Twister and Friends: Animals Receive Lifelong Sanctuary, Thanks to Caregiver’s Legacy

When animal advocate and Legacy Society member Barbara passed away, she left her estate as a legacy of love to help Farm Sanctuary’s work to protect farm animals. In addition to funds for the support of our rescue, education, and advocacy work, Barbara’s tremendously generous bequest included trucks and tractors, farming equipment, her home, and her 86-acre property. Also included were the property’s surviving residents: two goats, five donkeys, and a steer. Barbara had cared for these animals during the last years of her life, and now her compassionate legacy will support their care for the rest of theirs while bringing hope and kindness to the lives of countless other farm animals. We recently welcomed her small and beloved herd to our New York Shelter, where we have had the pleasure of getting to know its members.



Though shy around people, Twister the steer has completely fallen for his new cattle family. Initially housed with the other animals from Barbara’s property upon arriving here, he eagerly socialized with the New York Shelter’s incumbent bovines over the fence and in the barn at night. It was clear he wanted to join them, and we honoured that wish. When we moved Twister into our special-needs cattle herd, some of the young steers were quick to challenge this newcomer, but gentle giant Twister very sweetly put them in their place. Since then, herd life has been a whole lot of love for Twister.

This handsome steer has also gotten some love from plant-based restaurant chain Native Foods, which has become his sponsor.



Stella Mae

Stella Mae has been settling in here as well. She has ataxia, likely from a past infestation of meningeal worm, and as a result Stella has some trouble balancing and she often drags her back legs. But none of that stops her from going wherever she pleases. Stella is quite timid, but she is slowly warming up to the humans of her new home.


Stella Mae

MJ and Friends

Adorable Gee, the largest of the male donkeys, likes to pretend that he is the herd leader, but it is clear that sweet female MJ actually rules the herd. Gentle Collin is the shyest of the group, and Darbster is a sweetheart and good friend to all. Leslie is best friends with MJ and likely related to her; from their ages, we suspect that she is MJ’s mother. Currently experiencing some health issues, Leslie is at Cornell University Hospital for Animals undergoing diagnostic testing. At ages 15-20 (and likely a bit older in Leslie’s case), all of the donkeys are getting on in years, but we hope to give them plenty more time to enjoy their favorite things, which include grazing, rolling in the dirt, and being lavished with attention by their new human friends.

With health checks and vaccinations, hoof trimming and dental examinations taken care of, our new friends are busy exploring their new world together. All are very happy, and we look forward to many years with these special beings.


Gee and Collin