New Moon Farm was born in 1998, though our founder didn’t realize it right away. Ellen had been involved with animal rescue, mainly cats, dogs and horses, for years. She wasn’t planning to start a goat rescue – she simply stepped up to help a goat in need. Soon after this little Nigerian Dwarf named Ziggy came home, it became apparent that a horse simply wasn’t a satisfactory companion. He needed another goat to pal around with and so Nigel, a baby boy who was the byproduct of the dairy industry, joined the herd. Soon after that, Ellen started receiving calls from both individuals and shelters who had “heard she took in goats.” Though there were several horse and farm animal rescues in the area, none were set up for the special needs of goats. Ellen’s herd started to grow; more goats and a few sheep arrived. Pretty soon Ellen faced a dilemma. Her pasture was full. She either needed to start finding homes for the animals she was taking in and rehabilitating, or start saying no. New Moon Farm Goat Rescue & Sanctuary was the solution.
In 2003, Ellen purchased a 6-acre farm in Arlington, WA, and the rescue moved north. Initially, all of the animals lived together – the permanent residents and adoptable animals all shared a big field. An average of 20-30 goats lived at the farm at any given time, cared for by Ellen and a handful of volunteers. And then in December of 2007, everything changed. New Moon Farm was contacted by Animal Control to help with a horrible hoarding situation. Over the course of 3 cold, rainy days, over 250 mostly feral goats were gathered and brought to the rescue. This massive undertaking led to major developments in the organization, including changes to facilities, protocol and programs.
In 2008, New Moon Farm received 501(c)3 status. Over the next decade, it evolved in more ways than Ellen ever imagined. It grew into a formal organization, with a working Board, and an incredible team of volunteers, donors and supporters. It grew into a nationally recognized shelter, with a rare specialty – goats. When New Moon Farm first began, there were no other shelters specifically focused on goats in the US. Over the years, more have opened, but none that match our record for taking in, rehabilitating and finding new homes for goats. We created the Goatalympics, one of the most ridiculously fun events the world has ever seen. We welcomed 1000s of visitors to the farm, to let them meet the animals and learn how wonderful they are. It is our hope that these face to face encounters encouraged people to make more compassionate choices in their everyday lives. We developed our Goats 101 Workshops, a day of learning unavailable anywhere else in the country. And most importantly, our 100% volunteer run organization placed over 1700 neglected, abused or otherwise in need farm animals into new, loving homes.
After over 20 years of taking in, rehabilitating, and finding new homes for animals, in January of 2019, the decision was made to change our mission. Though we will certainly miss the steady stream of new characters, the excitement of events and the satisfaction of matching goats with their perfect people, New Moon Farm has transitioned to a Sanctuary & Educational emphasis, rather than one primarily focused on rescue and adoption. Though we will no longer be accepting owner-surrenders, we will continue to take in animals via animal control agencies, and others on a case-by-case basis. We will continue to care for our Sanctuary Herd, which is primarily made up of special needs animals. We will continue to teach our Goats 101 Workshops, as well as offer educational opportunities through other shelters, veterinary offices, and clubs. We will continue to promote compassion and respect for all living creatures. Though the changes have been difficult for everyone from our dedicated volunteers to our devoted supporters, we look forward to finding out what the future holds for New Moon Farm Sanctuary! Thank you for being a part of our journey.