ENJOYING THE LOVE from Kay Williams are little donkeys Andy, Rudy and Sam.
When author VieVie Baird was recovering from breast cancer, she often visited Frog Song Farm Sanctuary in Grady County. Baird says she labeled it as one of her “happy places” during her treatments.
On many visits, she was captivated by the relationships created among all the different species. All the animals seemed to get along no matter their differences.
Kay Williams, sanctuary owner, began posting pictures of the interspecies relationships on Facebook and the women came up with a book idea that expresses the theme, “if differences don’t matter to them, why should they matter to us.” That was the beginning of the now published book “We Are Friends: Stories from Frog Song Farm Sanctuary.”
Frog Song Farm Sanctuary fulfills Williams’ dream of starting a sanctuary for senior or abused farm animals. Along with her husband, Richard D’Antoni, they started the farm in 2016. It is now home to donkeys, horses, goats, cows, ducks, llamas and some domesticated animals.
It is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization and all profits from the sales of “We Are Friends” will go to support the sanctuary.
Baird, a retired elementary school teacher, says the children’s book is easy to read and is full of whimsical photographs taken by Williams. The narrative is written by Baird.
Paperback versions of the book sell for $15 on Amazon and the Kindle version is $5 each.
“It’s getting great reviews on Amazon,” says an excited Baird, 71, who says she lives part time in Tallahassee, Fla., and part time at the Gulf Coast. As of Tuesday, she estimated the book had raised $400 for the farm animal sanctuary.
Williams met her husband while living in Indiana, and they both moved to Florida for a brief time when Williams decided she wanted to follow her dream of owning a sanctuary for farm animals. In 2016, she found the ideal setting in Grady County. Since the sanctuary is not open to the public, Williams has asked that its address remain confidential.
“My passion really is seniors and special needs animals. Some of our donkeys are definitely not seniors or special needs, but when you hear about a momma and her daughter going to slaughter, what are you going to do?” Williams asks.
The sanctuary has developed an online following of supporters who enjoy reading about the animal antics and seeing Williams’ photographs. “I post all those pictures and with a lot of the pictures I tell the story about the animals,” Williams says.
Donations are what keep the animals fed and in good health. “Donations are used for vet care, to buy hay, to buy oats. That’s been hugely helpful,” said Williams.