How it all began….
It all started with a pig….
In 2013, Jeff and Julie Garnsey took a trip to Snow Camp, NC to visit a good friend named Elizabeth who owned an organic farm and raised Ossabaw pigs. Jeff and Julie selected a newborn boar and newborn Ossabaw cross piglet to bring home to the Thousand Islands. While Jeff was there, he witnessed a small newborn piglet get injured by its mother and it appeared to be paralyzed. Elizabeth moved the piglet aside and said, “they don’t always make it”. As Jeff reached down toward the injured piglet, Elizabeth explained that once Jeff picked it up, with it came the responsibility of dealing with the handicap for as long the pig lived, feeding it every 4 hours until it was eating on its own, rubbing its gums with colostrum and caring for every need that its mother normally would have. That was the beginning of rescuing animals for Jeff. He named the piglet Phoenix, and all three piglets made the journey back to the farmhouse on Pelo Rd. in Clayton, NY. As it turned out Phoenix had been paralyzed and blinded by a pinched spinal cord that resolved on its own over several weeks. As her eyesight and mobility returned, she was able to join the other two piglets as lifetime companions. It wasn’t until 4 years later that Jeff and Julie made the decision to sell the house on Pelo Rd. and move permanently to the land now known as Garnsey’s Feral Acres. It was never the plan at that point to start an animal rescue. It seems to have happened organically – one animal at a time until Jeff and Julie were stuck with the fact that they had begun to help more than just a few animals. Over the course of the next few years, as the scope of their farm increased, the need for additional finances became apparent. In 2019, they applied for and received certification as 501c3 and became a not-for-profit large animal rescue.