Be a Friend of a Friend
Photo by Pat Thomas

One of the most common questions we are asked at the Forever Farm is, “How do you get your animals?” 

It’s a question that gets to the very core of Friends For Life’s mission. Each pet who comes to us is unique, and has her or his own story. However, from a big picture perspective, our residents tend to come to us via two methods.

The first are pets who transfer from other shelters and animal rescues. Most organizations are focused on adopting out as many animals as possible, as quickly as possible. There are so many homeless cats and dogs, and space is always at a premium. When an older pet, or one with health issues, comes into most facilities, it presents a tough decision. Do they hold that harder-to-adopt animal, knowing that it could fill valuable cage space for months or more, or do they devote that space to younger, healthier pets who can be adopted many times over during the same period?  

So, organizations will often contact Friends For Life when they receive an animal that fits our mission. We receive requests mostly from welfare groups, and county shelters in Western North Carolina, but also from further away. In many cases, these are pets facing euthanasia due to limits on space.

Roughly half our other residents come to us directly from a home. Sadly, these senior pets have often been companions to senior humans, who are now unable to care for them any longer. Some of the reasons their humans must relinquish are because they themselves are moving into nursing facilities or are physically unable to meet the challenges of pet ownership. Sometimes, their owners have passed. We have taken in pets whose owners were in hospice care, and wanted nothing more than to know their beloved companion would be cared for once they were gone. 

Sometimes, these cherished friends come to us with financial support from their owner. One such example is one of our newest residents, Jack, an adorable Pug/Scottish Terrier mix. His human mom was moving to a senior facility and it was so important to her that he be cared for, that she made a commitment to make a monthly contribution toward his care.

Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of our residents come to us with no financial support. This is why we work so hard to raise funds for our mission. Running a nursing home, and assisted living facility, for pets is no small feat. Our costs are considerable. Veterinary care, medications, food, utilities, and a caring staff are necessities, not options. It’s very important to us that these pets spend their remaining days being loved and properly cared for. We hope it’s important to you as well, and you will consider contributing to our cause.

Friends for Life is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization and all donations are tax deductible. Donations can be made through our website: or mailed to P.O. Box 340, Sapphire, NC 28774.  For information, call (828) 508-2460.