LINDSTROM, Minn. (FOX 9) - Each one of these rescued farm animals has quite a story to tell about how they made their way into Kelly Tope's life.
"We have three goats that escaped the live slaughter markets in South St. Paul, and we were called in by the South St. Paul Police Department to come help rescue them," said Tope.
Pigs, donkeys, sheep, and cows also make their forever home at Farmaste, a nonprofit 30-acre sanctuary for abused, neglected and unwanted farm animals.
Tope says they field about a dozen calls a week for animals that need rescue, but they can't accommodate each one.
"Ninety percent of locations will go under within the first couple of years simply because of the fact they don't know how to say no, or they take in way more than they can financially handle," said Tope.
The cost of running a sanctuary is not cheap. The biggest expense isn't food, it's veterinary care, and that's because it often requires transportation and can vary significantly from year to year.
"It may one year cost $5,000, and the next year it might cost $40,000," explained Tope.
That's one of the reasons why Give to the Max Day is so important to the work Tope does. For the last 15 years, Minnesotans have participated in the day of giving, benefiting tens of thousands of nonprofits across the state. It's the biggest day of the year for giving at Farmaste.
"This day being the biggest day of giving for us...[it's] something that we look forward to, we are so excited to see the support from the community," said Tope.
Give to the Max Day includes many large charitable organizations, but for smaller ones like Farmaste, the donations that pour in ensure these animals can live out their lives in comfort and peace.
To learn more about Farmaste Animal Sanctuary, visit their website here.