From Personal Experience…

“As a member of the Holistic Wellness Advisory Committee of Serenity Farm Virginia and friend to the animals, I am writing to share my observations of their health and care. I am an Animal Reiki Master/Teacher and have spent my life around domestic and farm animals. I am consistently in awe of the very unique and beautiful atmosphere of peace and healing that Jo Bighouse of Serenity Farm Virginia has created. It is evident in every interaction I have witnessed between Jo and the animals that she has a deep and abiding love, respect and understanding of each of them. They are each tended to as individuals and their unique needs (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual) are seen and addressed with skill, knowledge, and profound gentleness. I have never witnessed farm animals relating to their caregiver with such mutual respect and gentleness. Jo has created an environment in which the animals feel safe, seen, and honored. Each and every decision is made with great consideration for all of the many aspects of their health and healing. Jo incorporates traditional, alternative and complimentary therapies to create a well rounded, well thought out, complete system of care. This approach is proving greatly beneficial to the animals in her care as evidenced by their health, body condition, overall vitality and behaviors. I cannot conceive of a more ideal place for an animal to be. Jo is continually striving to provide higher and higher levels of care and comfort for the animals.”

Jennifer Taylor
Willow Ridge Reiki and Healing Arts

“My first interaction with Jo Bighouse, founder of Serenity Farm Virginia, was in 2016 when I became the personal veterinarian for her small animal pets.  Right away, she impressed me with her care, incredible compassion, and the endless energy she puts into her animal charges.  When she asked me to join the board of Serenity Farm Virginia as a founding member, I was honored and have been working with the non-profit ever since.   I have been a veterinarian for over a decade and worked both as a shelter vet and with other non-profits.  It is a rare rescue group that can walk the delicate line between genuinely good, thorough medical care but also knowing how to value the quality of life over quantity.  Serenity Farm Virginia uses their current funding wisely to provide the best environment, medical care and attention that each individual deserves, while knowing their limits and never allowing over-crowding or prolonging untreatable suffering.  It is a joy to work with a group that is so dedicated and responsible and I hope to see them continue to grow and provide even more animals in need with the second chance they deserve.”

Jonathan Reiss, DVM

“Thank you for truly special and memorable experience. We will definitely be back!! We loved meeting all of the animals and hearing their stories. It warms our hearts to know that each of them, despite hardships in their lives, can live out their days in a loving, caring, and natural environment. Jo, thank you for all you and the volunteers do at Serenity Farm. We are from Washington DC – just over an hour away and well worth the trip!!”

Sonali, Danny and Kai, Washington DC

“I am a professional artist and specialize in nature and animal themed paintings and prints. My love of animals and the rescue and rehabilitation work that animal sanctuaries do is what drew me to Serenity Farm Animal Sanctuary. I first visited in February of 2020 and created several pieces to raise money for the sanctuary. Each of the animals has a special story of how they came to the sanctuary and although some may have had a rocky start in life, the animals have really thrived in the space. No matter their background, the animals are given a safe space to live out their natural lives and it is a therapeutic space for both animals and guests. I continue to visit once every couple of months and every time I am greeted by an incredible group of animal ambassadors. It has been so heartwarming to see their progress over the time that I have known most of them. They have inspired me to keep creating artworks some of which are on view around the sanctuary today. These illustrations convey the animal’s. It is a healing space for everyone who gets a chance to visit.”

Kate Rice Art, Front Royal, Virginia

“My son has developed a sense of pride, ownership and connection with each of the animals of Serenity Farm Animal Sanctuary.  I also cherish the weekly time with just he and I, bonding over chores and care for the animals.”

Stacey E., Berryville Virginia

“One day when Harrison was sitting with me, slowly and one by one, all five of the sheep came to huddle around me. It was comforting to sit with them and just be, and I think that the socialization is beneficial for them as well. They haven’t always been treated kindly before coming here, but together we help them learn that humans can be kind. That human hands are good things that can give pig belly rubs, sheep and goat chin scratches, and donkey ear scratches. For both humans and animals alike, Serenity Farm is a place that heals.”

Rob R., Charles Town West Virginia

“Honestly, list the smallest things you can think of and the one that pops into my mind is that even though some of us in your community do not visit you, we KNOW you are there with your amazing animal rescue services and are proud to have such an organization in our community…you can quote me.” 

Barbara M., Clarke County Virginia

“When I recently contacted the farm about dropping of donations, I was also kindly offered a tour. My 14-year-old daughter and I got to meet several of the animal residents. Jo told us the stories behind how each came to be there. She also described several of the gardens that were in progress. We found it to be a truly peaceful place that reminds you of what is really important. What a difference it is making in the life of the animals living there. With this being my daughter‘s first year of high school, COVID-19, and just everything going on in the world right now, it has been a tough year for her. Our visit to the farm brought her true happiness that I had not seen in her for a while.  And for that I am so very grateful.”  

Stacey S.

Serenity Farm Animal Sanctuary in Berryville, Virginia, is not only a scenic haven for farm animals, but a home where they can live together under the watchful and compassionate eye of Ms. Jo Bighouse. Serenity Farm offers a certain peace to visitors – this is a special place for patrons of all ages. A visit to the sanctuary provides the opportunity to both observe animals living in harmony as well as experience a special calm and – assuredly – serenity.”

M. Christian

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