Fostering Friendships

Posted on: April 20th, 2016 by CR Admin 2 184 Comments

In addition to rescuing and rehoming farmed animals, Cedar Row has created and fostered friendships between animals that wouldn’t normally seem possible. Pigs hanging around with dogs, turkeys resting on goats, cats babysitting baby pigs, inseparable geese and ducks…. The list goes on.


Gabe, Geronimo, Deb & Sophia

These friendships shouldn’t surprise anyone; people from all walks of life find ways to get along and form bonds despite coming from all different backgrounds and locations. Animals in similar situations do the exact same thing. ūüôā

Herb the Cat with Pratchett the pig

Penelope & Herb

Animals show signs of stress, they grieve, they express joy and they love. One of our cats, Herb, takes a special interest in baby pigs that make their way to Cedar Row especially when they’re adjusting to their new surroundings. He spends time with them, sleeps in straw with them and shows them the ropes around the sanctuary. It’s a bond that wasn’t expected but one that show the compassion that animals have for each other.


Midas & Penny

Midas, the Great Dane, has a similar interest in new arrivals. This past winter he has busied himself by playing and accompanying Darcy and Penny around the farm, never more than a few feet from them when they’re exploring.


Rocket hitching a ride on Eric

It’s time to ask ourselves a question; if animals can get along with each other, shouldn’t we be able to get along with them? ūüôā

If you’d like to meet our animal friends at Cedar Row, sign up for one of our work visits¬†here or come to our Summer of Peace Open House on July 9th!



Pigs in the city

Posted on: April 6th, 2016 by CR Admin 2 202 Comments


You can call them tea cup pigs, mini pigs, micro pigs, or micro mini pigs but in the end they’re all the same thing; a marketing ploy developed by breeders to encourage the sale of potbellied¬†pigs that are almost always abandoned when they get too big to be “cute” in a house.

Over the past couple of weeks, a self-proclaimed animal lover and “tea cup pig” aficionado tried to convince London¬†City Council to allow these pigs in residential neighbourhoods to be kept as pets, especially given their alleged small stature.


However, nothing could be further from the truth. We end up caring for miniature pigs that grow too big, after their owners abandon them or give them away. People are fooled into buying these little pigs from $300 to $2,500, thinking they’ll stay small. The real issue is that most breeders mate their pigs at only three months old, giving the illusion of fully-grown miniature pigs. Essentially its baby pigs forced to make more babies.

Despite the fact that potbellied pigs remain smaller than standard farm pigs, they still grow to between 100 to 250 pounds, far heavier than other residential pets like dogs and cats.


Cedar Row was interviewed by a few media outlets regarding this story and we didn’t hold back on why lifting this ban was a bad idea. Most sanctuaries in Ontario (including Cedar Row) are full and a number of them won’t take in potbellied pigs as they don’t consider them farm animals. Lifting the ban would create even more of a headache because there simply isn’t enough room to care for abandoned pigs and the¬†request to rehome them would be astronomical.

Here are a few links to the stories on this issue from around London:

Pig lover pulls wool over eyes of politicians?

A pig tail at city hall

Here are two older stories from late 2015 detailing the struggle we faced last year when we took in and rehomed 18 potbellied pigs (even before any sort of residential ban being lifted!)

Local animal rescues’ resources strained by influx of pet pigs

Unwanted potbellied pigs overwhelming shelters and sanctuaries

Currently, the Community and Protective Services Committee (CAPS) of London City Council has decided against lifting the ban; this is good news for sanctuaries and even better news for pigs.

Spring is just around the corner…

Posted on: March 23rd, 2016 by CR Admin 2 207 Comments

With spring officially here (despite some crummy weather over the next few days!), thoughts often turn to two things if you live at a farm sanctuary; mud and baby animals. Cedar Row is no exception and we’ll definitely be looking forward to the end of mud season at the weather warms up!

While we do get calls for baby animals, we don’t have them on our farm every spring. This is because, as a sanctuary, we ensure that all animals that come to Cedar Row for shelter (even if they’re here on a temporary basis until homes can be found) are either spayed or neutered to ensure they don’t reproduce and create new lives that must also be found homes on an already over-stressed system of shelters and willing hobby farms.


Dorothy & Sadie came to Cedar Row as lambs only a few days old

We have had our share of baby animals over the years and the cuteness factor in those babies is undeniable; they’re fun to have around and a challenge to raise but the end result is a well-mannered animal who gets to live out their life free from harm.


Darcy was a baby with a number of health issues when he came to Cedar Row in the fall; he’s getting stronger by the day.

Most babies have come to us after falling of slaughterhouse trucks (it happens far more than you realize) or they’ve been found wandering down roads completely afraid and unsure of their surroundings. They’ve been taken in, cared for medically, fixed and have either stayed here or we’ve found them a foster or permanent home.


Penelope was the star of our 2015 Summer of Peace Open House and now lives with 2 other Potbellied Pigs on a peaceful hobby farm

So, while it is baby season, please remember that it’s important to spay or neuter any animals you take in or care for because there are many animals out there already looking for forever homes.

Luck of the Animals (not just the Irish)

Posted on: March 17th, 2016 by CR Admin 2 229 Comments

It’s St. Patrick’s Day and with it comes a buzz word that is often uttered this day; luck.¬†Yes, the¬†Luck of the Irish¬†abounds today but¬†as we walk around Cedar Row there is a different¬†kind of luck that is¬†everywhere…. The luck of the animals that made their way here to live free from¬†harm.


Whether its one of the ex-battery egg hens who are rescued every fall or a pig like Jimmy, who was born on a slaughterhouse truck and was saved by one of the workers at the slaughterhouse and made his way here, luck played a huge part in their ability to live out their days in peace here.


They are lucky indeed; with the rash of barn fires that has taken so many lives to the outdated animal transport laws, it’s no wonder many farmed animals are seen as unlucky. To be born to die is¬†a horrible thing to ponder¬†but being able to offer sanctuary to animals is need is a gift.


We, too, feel lucky to be able to do what we do for animals.

May the Luck of the Irish be with all animals and with those that care for them today.


International Women’s Day

Posted on: March 14th, 2016 by CR Admin 2 199 Comments

International Women’s Day, celebrated on March 8th this year, calls attention to the fact that¬†women often face barriers regarding¬†social, economic, cultural and¬†political achievements.

When it comes to farmed animals, female animals are some of the most abused. Whether it’s cows who are repeatedly impregnated only to have their offspring taken from them at birth, to sows who spend their lives confined to gestation crates, to egg hens who spend months and often years in small, cramped wire cages, the plight of female animals is not for the faint of heart.

So we celebrate the female animals that call Cedar Row home and who are free from the abuse and neglect that often befalls other female animals in the animal agriculture industry.


Siobhan with a rescued ex-battery egg hen (September 2015).


Chickpea, a dairy cow who was rescued and lives at Cedar Row.


Bardot, who fell off a slaughterhouse truck, lives in peace at Cedar Row.


Dorothy & Sadie, two sisters who came to Cedar Row at just a few days old, are now grown and enjoying a life of freedom with their other goat, pig and cow friends.


National Pig Day

Posted on: March 3rd, 2016 by CR Admin 2 189 Comments


It’s no coincidence that¬†we have¬†a pig on our logo; pigs are a big part of why Cedar Row exists and we currently have 17 resident pigs of all shapes and sizes who call Cedar Row home.

Pigs constantly communicate with each other; they have a wide range of different oinks, grunts and squeals which have distinct meanings that include affection, anger, sadness and fear, just to name a few.


Here are just a few things we have learned over the years about pigs.

Pigs are very peaceful animals, rarely showing aggression.

Pigs are extraordinarily intelligent; they are curious and insightful animals who are widely accepted as being smarter than young children of at least 3 years of age, dogs, and even some primates.

Pigs are extremely social animals; they form close bonds with other individuals and love close contact and lying down together.


Unfortunately, almost all of the millions of pigs killed for food in the U.S. & Canada every year are raised on extremely crowded, filthy factory farms. These intelligent, social animals are deprived of natural sunlight and the feel of grass beneath their feet, until the day when they are shoved and prodded onto a truck bound for the slaughterhouse.


Please consider leaving pigs off your plate as pigs are friends, not food.


The Year of the Pig

Posted on: November 8th, 2015 by CR Admin 2 3 Comments

According to the Chinese Zodiac, the Year of the Pig last took place in 2007 and won’t take place again until 2019. It certainly hasn’t felt like that around here at Cedar Row…. 2015 has been our Year of the Potbellied Pig (plus a couple non-potbellied pigs too!)


6 of the 18 Potbellied Pigs that have come through Cedar Row in 2015

18 potbellied pigs have made their way to Cedar Row this year, all at different stages of development and all needing to be spayed our neutered, none of which has been inexpensive. Additionally, they needed to be socialized to get them to trust people so they can be adoptable. Initially, coming near them was difficult and they were quite skittish; fast forward a couple of months and they’re now looking to be petted.


Potbellied Pigs at Cedar Row just after Halloween enjoying a pumpkin

They’ve come from small hobby farms where their population exploded quickly from 2 to 15, one was kept in an apartment in a small dog crate for 10 hours a day, two were dropped off after their owners couldn’t care for them anymore and 2 regular pigs (one who was initially placed but came back to Cedar Row and another who was found sick and taken from the humane society and brought to Cedar Row) who both needed a 2nd chance at life.


Darcy (above) was brought to Cedar Row very sick; he’s gaining strength by the day

We have been fortunate to receive some coverage regarding the issue of potbellied pigs and how they’ve overwhelmed us this year. The Stratford Beacon Herald ran a story on our pigs, as did CTV Kitchener. The concept was to bring to light this issue in the hope that people will think twice before they buy a “tea cup pig” (there’s no such thing, by the way) or before they adopt a potbellied pig without checking their municipal by-laws, as most cities and towns prohibit them within their boundaries.


Potbellied Pigs on CTV Kitchener

Finally, opening your home to a potbellied pig is a long commitment and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. They require a lot of care and supervision, not to mention proper dietary requirements, tusk and nail trimming and the space to roam (read: an apartment or house without a yard [in a by-law-friendly neighbourhood] is not a place for a pig.


Siobhan Poole of Cedar Row Farm Sanctuary with two potbellied pigs (© Stratford Beacon Herald)

Remember; Adopt, don’t Shop!



World Vegan Day

Posted on: November 1st, 2015 by CR Admin 2 355 Comments

Imagine being young and afraid and being driven down a highway at great speed with unfamiliar noises all around. Imagine being scared out of your mind and unaware of the terrible fate that awaits you at a slaughterhouse. This is the life and fate of most farmed animals across Canada and around the world. It’s a terrible fate but it doesn’t have to happen. November 1st¬†is World Vegan Day and it’s a day to celebrate compassionate choices made by a growing number of people across the globe.


As a reminder of why Cedar Row Farm Sanctuary exists, a new resident came into our lives today. This little guy is one of¬†the million reasons to be vegan or to go vegan if you’re not already. He recently fell off a truck and has thankfully made his way to us.¬†He is extremely thin, but with the proper diet he will be putting on some much needed weight. After falling off a slaughterhouse truck he was taken in and brought to us for care and to eventually be adopted out to a hobby farm where he can live out his days, free from harm.


Did¬†you know you can save 100 animals every ¬†year by eating a plant-based diet? That’s 100 more cows, pigs, sheep, chickens, turkeys, etc. that get to roam freely. It’s worth it.


In addition to the lives saved by going vegan, you can also make a great impact on the environment around you. Animal farming for food uses more water by far than vegetable crops and is one of the main reasons for deforestation and drought. Want more proof? Check out the table below and see how much water can be saved by going vegan.


Finally, if you need help going vegan, there are lots of  amazing products and resources to help you. Check out Becoming Vegan for tips and tricks on eating and living compassionately.

Nothing feels as good as living a cruelty-free lifestyle. That’s why Cedar Row exists and it’s why all our potlucks are vegan. Compassion for all.




World Day for Farmed Animals in Ottawa

Posted on: October 27th, 2015 by CR Admin 2 224 Comments

Earlier this past summer we were contacted by some very kind people organizing a World Day for Farmed Animals event in Ottawa and they wanted to donate the profits from the¬†evening to the animals at Cedar Row; to say that we were touched is an understatement. We’re so truly appreciative of people who give their time to causes that help farmed animals and we were happy to come to our nation’s capital for this great event.


Not only did they pick a beautiful spot for the event in Central Park (Ottawa) but the sheer volume of sponsors they reached out to was astounding. The evening began with a delicious vegan BBQ with the food donated by Sol Cuisine¬†and other food, including delicious salads, made by volunteers. We can’t forget the jackfruit sandwiches either!


Cedar Row had a booth set up to inform people of the work we do at the sanctuary and to sell merchandise with profits going back to help feed and care for the rescued animals on our farm. It’s always a pleasure to speak to people about our work and educate them about the sanctuary and the work involved in running one.


Musical performances, a talk by Dr. Olivier Berreville about animal protection and investigations, art by very talented Twyla Francois and a showing of the documentary Peaceable Kingdom rounded out the evening.


A popular silent auction was also a great way to raise funds throughout the evening.



A big thank-you to everyone who helped organize the event and to those who came out for the evening. We sincerely appreciate your amazing efforts to make this a successful event. We would also like to thank members of the save movement and both Dr. Olivier Berreville and Twyla Francois for donate a portion of their profits for the evening to Cedar Row.

We are very thankful for your efforts and hard work; the animals say thank-you as well.


So many chickens…

Posted on: September 30th, 2015 by CR Admin 2 77 Comments

Imagine being in a barn where you can barely move, surrounded by 30,000 other beings. Imagine being cramped into a shallow crate with many others where you’re unable to move and speeding down a highway, terrified by loud and¬†unfamiliar noises everywhere. Imagine falling off one of those trucks and dodging traffic while others you know speed away to a slaughterhouse where they’ll never leave. Imagine being left alone and wandering aimlessly with no one to help.

These are just some of the stories from chickens that have recently come to Cedar Row to live out a life free from abuse & neglect.

Mercy & Helen (below)



Mercy the chicken was rescued by Toronto Chicken Save after a 24-hour vigil. The slaughterhouse release one chicken to the group and they named her Mercy. She was brought to Cedar Row the following day and, after an initial adjustment period, now enjoys spending her time looking for bugs, sleeping underneath the cedars and looking out for her new friend Helen.



A volunteer driver from the Guelph Humane Society brought this sweet gal to Birds of a Different Feather Microsanctuary and she was then brought to Cedar Row. She is very cute and so sweet it is difficult to think about the fact that she was on her way to slaughter. Falling off a truck actually saved her life. She enjoys her freedom with Mercy, another meat chicken who was once destined for slaughter and they are now very good friends. She enjoys sleeping in the lilies and looking for bugs. 


Hen from Windsor Humane Society

The little hen who, was found wandering around Windsor, has now moved on to an amazing life at Cedar Row Farm Sanctuary. After some initial illness, she is enjoying her freedom at Cedar Row and spends her time avoiding the roosters! Cedar Row¬†is already home to other farm animals from the Windsor¬†Humane Society and we’ve helped them place many more in permanent homes.


Battery Egg Hen Rescue

Cedar Row Farm Sanctuary and Birds of a Different Feather Microsanctuary joined forces and rescued 84 battery hens from a barn of 30,000. Every year we have the opportunity to rescue as many “spent” hens as we can and we always put out a call in late August/early September for those who can help give them a forever home. A number of people stepped up this year and we hope to have more volunteers next year.¬†Welcome to a second chance at a wonderful life girls, you deserve it.