Offbeat L.A.: Barnyard Love- Animal Acres at Farm Sanctuary in Acton

The author meeting sleeping pigs Maisy & Jimmy (photo by Traci Murray)

The author meeting sleeping pigs Maisie & Jimmy (photo by Traci Murray)

Visitors at Farm Sanctuary, Traci & Timmy Murray (photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

Visitors at Farm Sanctuary, Traci  Murray & Timmy (photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

Hanging out with animals can be the greatest confidence builder, ego check and source of unconditional love. If everyone in the world would regularly make a habit of spending quality time with animals we might have a lot more happier people on this planet. This Offbeat L.A. author routinely seeks out local “animal encounters” and visits rescue organizations for those very reasons. Several months ago a visit to the Gentle Barn in Santa Clarita was a truly magical experience. Luckily I found another organization, very similar to the Gentle Barn, that also specializes in rescuing and rehabilitating farm animals that have been abused or abandoned. Located on a scrubby 26-acres in Acton, 45 minutes northeast of L.A. on the 14 freeway, Farm Sanctuary’s Animal Acres is a great experience for all ages.

One of the residents at Farm Sanctuary (photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

One of the happy residents at Farm Sanctuary (photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

Home to over 100 cows, pigs, horses, goats, sheep and more, Farm Sanctuary was founded in 1986 as a direct response to the cruelties and mistreatment of animals by factory farms and stockyards. With two additional larger locations in Watkins Glen, NY and Orland, CA, this organization has a mission much greater than the animal lives it saves. They are determined to educate visitors about the evils of industrialized farming and to promote a vegan diet. Obviously not all visitors are ready or willing to make fundamental dietary changes, but a visit to Farm Sanctuary creates awareness about how individual choices can affect the world around us.

The author meeting Pinto, a 6-foot tall steer rescued from a factory farm (photo by Traci Murray)

The author meeting Pinto, a 6-foot tall steer rescued from a factory farm (photo by Traci Murray)

Taking the hour-long tour at Farm Sanctuary is full of both joy and heartbreaking stories. It is inspiring to meet and great the animals, petting them and giving them hugs, but it is extremely sad to hear tales of the abuse experienced by some of them, such as a slightly wounded animal being left for dead in a stock pile at a factory farm. Seeing these abused animals in a thriving environment is heartwarming. Visitors are taken by group into the various enclosures to meet pigs, steer, chickens, turkeys, goats and sheep. While listening to information about the animals from a knowledgeable guide we are given the opportunity to bond with the animals and take photos with them. A visit to Farm Sanctuary might be exactly the prescription you require if some grounding and compassion is needed in your life.

Goats enjoying the sunshine at Farm Sanctuary (photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

Goats enjoying the sunshine at Farm Sanctuary (photo by Nikki Kreuzer)


Farm Sanctuary’s Animal Acres: 5200 Escondido Canyon Road
Acton, CA 93510; (661) 269-5404.

Admission: Adults $10; Children $5.

Tours held Sundays at 11am, 1pm and 3pm.

Farm Sanctuary Tours


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Nikki Kreuzer

About Nikki Kreuzer

Nikki Kreuzer has been a Los Angeles resident for almost 30 years. When not working her day job in the film & TV industry, she spends her time over many obsessions, mainly music, art and exploring & photographing the oddities of the city she adores. So far she has written over 100 Offbeat L.A. articles which are published at the Los Angeles Beat and on the website As a writer she has also been published in the LA Weekly,, Blurred Culture, Twist Magazine, Strobe and Not For Hire. Nikki is also a mosaic artist, working actor and published photographer. Her photography has been featured in the print version of LA Weekly and as part of an exhibit at the Museum of Neon Art. In the band Nikki & Candy, she plays bass, sings and is co-writer. Find Nikki & Candy music on iTunes, Amazon or at Nikki is currently working on her first novel. Please "like" the Offbeat L.A. Facebook page! For more Offbeat L.A. photos & adventures follow @Lunabeat on Instagram or @Offbeat_LA on Twitter.
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