Lehman Alternative Community School (LACS) and Greater Ithaca Activities Center (GIAC). We were able to join LACS Community Outreach Program as a part of their volunteer program. The first quarter with our first 7 participants is coming to an end and another will start shortly. These young adults range in age from 6th to 10th grades, and they are inspiring. Two different classes from GIAC come out every other Tuesday for an hour of animal care. The bond between our animals and these students is something special to see.

Saoirse Pastures would like to thank GreenStar Food + Co-op for their continued donation of produce scraps for our residents, and for featuring us in their December Partners for Change blog.

For more information, contact Shannon Hamilton at, 607-351-0729