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Struggling West Jordan sanctuary offers healing through bonds with animals

Posted at 11:56 AM, Mar 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-12 13:56:42-05

WEST JORDAN, Utah — The Farm at Gardner Village is one of the many organizations struggling with pandemic-related finance issues, and they're asking for the public's help to care for the abused and abandoned animals under their protection.

Gil Ma, CEO of the Farm, started volunteering with animal control years ago, and realized it was something he loved.

"I would take the most violent of the horses and work with them, that’s my specialty, is I can help those horses to heal from their trauma and get them rehomed,” said Ma.

Gil said the abuse he suffered as a child helps him create special bonds with animals that were abused, This helps him to heal and led him to starting his own rescue ranch.

“I found that animals give unconditional love and so that was my therapy and, as I started rescuing them, that became my healing,” said Ma.

Once Gil retired, he knew he still wanted to be around animals, which led him to open the farm nine years ago.

“[We] let the public come in and help us bottlefeed the orphaned lambs and goats. Lots of bunnies we get and find homes for. We get lots of chickens that come in,” said Ma.

A little more than a year ago, Gil started expanding his rescue efforts and taking in more animals.

“So our expenses for medical bills, and vet bills, feed has gone way up,” said Ma.

Then the pandemic hit and people stopped visiting, meaning the donations stopped coming in.

“That first month and a half dropped down to zero customers coming in and it was kind of hard,” said Ma.

Gil isn’t one to ask for help, but as expenses keep rising, he’s hoping people will return to the farm and support its mission.

“This becomes a healing place for people as well as animals, and I don’t do the healing, it’s the animals that do, there’s just a connection there,” said Ma.

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