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Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary

             A turkey, goat and peacock walk into a barn…..this isn’t the start of a joke, it’s something however that you are very likely to see
    when you visit Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary west of Poolesville.  The sanctuary is a 429 acre farm that provides a permanent home
    for both farm animals and wildlife that have been abused, neglected or injured.  Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary is a 501c3 non-profit
    organization that relies entirely on public donations for support.

           Their mission is to offer care, rehabilitation and permanent sanctuary for neglected, abused or abandoned farm animals, as well as
   providing a protected habitat for wildlife. They promote compassion and the humane treatment of all animals by educating the public on
   farm animal and wildlife issues.

            Terry Cummings and Dave Hoerauf are the founders and owners of the Sanctuary.  The Sanctuary started in 1996 and this year marks
  its 20th year.  One of the things that make the Sanctuary special is that visitors can choose to sponsor an animal.  The sponsorships go a long
  way to provide for the animal’s care.  Visitations to see sponsored animals are not only welcomed but is encouraged.  While the Sanctuary
  consists of 429 acres, about 30 acres comprises the acreage needed to house and care for the sanctuary animals. 

        The Sanctuary provides a home for a variety of farm animals.  These animals include horses, cows, pigs, goats, sheep, chickens, turkeys and
   a peacock.  Current staff and infrastructure capacity necessitate a limit of about 200 animals.  “We are so fortunate that Sheila Cochran, the
   former owner of the 429 acre property, donated the entire farm to the Sanctuary” explains Terry.  “Not only do the animals have a permanent
   home, but the Sanctuary does as well”.

          Working with farm animals every day is pure joy for Terry and Dave.  Caring for animals, especially the neglected and abused can be
   particularly challenging but Terry will tell you that it is a labor of love and she would not want to do anything else.  “I love that I can be outside
   all day and getting to hang out with these special animals”. “I am always amazed that no matter how mistreated an animal may have been, they
   learn to trust and love humans again”.

           Terry knew that a place like Poplar Spring was needed as most animal shelters are not equipped to care for large farm animals.  “Farm
    animals are treated differently than dogs and cats under the law and there was a real need to provide this service for these special animals”.
    “I love animals and they deserve a good quality of life”.

            During Farm Tour weekend, visitors can tour the Sanctuary and interact with the animals.  We will have food for purchase on site and will
    hold an on-farm flea market fundraiser.  All funds collected go towards the care of the Sanctuary’s animals.  Throughout the year the Sanctuary
    conducts special activities and fundraisers as well as school tours.  In September, they will hold an open house for people to visit again.  On
   Thanksgiving, they hold “Dinner with the Turkeys” where the Turkeys are the guests of honor and not a part of the menu.  The Sanctuary is open
   to public but Terry and Dave ask that you please make an appointment before visiting the farm.  The farm operates 7 days a week from
   9:00 and to 5:00 pm. Donations and sponsorships are welcomed.  For more information about the Sanctuary, the animals or events
    please visit

     Return to the Farm Tour and Harvest Sale Homepage


The Office of Agriculture · 18410 Muncaster Road · Derwood, Md 20855
Phone: 301-590-2823 ยท Fax: 301-590-2839

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