Early beginnings of Lilly’s began In 2008, when “Parker,” a tom turkey that was part of a local high school’s Future Farmers of America (FFA) program, did not go to auction and was given to Lilly’s founder. This turkey lived out his life at a private farm location. Lilly’s Animal Sanctuary was established as a private farm animal sanctuary in 2013 when more animals arrived. Over the years more residents have been welcomed under varied circumstances including chickens, roosters, ducks, turkeys, sheep, goats, and pigs. Most of them were unwanted with the exception of requested placements from animals that were in either the 4h or FFA school programs.
Lilly’s Animal Sanctuary is named in honor of a ewe sheep, “Lilly,” who arrived as the result of an FFA student who decided to withdraw her animal from the 2016 Santa Barbara County auction. The student was challenged by both school and fair officials, and with the support of local activists, family, and the news media, was successful in securing the release of Lilly to the student’s family prior to auction. Lilly was then surrendered to live out her life at sanctuary. Since Lilly’s arrival, two sheep, two pigs and two goats from 4H and FFA programs have also come to live at the sanctuary.
In addition to our animal sanctuary, we provide a little school, Lilly’s Little School, where children have the opportunity to learn about kindness to all. Lilly’s mission is to provide homeschool, hybrid, or students in special education an opportunity to learn about farm animals and experience caring for them and connecting with them. Kids also participate in gardening and learn about conservation and sustainability. Our staff includes a California-credentialed teacher with a background in general and special education.
Lilly’s Animal Sanctuary is registered as R&TC Section 2370d non-profit with the California Franchise Tax Board and as a tax-exempt organization under IRC 501(c)3 and a private non-operating foundation as defined under IRC 509(a) with the IRS. Lilly’s Animal Sanctuary is a California Non-Profit Public Benefit Corporation #C4757501.