The owner of a farm animal sanctuary in Gilbert is being forced to move after her a landlord called off a potential deal.
Aimee Takaha, the owner of Aimee’s Farm Animal Sanctuary, says she was told she had six months to come up with enough money to put a down payment on the land she occupies.
But now, she says the landlord has decided to move forward with a sale. Takaha told AZ Family she has until May to move her and her 100 animals to a new property.
“He sold it out from under me,” Takaha told the news organization.
She added that she has raised about $70,000 as of Wednesday but needs more to put a down payment on a new spot.
A home for deformed, sick, and unwanted animals is struggling to stay open as the demand for more housing in Gilbert threatens to take it over.
Aimee Takaha, the owner of Aimee’s Farm Animal Sanctuary, says she has six months to come up with $500,000 to purchase the land. Otherwise, developers will begin digging it up to build condos, according to 12 News.
On top of raising money to buy out developers – at least $100,000 as a down payment – Takaha has regular operating costs to cover.
According to the farm’s website, it takes about $5,000 each month to care for the animals, including basic necessities as well as medical treatment. The animals on the farm – which include ducks, cows, alpacas, horses, pigs, goats, donkeys, and sheep – require special veterinarians for check-ups and treatment.
Takaha said although the farm largely benefits special needs animals, it’s also touched many human lives.
“People didn’t want [the animals] because they have different ailments. They’re missing limbs, they’re in wheelchairs, they’re born different,” she told 12 News. “We get children here that are born different as well. These very animals help these children. It really helps them to have something to relate to that’s just like them.”
Takaha also works with senior communities and people who have survived trauma to create therapeutic experiences. Some of those groups, as well as Eagle Scouts and Girl Scouts, have contributed to the farm by creating gardens, she told 12 News.
“There are structures here built by the community, donated from the community that were given or built with love,” she wrote on the farm’s Facebook fundraising page. “The new builders would tear it all down and it breaks my heart to even think of that happening. [The structures] are part of the beautiful history of love that has gone into helping animals and helping people.”
Takaha said it’d be very difficult for her to move the farm due to the lack of spaces that would allow her to keep so many animals. However, she said, if someone were able to donate land she could use, she’d be willing to relocate.