Christopher Vane’s commitment to saving animals in need is apparent in every facet of his life. Harnessing his life experiences, creativity, and desire to provide a better world for farm animals, he lives each day caring for hundreds of previously abused or slaughter-bound animals. His deep passion for animal rescue is something he attributes to his mother, Ursula.
Ursula spent her life caring for animals and she often dreamed of building a large barn on her property, one that could be a safe haven for animals in need. Unfortunately, she passed away before she could fulfill that dream. Making a difference in the world – for both animals and people – was a value Ursula imprinted in Christopher early on and, a realtor at the time, he was never truly fulfilled – always yearning to do more.
When Christopher met Randy (now his husband) everything clicked. The connection between the couple was immediate and powerful, and one passion that truly bonded them was their deep affection and respect for animals.
“My mom always told me, ‘If you go out on a limb, take someone with you so you’re not alone,’” Christopher said. “When I met Randy, everything changed. Our path together became really clear.”
Christopher and Randy channeled Ursula’s dream of that one barn and purchased a 10-acre property in Punta Gorda, Florida. They gathered resources, sharpened the plans that had long been in the works, and officially established Little Bear Sanctuary, naming the sanctuary in honor of Ursula which translates to “little bear” in Latin.
In an effort to save resources, Christopher became a veterinary technician (knowledge and expertise that would later prove to be invaluable). As quickly as the sanctuary’s fencing and structures were built, the need to rescue slaughter-bound or abused farm animals grew just as quickly (if not quicker). Fortunately, Little Bear Sanctuary had the opportunity to expand their property lines an additional 20 acres. And, shortly after, Christopher left the veterinary office and now devotes his days to caring for their resident animals.
To date, Little Bear Sanctuary has rescued over 150 farm animals, each one facing an incredibly bleak future if Christopher hadn’t intervened. While a lot has changed over the past few years, Little Bear Sanctuary’s mission has remained unwavering: to provide a permanent home for abandoned or disregarded farm animals. The sanctuary is open to all animals in need, affording farm animals an opportunity to live out their lives in peace.
As Little Bear Sanctuary continues to grow, it’s imperative that they further develop and expand the property, community outreach avenues, and animal grounds to handle the intake. The sanctuary’s needs include:
1) Complete in-house clinic
2) Community garden space
3) Expanded electrical services
4) Established, functioning water well
5) Powerful water filtration system
6) Septic system for public facilities (i.e., office, tiny homes for overnight visitors, and a public space that can be utilized for event opportunities that will directly support the sanctuary)
Christopher and the Little Bear Sanctuary team strive daily to provide a cruelty-free environment and safe community haven for animals in need, and receiving financial help to further the development of the sanctuary is essential. Your support allows them to continue creating a better world for farm animals.
Please check out Little Bear Sanctuary's site (littlebearsanctuary.org) to learn about sponsoring any resident farm animal for $25/month. Choose a farm animal of your choice, or notate animal type (pig, goat, etc.) and the team will match you with a resident.