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Animal Rehabilitation

Happy Tales Animal Sanctuary takes in abused and/or neglected animals. We provide food, shelter, medical care, ongoing rehabilitation, compassion and love to each and every resident, giving these wonderful animals a second chance at life. We are proud practitioners of a plant-based lifestyle, educators of the impacts of animal agriculture on the environment,  and champions for our furry, fluffy and feathery friends. You can read about some of the incredible stories of rescue and recovery by our residents through our residents gallery. Ultimately, we endeavour to provide a good life, the rehabilitation and reintegration that the animals require, and a whole lot of love and compassion to every creature in our care. 

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Marika Volgelzang

Animal Care Specialist

Marika started working with Happy Tales Animal Sanctuary a few years ago in a volunteer capacity. Last summer, Marika worked with us as a full-time veterinary student through the Canada Summer Jobs Program. Our animal residents have bonded strongly with Marika. Her incredible skill set and love for our residents made it an easy decision to hire Marika as our Animal Care Specialist after her summer placement with us. Marika helps with the daily needs of our animal residents that have special needs or requirements and has been integral in the rescue and rehabilitation of several of our animal residents. Her most incredible rehab patient has certainly been Peter, our three legged sheep. Marika will be starting veterinary college in the fall, but will but will visit her animal friends often.

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Alyson Finn

Animal Care Attendant

Alyson started working at the Sanctuary in the summer of 2020 as an Animal Care Attendant. Her main responsibilities include the day-to-day feeding and cleaning related to the residents. Aly helps to monitor the health of every animal at the Sanctuary and performs daily health checks to ensure everyone is safe and healthy. Aly has become an enormous part of the Sanctuary and will continue to work with us part-time throughout August.

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Steve Ferrari

Animal Care Attendant | Veteran Volunteer

Steve was the second military veteran to join our animal therapy program. After completing nine months of the program, Steve retired from the Canadian Armed Forces and continues to volunteer with the Sanctuary 5 days a week. Steve is not just a volunteer, he is part of our Sanctuary family. Our residents rely on his calm and kind demeanour, and together he has helped heal so many of our residents with previous trauma. Steve works tirelessly to ensure all of the residents' emotional and physical needs are met, and is an active member of Peter's rehabilitation team.


PTSD/OSI & Animal Therapy

Veteran or current serving Canadian Armed Forces members that have been diagnosed with PTSD or OSI are welcome to consider Happy Tales Animal Sanctuary a safe haven. ​Through our partnership with the Canadian Armed Forces' Recovery, Rehabilitation and Reintegration program, we provide ill and injured veterans an opportunity to heal through our Animal Therapy Program.

This highly successful program has shown a reduction in anxiety and depression and reduced PTSD symptom severity for many participants. We are proud to offer Veterans with PTSD and other disabilities the opportunity to work hands on with animals to facilitate their healing.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and Operational Stress Injuries (OSI)  are mental health conditions caused by a traumatic experience as a direct result of their service. Often PTSD and OSI diagnoses are accompanied by an array of other complications including anxiety, depression, hypervigilance, night terrors, flashbacks and moral injuries. Every person is different, just as every trauma is different, just as every person’s response to trauma is different. Here at Happy Tales Animal Sanctuary, we endeavour to offer those who have sacrificed so much for our community and country a place where they can feel safe, secure and freedom to connect with the animals that have come into our care after experiencing their own trauma.

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Petty Officer 1st Class (Ret.)

Steve Ferrari 

Canadian Armed Forces

My name is Steve Ferrari; I am a Petty Officer 1st class in the Canadian Armed Forces and have been for the past 28 years. I was medically released in April 2019 because of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD affects people in many ways, for me it comes with depression, anxiety, anger, fear of crowds, fear of talking to people and a myriad of other issues. Each day I wake up, I try to find a reason for cancelling appointments, meetings, or anything that takes me away from the protection of the house I live in. I was happy staying home but knowing that I could not stay in the house forever, I needed to get out.

Happy Tales Animal Sanctuary has changed my outlook. The farm is run by two of the most compassionate people I have ever met. The amount of hard work, determination, dedication, and love they have for their animals has been an inspiration to me.

I have never worked with animals, but I quickly learned that they are always there to give you something you need, even if you didn’t think you needed it. I truly enjoy working with these amazing animals; each animal has their own story to tell. Each of them has a personality, some have anxiety, some of them love to be pet, some don’t like to be touched and some of them love you because you are there so often that they think you are actually one of them.

What they give me is the freedom from my thoughts, they allow me to talk about the demons I struggle with every day without judgment; they calm my anxiety; they make me look forward to the next time I am with them. These animals and this experience have changed my life. Working with them has taught me that I need to be patient and kind, not only with them, but with myself. It has helped me grow as a person, a father, a husband and a friend.


Corporal (Ret.)


Canadian Armed Forces

During my medical release process out of the Canadian Armed Forces, I worked with Carla at the Happy Tales Animal Sanctuary as part of my return to work program. The farm is an extremely peaceful, quiet and calm place for anybody that likes animals and nature.


Carla was extremely understanding and cooperative with my mental illness and my time at the farm. Working at this farm has been a lot of hard work but it also has taught me a lot of patience. I am excited to see what the future holds for Happy Tales Animal Sanctuary as it develops into a community for people who love to be around nature, animals and a peaceful environment.

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