Adoption FAQ

Adoption FAQ

What is the Farm Animal Adoption Network (FAAN)?
FAAN is a national farm animal rescue and refuge program dedicated to securing loving, safe, and permanent homes for rescued farm animals. The network is coordinated by Farm Sanctuary, a national farm animal rescue and protection organization which started the nation’s first shelter devoted to victims of “food animal” production. Since its formation in 1986, the FAAN program has connected thousands of abused, neglected, and unwanted farm animals with the loving homes they deserve.

How do I become a member of FAAN?
Individuals and sanctuaries interested in adopting farm animals are required to complete our adoption application. After initial processing, we will contact you with any questions and with instructions for submitting photos of the shelter, pasture and fencing you intend to use for your rescued farm animals. Our screening process requires personal and veterinary reference checks and may also include a home visit prior to approval to our network.

How do I qualify to become a FAAN member?
Adoption requirements include but are not limited to: commitment to farmed animal issues demonstrated through a vegan/vegetarian lifestyle; the ability to provide financially for your adopted farm animals; appropriate shelter, pasture, and fencing; veterinary and personal recommendations; access to routine and emergency services performed by a farm animal veterinarian; and ownership of the property on which adopted animals will be housed. Current membership in animal protection organizations or volunteer work with animals, is preferred but not required.

How does the FAAN project work?
Farm Sanctuary receives placement requests for thousands of farm animals every year. Because we cannot possibly provide sanctuary to all of the animals whom we are contacted about, we rely on our FAAN members to adopt animals as their circumstances allow. Our primary networking tool for animals in need is Farm Sanctuary’s Farm Animal Adoption Network Facebook group, and we typically post several animals seeking placement every week; if you are not on Facebook, however, we will alert you to animals in need as appropriate. Our placement team may also directly reach out to suggest animals whom we think would do well with your family and circumstances. However the decision to accept an animal is always up to you; no FAAN member is ever under any obligation to accept a farm animal. We encourage FAAN members to keep us updated on capacity and adoption interests and you may choose to remove your name from our list at any time.

How do I adopt farm animals?
Direct adoption: Our ability to rescue animals often depends on having a commitment for permanent home placement for a particular animal prior to rescue, since our sanctuary space is limited. Once we have that commitment, Farm Sanctuary can then rescue the animal and provide necessary vetting, isolation, and care at our sanctuary . We may also engage in large-scale rescues or urgent cases in which we have already taken animals in at our shelters prior to reaching out to our direct adopters. We will provide as many details on the animals as possible in advance, however given the circumstances involved in rescue work, there may be less information available and direct adopters are unlikely to meet the animals until the adoption transfer occurs.

Referral adoption: Placement requests through our Facebook group are generally handled as referral cases. In these situations, the adopter works directly with the guardian who is surrendering the animal to arrange for adoption. Farm Sanctuary will make the initial introduction between the two parties and can help to facilitate arrangements, but the animals in referral cases do not come to Farm Sanctuary’s shelters before placement; rather, they move directly from the guardian’s care and custody into the care and custody of the adopter. Transport is generally handled by either the guardian or the adopter.

Please note that except in some cases (e.g. a potbelly pig who doesn’t get along well with other pigs), animals must be adopted in pairs of the same species, unless the adopter already has existing animals of that species. When we are contacted about animals in need who have bonded relationships, we always seek to honor those relationships by placing the animals together.

Where are most of the farm animals rescued from?
Farm Sanctuary’s rescue efforts are focused on farmed animals who are exploited for food production. The survivors who have found sanctuary at our shelters may include slaughterhouse and live market escapees, factory farm victims impacted by natural disasters and transport accidents, animals surrendered in cruelty cases, and animals raised in agricultural programs or settings whose guardians have committed to discontinuing these practices.

However in addition to our active rescue efforts, we receive many placement requests from guardians who may have purchased or rescued farm animals, whether for production or as companions, and who are no longer able to continue caring for them. Our team works to educate the public as much as possible regarding the issues associated with purchasing animals from auctions, breeders, feed stores, and online companies.

We are also often contacted about animals who are offered for sale; Farm Sanctuary does not support purchase as a means to rescue farm animals in need. We discourage rescuers from purchasing animals, since the purchase price supports a cycle of exploitation, and subjects other animals to the same treatment. Although we wish that we could save all animals in need, this is not possible. Therefore it is critical that our approach to rescue also addresses changing the underlying systems involved

I need help with animal placement, who can I contact?
Please visit our placement assistance page for more information

Do farm animals require special care?
Adopting and caring for rescued farm animals is a serious responsibility and can require a significant amount of time and money to be invested to ensure appropriate care. Adopters should be aware that some farm animals will have special needs because of “food animal” production practices. For example, pigs and turkeys have been bred to grow abnormally large and often have health problems related to excessive weight. Some diseases and health problems resulting from starvation and neglect may emerge later in life, or may reduce the animal’s lifespan. Of course, for all adopted farm animals, you will need to learn species-specific housing, feed, and healthcare needs. Farm Sanctuary is happy to assist you! You are welcome to email or call us with any animal care questions. In addition, you can join us at the sanctuary for training conferences and shelter internships to gain hands on experience.

Can I visit a Farm Sanctuary shelter?
Of course! Currently, Farm Sanctuary operates shelters in upstate New York and southern California. Please visit our tour program pages for Watkins Glen, NY and Acton, CA for current tour schedules. Farm Sanctuary members are also welcome to visit the shelters year-round on an appointment-only basis. Shelter volunteers are always needed and welcome, so consider our volunteer opportunities to gain some hands-on experience!

For further information on our Farm Animal Adoption Network and placement program, please contact:

Farm Sanctuary – National Office & New York Shelter
P.O. Box 150, Watkins Glen, NY 14891
Phone: 607-583-2225 ext.223

Please note however, if your question is regarding your Adopt a Farm Animal Program sponsorship, please contact or call 670-583-2225 ext. 225.