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Sehati Animal Sanctuary, purported to be the first and only farm animal sanctuary in Indonesia, could face closure due to insufficient funding. A crowdfunding campaign has launched in a bid to save the farm and its many furry and feathered residents.
Wife and husband Sing and Loong founded Sehati in 2017 after they witnessed a pig being slaughtered at a wet market. The pair “immediately” went vegan, according to the crowdfunding campaign. They then purchased a plot of land with the vision of creating a “loving haven” for animals subject to violence and exploitation, especially within the food system.
Now, the sanctuary, located in Sumatra, is home to more than 270 animals. This includes sheep, goats, pigs, ducks, geese, chickens, rabbits, cats, and dogs.
“People thought that we are crazy, a crazy couple, because we are in Asia, where [these animals] are actually food. Livestock that you can sell to get money,” Loong said in the video.
“But for us, it’s different. [Animals] want to live like us. We have built special bonds with the animals. They are really someone. They have feelings. They do not want to die as food for humans,” he continued. “If you give them a chance to live right, you will see them, how they behave, how they are connected to humans. They are really someone.”
However the couple, who manage the sanctuary alone, are struggling to keep up with costs. Around 40 million IDR ($3,000 USD) is required every month to provide the animals with basic care. Right now, Sing and Loong keep the sanctuary afloat by asking friends and families for emergency funding.
They are “permanently on the verge of exhaustion and bankruptcy,” the crowdfunding page says. Consequently, the animals who call Sehati home are at risk of displacement.
The sanctuary’s crowdfunding campaign has attracted nearly 400 supporters. At the time of writing, they have donated more than $50,000 of the campaign’s $70,000 goal.
The founders will use the funds to meet the animals’ daily and medical needs, including vaccinations. They will also repair the animal enclosures, especially the pig pens, and build a perimeter fence around the grounds to provide security from hunters and to give the animals more space.
They will build some volunteering housing so that they are able to receive outside support, and will register Sehati as an official non-profit.
“We are in a desperate situation. Please help us to save Sehati Animal Sanctuary. We need your help so much,” Loong said. “And thank you so much for your generosity and your kindness.”