How kind someone is should always be measured by their actions, not just their words. After all, you might promise someone all the help in the world, but in reality, it’s tangible help that’s like little drops of gold, making the world a better place one gilded splash at a time.
It’s not just our fellow human beings that we should be lending a helping hand—it’s our friendly and loveable animal companions, too. And Adri Rachelle, the founder of the Wild Things Sanctuary, has opened up not just her heart but also her home to pets. She’s looking after nearly 200 animals and spends tens of thousands of dollars each year to keep her menagerie happy, healthy, and well-cared for.
Bored Panda had a lovely in-depth chat with Adri about her love of animals, how she makes sure that every single pet is cared for, as well as the massive sacrifices she makes for their sake. Scroll down for the full interview and upvote your fave pics as you go along. When she says that she rescues everything from cows to snakes, she’s not kidding!
"If an Ewok fell in love with Snuffleupagus their child would look like a baby Scottish highland cow"
Are we jealous that Adri had the guts to pursue her dream of helping animals and now lives with dozens and dozens of pets? Yes! However, the amount of work she puts in to keep everyone happy and healthy is simply jaw-dropping. Not everyone would be able to do this even with unlimited funds, and that’s what makes Adri so amazing.
She founded the Wild Things Sanctuary after years of rescuing animals that desperately needed assistance (all out of Adri’s own pocket, of course). “It became clear to me that this wasn’t a hobby for me, it had been the story of my life since I was a child and I wanted to officially choose it as my life’s primary focus,” she told Bored Panda.
"Bri helping me puppy sit during our first Twitch livestream today"
For Adri, it seemed like Fate wanted her to take care of these neglected animals. “Animals that are broken and in danger have always seemed to cross my path and knowing that I’m offering them a safe place to heal gives my life a purpose and that reward far outweighs all of the time, money, and sadness running an animal sanctuary can bring,” she revealed.
Even though taking care of the animals can be extremely challenging at times, Adri has a very sunny outlook. She doesn’t ever consider it to be work. “While the reality of caring for this many animals means I’m doing it morning until night, 7 days a week, without vacations, I love every minute of it.”
And it shows. If you go through Adri’s videos and photos on her social media, you can see how passionate and dedicated she is. She loves what she does and, hopefully, will continue to inspire more people to help animals in need.
"Squeaky clean Tot"
“I receive their affection, smile at their joy, laugh at their antics, and reciprocate their love all day long! If I wanted to only meet their basic needs, food, water, cage cleaning, I could be done within a few hours and walk through those steps in my sleep at this point, but that is never what I want,” she opened up to us that she goes the extra mile.
“So, after adding in the spending time with all of them, even if it is just observing them, it’s a full day. It’s my heaven on Earth… but it is technically very demanding. This is especially true because the residents are generally either neglected, seniors, unhealthy, or unhandled.”
"It’s chilly out today so I took my coffee and a blanket outside and sat with them...I’m not able to pet them but Mom accepts the animal cookies I throw in her direction"
Adri explained that having this many animals actually makes it easier to meet the needs of some of the other animals. It works to everyone’s advantage.
“A dog may be terrified of me at first, but it learns from the others here that this home is safe, and takes comfort and joy from the other dogs. A feral pig doesn’t have to face its fear of humans, it gets its social needs completely fulfilled by the other pigs. The parrots can spend an entire day conversing and interacting with other parrots, which is really more fulfilling of their natural needs.”
"The pigs keep trying to figure out a way in..."
"Kiss a cow - it makes everything better"
Bored Panda was also interested to find out more about the financial side of things. Adri was very candid about everything and told us that the costs are massive. There’s no other way to put it.
“The operating costs right now, starting out and being tasked with building permanent structures and fencing, etc., are huge. Being a newer sanctuary also means we aren’t established enough for people to be donating large amounts. I think it’s important that anyone who pursues this path is financially prepared to be investing all of their own money in the beginning,” she said.
"Afternoon with Bilbo, because there’s no escaping him! He’s my shadow anywhere I go"
"Cashier: Now these do expire in the next 6 months. The woman who bought a few bags before you had 3 dogs so it wasn’t a problem...
Me: ... I have approximately 8 dogs, depending on how many strays/fosters show up any given day. This will last a week."
Adri detailed the costs of the food bills, vet care, as well as how much all of the materials cost. “The feed bills average $1,300 a month. Vet care fluctuates greatly but on a yearly basis, we can generally predict about $10,000. Setting up the sanctuary over the last year has cost around $50,000 in materials.”
She is so dedicated to her cause that she even sold her dream truck to help save a herd of cattle that were bound for slaughter. “I think for animal lovers it goes without saying that every dollar is so worth it, but it is a huge financial sacrifice. Caring for nearly 200 animals, and wanting to be prepared to offer a home to emergency cases in need at any time is expensive!”
The founder of the Wild Things Sanctuary and I also have something in common: we’re firm believers that it’s important to thrive, not just survive. “I also pride myself on always exceeding an animal’s basic requirements for living… I want them to be spoiled and try to create homes for them that are absolutely over the top and incredible! Thrive instead of just survive!”
"The piglets can’t climb on top of him for their daily nap fast enough! As soon as he’s finished his meal and I open the door it’s a race to start the cuddling!
*Hodor sits in a crate before & after meals to prevent bloat.
*Pigs & dogs should never be left alone unsupervised"
Adri explained that her sanctuary is different from others. “One of the biggest goals I have, that sets us apart from a lot of other facilities of this type, is not being open to the public… which means there’s a huge potential source of income we’re missing out on.”
She continued: “I feel strongly that the constant revolving door of strangers coming to observe the animals is very stressful for animals that are in recovery, old, or sick. Instead, I’m hoping sharing them on social media regularly will ultimately be enough to facilitate donations from people who fall in love with the animals here and want to help us save more in the future—never having to turn an animal away due to financial limitations.”
"Note to self: maybe DONT mop the floor when you have 7 doggy daycare guests and rain is in the forecast"
"Early in the morning - snoozing in the sunshine together. No makeup, haven’t brushed my hair, but this snuggly baby was too cute!!"
What do you think of Adri’s work, dear Pandas? Would you open up your hearts and your homes to so many animals in need if you could? Are you doing anything to help the animals in need of assistance in your local area? Let us know!
"If I’m very sneaky I can catch the pig pile before they wake up"
"Moms in town so the Sisters are reunited! Spending quality time under piles of blankets"
"In today’s adventures we caught a renegade rooster and turkey and brought them back to live at the farm"
"Can’t believe how much she’s grown in the few months I’ve had her. At two years old she was less than half this current size."