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Out of the Blue Ridge

“Bella View Farm Animal Sanctuary – Paradise Found” by Beth Fierberg

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aradise on Earth does exist and it is nestled in the foothills of Franklin, North Carolina at a place called Bella View Farm Animal Sanctuary (“the Farm”). The Farm is a very special haven as it is the forever home for special needs farm animals that would otherwise be forsaken. The disabled and “throw aways” are welcomed at the Farm with kindness and compassion to live out the rest of their days without ever knowing fear or hurt again. I know of no other place like it. The Farm is the vision of Rhonda and Greg Farrell who up until twelve years ago, lived in New York. Greg sold real estate and Rhonda was a hair salon owner in the Hamptons, but both had enough of the big city cost of living, traffic, attitude and everything else. Twelve years ago they packed up their pets, and having spent time vacationing in this area, ended up purchasing twenty-five acres of cattle pasture in Franklin. There they saw they could make their vision a reality where there is privacy, a beautiful mountain view, and enough land for the animals.

probably have close to a hundred. Eighty percent of them have special needs. Their two young goats, Thor and Gelly, use specialty wheel chairs made for canines and converted for use by the goats. How does one afford such an undertaking? “It’s still out of pocket. Once we became a nonprofit last year it made life a little easier for us being able to accept donations. We are not self-run through donations yet. My husband still has to work full time and puts money in. Hopefully one day it will run itself because I don’t want to be limited. I don’t want to have to say no because of money. I just take them and worry about cost later.” The Farm is open to visitors by appointment for a nominal donation. This helps to supplement this costly venture. The visit will include an introduction to many of the animals and learning about how they came to the Farm. Interaction with some of the animals makes it an extra special experience.

From the moment you enter the long driveway leading up to the Farm you feel tranquility. All the barns you see on the property were hand built by the Farrell’s. I met Rhonda at the house where I was warmly greeted. In the living area were two dogs, a cat and a couple of goats; Thor, a one-year old, born with an abnormal cerebellum and unable to move on his own (who Rhonda refers to as her “baby”), and Gelly who is in the process of getting a prosthetic leg and braces. The animals here are more then just living in this sanctuary, they are family members. Rhonda always had a love for animals; especially those with disabilities or injuries. She dreamed of having a farm so when they got this land everything just fell into place. The Farrells started by getting a couple of disabled horses and then came the disabled chickens, then two old goats (“but not me and my husband (laughs)). It just grew from there.” I was treated to a tour of the Farm which is currently home to around thirty farm animals; add in the chickens and you Gelly

78 - June 2019

Profile for Georgia Mountain Laurel

Georgia Mountain Laurel June 2019  

Georgia Mountain Laurel magazine is the premiere publication for the Northeast Georgia Mountains. In our 16th year, we are your guide to the...

Georgia Mountain Laurel June 2019  

Georgia Mountain Laurel magazine is the premiere publication for the Northeast Georgia Mountains. In our 16th year, we are your guide to the...