Helpers Of Our Farm (HOOF) is adding to their farm animal sanctuary programs! HOOF is a nonprofit organization centered around education and providing a sanctuary for rescued, donated, and in-need farm animals. Their mission is to provide continued care and a sanctuary to farm animals in need, educate children and adults by creating awareness of rescues and their needs. By teaching animal science, animal welfare (care), and kindness HOOF hopes to create a more caring society and bring a positive influence on the lives of animals. HOOF is a platform for the community to learn, grow, and volunteer.
HOOF is now offering the well establish therapeutic practice of the Dutch: “koe knuffelen” (translation: cow cuddling). “Helpers of Our Farm” was aptly named not only because animals depend on humans to help them, but also because animals help us by teaching us how to love, care, and learn from them. At HOOF, they perform an important task of educating visitors during our tours, petting farm, and farm classes. The goal has always been to integrate education into the lives of our community through the lives of these animals… and what better an addition to their programs than offering a private opportunities to connect with an animal.
Why should people pay to do this? Besides the support you’ll be giving this nonprofit organization, you’ll be giving yourself an experience that you didn’t even know you needed! Everyone has stress and we try to find ways to relieve that stress. Believe it or not, cuddling and connecting with an animal is proven to increase oxytocin, that wonderful hormone often called the love, cuddle, and bonding hormone. This has a positive impact on mood, emotions, and our physical being.
Who can you cuddle with at HOOF and what should you expect? HOOF offers a chance to pick your cuddle buddy: a baby cow, a goat, a rabbit, or birds like a chicken, duck, and turkey. All interactions are done in a pen, spacious enough for you and your friend to get to know each other comfortably and safely. Part of this experience is putting yourself in a place to offer love as much as get it. You will have a HOOF volunteer staff member with you at all times to ensure your safety and the safety of the animal.
Who can participate? Guests of 16 and older (5 -15 year olds with adult) can sign up for this experience for the following suggested donation:
Cow - 60 minutes: 1-2 guests $75 or 3-4 guests $125
Goat – 60 minutes: 1-2 guests $75 or 3-4 guests $125
Rabbit – 30 minutes: 1-2 guests $25 or 3-4 guests $50
Birds – 30 minutes: 1-2 guests $25 or 3-4 guests $50
Starting April 24: Cuddling Sessions are at 2pm & 3pm Wednesday - Saturday
Guests will be required to sign a waiver and dress appropriately for all HOOF programs: no open toed shoes and wear clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty. Guests will also be asked to stay in their session area, no wandering around the farm for safety reasons.