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Sonoma animal sanctuary hosts community tour

Charlie’s Acres Farm Animal Sanctuary in Sonoma hosted a community tour fundraiser on Saturday for visitors to connect and learn about the rescued farm animals who live there.

The tours take place almost every weekend.

Tour guides lead groups of up to 10 guests around the Napa Road property, stopping at different enclosures to observe and learn about the animals.

The sanctuary cares for cows, pigs, birds, goats, sheep and horses.

Highlights of the tour include feeding the cows and visiting with the pigs, according to Jenny Filak, the sanctuary’s administrative assistant.

“You definitely see their personalities come out. One of [the cows], her name is Jade, she just moves the whole time if she feels like she’s not getting enough attention and she’s usually the first one at the fence,” she said. “I love hanging out with the pigs, seeing them flop over for belly rubs. People are always so surprised to see that, so I think it really helps people make a connection.”

The tours’ primary purpose is to provide an accessible educational experience for the community, according to Filak.

Admission is a suggested donation of $25 for ages 13 and up and $15 for children. Discounts are available.

Filak estimated that each tour brings in between $200 and $300, which goes toward general animal care and other sanctuary programs, including a virtual class pet program for students and a new animal therapy program.

Tracy Vogt founded the sanctuary in 2016. She focused on farm animals after researching abuse of large animals.

Currently there are about 140 farm animals living on the property, most of which were rescued from the food and wool industries and other abusive environments.

For more information, visit charliesacres.org.

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