WILLIAMSBURG — A local animal sanctuary has sustained damage due to the powerful storm that occurred on the evening of Thursday, July 29.
Life With Pigs Farm Sanctuary, a 501(c)(3) sanctuary located at 195 Maxton Ln. in James City County, is dedicated to providing a loving home for animals that have suffered abuse or neglect. Currently, twenty-three animals call the sanctuary home.
At approximately 8 p.m. on Thursday evening, owners and operators of the sanctuary, Ryan and Mallory Phillips, heard a strong wind and opened the door to see tree branches blocking the way. Both dashed outside to check on the animals. Initially, they thought that one of the cows that lives at the sanctuary, Jenna, was missing but later found her in the barn.
However, an oak tree was uprooted and crushed the chicken coop. They also discovered that there was a downed power line right next to the tree. Ryan and Mallory used a chainsaw to get through to the coop while still being mindful to navigate around the power line. Once they were able to get close enough to assess the coop and search for the animals, all four chickens were found alive. Mallory Phillips says that they huddled together at the bottom of the coop.
All animals that reside at the sanctuary lived through the harrowing experience.
“It is truly a miracle that everyone survived with just bumps and bruises and a bad mood,” said Mallory.
As Friday morning, Life With Pigs remained without power, but the Phillips purchased a generator and will continue to assess the damage sustained during the storm.
So far, the couple has determined that the chicken coop will need to be replaced along with the sanctuary’s dog yard and pig pool. Life With Pigs is asking for the public’s assistance by way of donations to help cover the $4,000 expense. Ryan and Mallory are also asking for volunteers to help this weekend (July 31-Aug. 1).