Six Paws Farm became a “thing” back in January of 2016, when a lovely lady, who was bringing up three very lovely cats, married a man named Miles, who was busy with three boys of his own. See, they knew that it was much more than a hunch that this group must somehow form a family, and that’s when we became the Smiley-Miles bunch!
Yep, we were “The Brady Bunch” of cats. When we met, we each had three rescue felines and when the time was right, brought our feline families together in holy matrimony. We decided then on the name “Six Paws Farm” – one paw each for our rescues.
In 2017, our farm moved from New Jersey (where we met) to North Carolina and began to grow considerably to include more rescue animals. But the story doesn't end there.
From Small Farm to Animal Sanctuary
In mid-2019, we made the decision that we wanted more for our small farm and more for our animals. We considered ourselves our own little rescue, our own little sanctuary for those animals, large and small, that needed a safe, loving home to spend the rest of their days (no matter how many those days are). So we began the process of turning the farm into an official 501(c)3 non-profit animal sanctuary. We prepared a mission statement, goals, a financial plan, a Board of Directors, and became an incorporated non-profit in North Carolina, then began completing our 501(c)3 paperwork.
Then SURPRISE! Vanessa got a new job in West Virginia, so in January 2020, we bought a new 27-acre farm in Morgan County, WV and started that process all over again. Covid-19 slowed the process but eventually received our official 501(c)3 designation in October 2020.
The Sanctuary Today
Today, we are still growing in rescues and donations, and there always seems to be some project that needs work. It's just Lonnie and Vanessa managing the day to day as well as the paperwork, along with a small Board of Directors that step in when needed. We've also developed a great network with other sanctuaries and rescues to further our mission and efforts.