3,200 miles from Scotland, hidden
along the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia, are
Hamish and Kyloe, two Scottish Highland cattle that roam the hills of
"Thistle Do Farm". With their own Facebook page and a
following of almost a quarter of a million people, Hamish and Kyloe
have become a symbol of the love and bonding between a man and the animals
under his care.
"Thistle Do Farm originally started out as just a simple hobby
farm... but it quickly became apparent that Hamish and Kyloe had a bigger
purpose in life. One of the most amazing things that I've learned
since I started posting the videos, is seeing the bond I share with my
Highlands, give people hope. The stories I get from people who offer
me thanks and encouragement when they're sometimes at their lowest,
"A new friend who fought breast cancer....another who lost her
husband to Leukemia....my friend with an autistic child, who's family
spent 14 hours on the road to bring us a tractor....and the grandmother
who can't leave her home anymore because of her health, but tells us
that watching our videos brings back her memories of when she was growing
up on a farm...and for at least a few minutes each day, she has a reason
These are just four examples of the people that make our story special.
We have 242,000 followers.
I'm in awe of the ones who are fighting much bigger battles than we are,
yet still find the strength to encourage us and show us support.
There's no way for me to begin to pay that back"
But maybe we can pay it forward.
Hamish and Kyloe have their home. The place they can feel safe and
never have to worry about being killed or culled, simply because they
"didn't measure up" on a production farm. Many other
animals aren't so lucky. "Most farmers in this area
won't... or can't, take the time to find a good home for an animal
who may have been injured, born small or stunted, who may have lost their
mother during labor...or even just those people who can't afford to take
care of their livestock any more."
Thistle Do Farms recognizes the growing need for a farm animal rescue, and
is now endeavoring to answer that call. We have already begun the
process of becoming a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
To provide a life sanctuary for farm
animals who may be injured, sick, or like Kyloe was, simply born small
Whether its a rabbit, pig, goat, cow or any other farm animal, our
goal is to give them a place they can call home without the worry of
being slaughtered simply because they are no longer wanted.
To give them a place they can live out
the rest of their natural lives with love and affection.
To educate the general public and local
schoolchildren through tours, field trips, and outreach
programs, on how to take proper care of a pet, no matter the
size, and to help them understand the needs of that specific pet, so
that they will be more aware of what being responsible for that life,
To assist animal owners in finding
solutions to behavior issues or other concerns that may cause the
owner to later reject that animal.
To serve as a central location for
local rescue groups to host adoption days, rabies clinics,
and guest speakers on topics such as animal husbandry, farm
management, veterinary care and the handling of livestock or the
training of companion animals.
To act as a secure facility if needed,
by local law enforcement and animal control officers.
As you can imagine, there is a very large price tag
involved with such an undertaking.
The single greatest cost will be for the purchase of land (aprox.
150 acres) to serve as a permanent home for the sanctuary, as well as
material needed for the construction of paddocks, fencing, quarantine
areas and shelters for each type of animal and for the storage of hay for
It is estimated that the final totals would run between $500,000-$750,000.
But there is still work to be done here. The tractor
will be irreplaceable moving forward, but it does need work. We've
replaced what we could and fixed what we can. Unfortunately, it requires
more than we can do ourselves.
Seed will need to be sowed and new fencing will need to be installed to
increase our grazing area, along with other projects we have identified as
We need your help, again.
If you would like to support Thistle Do Farm as it transitions to becoming
a nonprofit sanctuary, please click the link below. We
understand if you are unable to donate monetarily, but we hope that you
will please consider sharing our link and help us spread the word.