- Associated Press - Saturday, May 16, 2015

NICKERSON, Neb. (AP) - An eastern Nebraska farm dedicated to caring for discarded pets will open to the public in hopes of collecting donations to help care for the animals.

Admission to The Old Poor Farm on Sunday is free, but officials there will accept animal care donations, The Fremont Tribune reported (https://bit.ly/1KSfTOo ).

The nonprofit, no-kill animal sanctuary near Nickerson, just north of Fremont, provides long-term care for disfigured and disabled animals. It’s also involved in animal adoptions.

“This is our annual fundraiser,” Kathy Drawbridge, president of The Old Poor Farm, said of the open house Sunday. “Every dime that is donated goes directly to the animals’ care.”

Ducks, donkeys and dogs have found a refuge at the farm. So have peacocks, goats, Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs, horses, sheep and other animals and birds.

One of the farm’s permanent residents is a zebu - a southeastern Asian bovine - named Mona who came to the farm 15 years ago. She was too thin, and her hooves were too long. Used for breeding, she’d been kept in a cornfield with no shelter or human contact.

“We called the vet and got her hooves trimmed,” Drawbridge said. “It was so much stress on her that she almost had a heart attack.”

Mona is now 20 years old and suffers from asthma and arthritis. Still wary of humans, she spends her days at the farm serving as guardian to baby goats, which she lets climb on her.

“I think that’s why she’s living so long, because she has purpose,” Drawbridge said. “We’re watching her very carefully. She’s not in any pain and she’s doing her senior citizen thing.”

This year, the farm became a certified member of the Wildlife Rescue Team, meaning it’s licensed to take in injured wildlife, nurse the animals back to health and release them back into the wild.

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Information from: Fremont Tribune, https://www.fremontneb.com

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