Saparomäki is one of the few farm animal sanctuaries in Finland and is located near Porvoo, not far from Helsinki. The first animal residents arrived here in early 2019. They were rescued hens and a rooster. The first time we visited Saparomäki was in autumn 2019 to help with building the shelter. Since then we have been there a couple of times more and this weekend we had a nice little end-of-summer celebration with other volunteers. We also met the newest residents Lumme, Hilma & Tilda!
Eveliina Lindqvist, the founder of Saparomäki, usually gives us some instructions for the work. I at least didn’t have any previous experience with building and am happy to do any little task I can. Volunteers and the amazing people of Saparomäki have worked hard to build this space up. This space represents freedom, hope and dreams. It presents an idea of a future where animals are not regarded as commodities anymore and some lives are not just ‘disposed of’ as less important. Every being here deserved to be rescued and have a chance at living a peaceful life. Living in alignment with these values, Saparomäki animal shelter in Finland also promotes a vegan lifestyle.
This time we did a little work with the fencing that goes around a large area, surrounded by lush forest. A great place for animals to roam free.
About the animal residents – I was absolutely delighted to meet these couple of black sheep- Hilma & Tilda. We hadn’t spent time with any sheep before the Animal Academy and now these guys. Lambs and sheep are so much fun to be around – they aren’t too shy, like to stick with people, are playful, fluffy and love a good head rub! Honestly, forget dogs, people should give sheep a chance. If only one could figure out how to toilet train them..
We checked in on Lumme the granny pig, who was mostly asleep during the day and that’s totally understandable! She made a few grunting sounds when we tried to call and get her attention. Lumme is about 11 and spent the first 7 years in a factory farm where she was a breeding sow, to produce babies after babies that were bred to be killed. We cannot imagine how bad those conditions were. The factory shut down and she was one of the rescued sows sent to a barn, where she stayed before coming to Saparomäki. Here she will spend the rest of her time in peace.
Meet the hen gang that have their own house, the ‘kamula’. On a sunny day like this they also like to roam in the gardens outside. In fact, they joined us for the evening party and gathered under the table. Most probably hoping for a share of the snacks and vegan cake.
More animals are set to arrive at Saparomäki and I’m sure many more will find a home here in future. If you’re interested – it’s possible to volunteer or intern at the shelter! Support through donations are also welcome. More info on their website and you can follow their Finnish facebook page.