PITTSBURGH - Watching Karen Phillips work brings to mind Dr. Doolittle.
She talks to her animals.
“How is everybody?" she asks the group of pigs, geese and goats.
The veterinarian runs Hope Haven Farm Sanctuary and rescues neglected farm animals.
“I did private practice for several years, but that didn't suit me,” she told Channel 11’s Peggy Finnegan.
When she realized farm animals were being surrendered and traditional shelters couldn't care for them, Dr. Phillips bought a farm near Wexford, and fulfilled a dream.
"How could you not love this? They're so much fun and they are so interesting and they are so soulful," she said.
Many of her animals were saved from factories, like the turkeys.
“They were brought here when they were very young and very ill,” Phillips said.
A lot of animals have medical issues.
Some started as pets, then were abandoned, like Hope, the potbellied pig.
“We do see that a lot with pot belly pigs because they are so adorable and they are easy to get. But they're a lot of work,” she said.
So are goats.
Phillips said, “Holly and Ivy are sisters that came to us. They were abandoned in a field.”
Holly loves to butt her head and was chomping on our photographer’s leather belt.
There are also geese and llamas.
Butters is a miniature horse that was neglected for years but is now thriving under Phillips’ care.
“He had just never been groomed and never been loved. Every farm animal, every domesticated pet, they all deserve that. They all deserve love and attention and that's one of the big things we want to be known for at Hope Haven,” said Phillips.
The ultimate goal is to find good homes for these animals, because at 100 animals, Hope Haven is almost at capacity.
To learn more about Hope Haven Farm, CLICK HERE.