HAPPY THANKSGIVING FOR THESE TURKEYS
The animals at Chenoa Manor face a long and carefree life
LONDON GROVE >> The seven turkeys at Chenoa Manor were having a good day on Saturday. The sun was shining, it was warm, they had plenty of room to roam, and they had the assurance that they were in no danger of becoming someone’s Thanksgiving dinner.
The turkeys, along with a wide variety of other species, live a pampered and comfortable life at the animal sanctuary at the end of Glen Willow Road. The lifelong dream of local veterinarian Dr. Rob Teti, it is a refuge for animals that somehow strayed from or were separated from their original pack or flock. Some just fell off the truck to market, while others got lost during environmental disasters.
In the case of the turkeys, Teti said he received a call from an organization in New England informing him that the owner of a flock destined for slaughter had become so attached to the birds and their
personalities, that he could not bring himself to kill them. He was asked if he would host some.
Lucky for those who came to Chenoa Manor, they will live out their lives peacefully with geese, pigs, sheep, cows, horses, rabbits, turtles, emus and goats — none of whom risk being shipped off to be killed.
Teti, 45, and a Kennett Square native, wanted from a very early age to create a place where animals could live free from the threat of abuse and slaughter, and teenagers could find serenity and meaning by caring for those animals.
He earned his degrees that led to his veterinary practice, and he set about to create his 25-acre peaceable kingdom, where the animals all have names and they exist like a family on a Hawaiian vacation. Volunteers from schools and educational programs spend time there learning animal care skills and doing the chores.
Additionally, Teti also hosts tours, special events and art programs. The old barn on the property from time to time is the site of arts and crafts projects, and Teti said that with lucky results of grant requests he will restore the structure of indoor events.
Several years ago, one of the farm’s stars, Betty the pig, was shot by an arrow and rushed to nearby New Bolton Center for care. Fortunately for Betty, the staff at the world-renowned veterinary center were successful at binding up her wounds, and to this day she is still a star of the manor. On Saturday she was in a field with her fellow piggy, Sebastian, dining on donated Halloween pumpkins.
“We’re getting a lot of them this week,” Teti said.
Teti said Chenoa Manor is even an occasional destination for animals that drop in from the wild, like hawks, eagles and foxes. He cited one instance where a hawk landed on a fence post near the sheltered chicken-geese-turkey aviary. “I could see it looking down checking out the birds, almost as it he was hoping for a breakfast buffet,” Teti said. Fortunately for the animals at Chenoa Manor, the hawk moved on unfed.
The folks at Chenoa Manor are looking forward to a special event and have extended an invitation to the public. The holiday extravaganza on Dec. 10 from noon to 5 p.m. will include local artisans, vegan treats, live music, kids’ crafts and raffles from local businesses. For more information about Chenoa Manor, visit chenoamanor.org.
These three turkeys at Chenoa Manor have no fears of becoming a Thanksgiving dinner.
Betty the pig feasts on a contributed Halloween pumpkin.
Horses snack on hay at Chenoa Manor.
These two geese are foraging for treats at Chenoa Manor.