WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Adoptions of the farm animals at The Children's Home in Winston-Salem are on hold.
The Children's Home board put the animals up for adoption last month after facing more funding cutbacks from the state and others. The hold on adoptions comes thanks to volunteers and former residents of The Children's Home signing a petition to save the animals that are used for therapy in helping children suffering from behavioral and mental illness.
"Just being at the farm, being with the animals, kind of distracts [the children], calms them down and [helps them] refocus," said Experimental Therapy Director Kim MacPherson. "The animals help children learn to trust again, deal with loss or learn to take a risk."
It cost about $250,000 to run the farm yearly with more than 70 animals.
"We talk about The Children's Home being a jewel of the community," said President Maurice Ware. "I think you see that with the petition."
More than 1,500 people have signed the online petition and volunteers are working on a plan they believe will make the farm self-sustaining.
"The passion is there," said Ware. "The volunteers here, they know the ends and outs of our program." The volunteers hope to present a detailed plan to the board in the next several weeks.