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 their feline families together in holy matrimony. We decided then on the name “Six Paws Farm” – one paw each for our rescues.
Since then, our farm has moved from New Jersey (where we met) to North Carolina and has grown considerably to include more rescue animals: more cats, goats, ducks, chickens, and a horse. Oh, and about a gazillion bees thanks to giving a beehive to a swarm that formed on our farm in the spring of 2018. And these bees help pollinate our ever-expanding garden, which supplies us much of our summer food as well as some winter amenities (mmmmm, pickles).
Because of our shared loved of nature and the environment, as well as our rescue animals, we’ve now dedicated our lives to living with a general, natural, holistic mindset: basics like recycling, reusing/re-purposing (case in point: our chicken coop was once a carport!), and not letting things go to waste (goats, chickens, and ducks love scraps!).
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 are starting that process all over again. Covid-19 slowed the process but eventually received our official 501(c)3 designation. We're keeping ourselves on track to having our new farm property be the perfect permanent home!