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Quarterly Update: January to March

When we launched the sanctuary, we knew we wanted to include transparency as a cornerstone of our rescue work. We both grew up in the city and worked most of our careers with non-profit organizations, witnessing all the “behind the scenes” aspects that make the gears turn. But oftentimes, the nitty gritty wasn't shared with the public. We wanted to prioritize sharing everything that makes our tiny but mighty sanctuary work. That’s why we’ve decided to share a quarterly update highlighting everything from our financial state, update on our 2024 goals

Please enjoy as we pull back the curtain on our sanctuary operations!

Liz & Craig Wheeler


Chicken Care

If there were one word to sum up the year's first three months, it would be whirlwind. We'd been hoping for a lull in the non-stop medical needs of the chickens in the first quarter and even planned to save $2000 in our medical emergency fund. Of course, if you follow us on social media, you'll know that didn't happen. Instead, several of our hens experienced reproductive issues requiring medical care. Luckily, thanks to your support, we were able to act quickly and ensure we stayed true to our vision.

Our vision is to offer a life-long sanctuary where our rescued farmed animals can live their natural lives in peace, be free from exploitation and suffering, and have fulfilled and enriched experiences while living at the sanctuary.

Here are just a few things that we tackled:

  • Ezra, Jewel, Angie and Gunta were treated for scaly leg mites.

  • Gunta, Maggie, Margaret and Cora were implanted.

  • Started Margaret on steroids to help reduce the growth of her reproductive tumour.

  • Jewel’s medication has kept her heart and lungs strong.

  • All flocks are having ongoing treatment for fowl mites.

Sadly, in late March, we said goodbye to our beloved Cora. She had been undergoing treatment for reproductive illness and continued to decline. After X-rays revealed a tumour beyond treatment options and understanding she was not going to improve, we had to make a choice. Our chickens' quality of life is the most important thing to us, and Cora didn’t deserve to suffer. The best thing we could do to show her how much we loved her is to absorb any pain she had as our own, as we now enter a life without her. At the same time, Henry experienced a head trauma that we are monitoring closely. Only time will tell if it’s a concussion or, worst case, a brain bleed. Henry is isolated inside a pen, where his stimulus is reduced, and he can rest. He’s getting pain, anti-inflammation and steroid medications as prescribed by his vet. We've been monitoring him closely and hope there is no long-term damage to his brain. He's stable but not improving. We're constantly communicating with his vet to ensure we're doing everything we can for him.

We saved the best news for last: we welcomed two new chickens to the family! Because of noise complaints, Chickpea and Tofu came to us from an owner who could no longer keep her roosters. And boy, oh boy, these boys have been chatty. We don’t mind their sweet melody, nor do our neighbours. They fit right in, and Potato has happily claimed his place in their flock.

Progress on 2024 Goals

We hit the ground running in January, taking advantage of the winter season when no big construction projects are happening. In Q1 we:

While not planned in our goals, we also created a Chicken Medical Records Master with brief one-page summaries of our chickens' medical histories to help streamline veterinary care. This has been a huge help as we navigate additional treatment options for ongoing reproductive care.  


In 2024, we budgeted $20,221 for expenses. As you can see, that was a bit conservative. In Q1, we’ve had $7,160.47 in costs, broken down into the following categories:


This includes vet exams, implants, x-rays and what seems like a never-ending list of medications, all of which are expanded upon above in the chicken care section.


One of our first financial goals this year was to pay off the sanctuary Home Depot Credit card debt from 2023 accumulated from building expanded runs for the chickens, so we didn't incur any interest charges.


This includes our website hosting renewal (2 Years), donation form and processing fees, banking fees, Wix email marketing plan, and the Vegans Who Snack tabling fee.

While this section may appear larger, it's because, thanks to a generous grant from the Awesome Foundation - Vegan Chapter, we purchased a new Customer Relationship Management software that will be needed as we start the journey to becoming a registered charity!

Daily Care

The basic needs are food, bedding, and supplements. This also includes enrichment (i.e. Mealworms) covered by donors. Daily care will always seem lower than other line items, as Craig and I finance much of the "bonus" foods.


Costs such as mailing book orders, sponsorship packages, and gas for our amazing delivery volunteer are mostly reimbursed through shipping costs paid on the website.


So, how can we afford all of this? Well, aside from two generous foundation donations, the answer is YOU. Our supporters have made this possible. Your individual donations, book purchases, and commitment to joining our newly launched monthly donor program, The Kind Friends Club, all help us tremendously.

How You Can Help!

In our quarterly updates, we want to highlight ways for you to get involved with Secondhand Stories beyond purchasing books or making a cash donation. Here are some incredible ways you can uplift our work:

  • Review us on Google to help expand our reach and listing.

  • Become a volunteer! We're recruiting help for all sorts of positions. See details here.

    • Bonus idea: Ask your employer to host their next volunteer day at our sanctuary.

  • Join our Facebook Consignment Group.

  • Solicit book donations for us on your local Facebook community groups.

  • Have a business? Let's connect to work together.

    • Donate to our Spring Online Auction

    • Sell your items on our Marketplace

  • Gift something to the chickens from our Amazon Wishlist.


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