John and Courtney Fiske are celebrating an anniversary next month. May marks a full year since they opened San Diego Farm Animal Rescue, in Escondido, California. Among their cherimoya trees, Courtney and John provide safe haven for elderly, abandoned and otherwise displaced horses, pigs, chickens, roosters and the like, from ranches and homes who simply can no longer care for them. To date, they’ve taken in 7 horses, 7 roosters, 6 pigs, and 27 hens. We caught up with our friends to chat about how they got into animal care-taking, what they’ve learned over the last year, and what’s on the horizon for San Diego Farm Animal Rescue.
Rachel Wohlander: Now that you’re just about a year into running SDFAR, what have been some unexpected joys & challenges?
John Fiske: We’ve really enjoyed sharing the farm animals with members of the community that would not otherwise have the opportunity to visit with animals in this way. From young students, and those with disabilities, to members of the public at large, our doors are open to anyone that wants to visit with these animals. Our biggest challenge so far has been, like all new projects, keeping enough money in the bank account.
RW: How have your different backgrounds led up to this endeavor? Are there any skills/mindsets from other aspects of your life that aid in farm life?
RW: Do you have a favorite animal on the property? Do any of your critters have particularly pronounced personalities that make things interesting and fun?