North Mountain Animal Sanctuary is a registered charity located in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia. Our mission is to provide shelter, care, comfort, protection and rehabilitation for abused, neglected and unwanted farm animals including goats, rabbits, sheep, ducks, pigs and chickens. We work to prevent the suffering, abuse and neglect of animals by raising public awareness through information distribution and art displays at local events, as well as our newsletter, website and social media. We take in animals from around the province of Nova Scotia. We are the first farm sanctuary in Atlantic Canada and the only Holistic Farm Sanctuary.
North Mountain Animal Sanctuary was the dream of co-founders Amanda Dainow and Leif Vernest. It was obvious that the Annapolis Valley, and indeed, the province of Nova Scotia, an agricultural centre, was lacking a sanctuary for farm animals in need. Land on North Mountain was purchased in August 2008, and by January 15, 2009, North Mountain Animal Sanctuary received status as a Registered Charity with CRA. Since then, we have had a Board of Directors in place, with the addition of several new members (all compassionate, educated professionals with an interest in farm animals). We have worked to add additional minibarns to the land and fence in several acres for the animals to roam freely. We have renovated all outbuildings with insulation and siding, and hooked them up for electricity. We are committed to using natural cleaning and health products both indoors and out, and we use recycled and reclaimed materials as much as possible.
The sanctuary has grown in capacity, to over 40 animals in care. Over the last 6 years, we have taken close to 100 farm animals whose lives were threatened. We have rescued 14 battery hens from a laying facility which was going to grind them alive. We rescued a pygmy goat who was going to be shot within 48 hours. We also nursed a week-old male calf, the ‘by-product’ of the dairy industry. We have rescued domestic rabbits who were let loose and would have died of exposure, starvation or from vehicles or predation. We rescued a rabbit who was left outside and hit by a car, whose leg was broken and had to be removed and paid for the surgery and care.
We provide complementary Natural Health Care integrated with conventional veterinary care for the farm animals, with organic herbs grown and wildcrafted locally. President Amanda Dainow, Clinical Herbalist, creates individualized treatments for each animal.
The primary health care for the animals is Herbal and Natural Medicine, made from herbs grown and harvested on site, then made into medicine by Amanda Dainow, our Clinical Herbalist and Co-Founder. This saves a significant amount of expenditure. We grow organic vegetables for the animals in our garden.
Amanda holds an Annual Edible/Medicinal Plant Walk in support of the sanctuary. She uses many of the local plants as the base for medicines for the animals at NMAS. Her sale of organic products for people and animals supports the Sanctuary. Amanda’s Herbal Courses teach students to prepare plant-based foods and health care. The income from her herb classes supports the care of the animals.
We hold several fundraisers throughout the year, and use the opportunity of the Annual Halifax VegFest to educate and inform the public on the conditions of farm animals.
We recognize that each animal is an individual and spokesanimal for others who have the same physical and social needs but who are confined and tortured in cruel conditions, by the millions, each day. We try to respect each animal’s species-specific and personal, individual needs to allow them to live out a peaceful, natural, comfortable, healthy and happy life. Each animal is unique and wise, and teaches us about compassion and forgiveness.