Anderson Co. farm rescues animals, trains them for therapy

Published: May. 11, 2018 at 11:07 PM EDT
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One Anderson County woman is trying to give animals and people a second chance. She's taking in abandoned farm animals and they're proving to be a good form of therapy for some people overcoming tough challenges.

"We brought our horses here from Texas," Diana Shaffner said.

She and her husband packed up and moved to the Bluegrass State. They have land in rural Anderson County and are accompanied by some animals not typically considered 'cute' or 'cuddly'.

"We started the sanctuary for farm animals where people can come and meet cows and pigs and so on that are rescued animals."

These rescued animals are used to help children and adults who may need a little rescuing of their own.

"I am actually nine months clean from cocaine and methamphetamine," Steffan Widener said.

The drugs may be considered recreational, but that's not what they were to Steffan Widener. Family intervened and checed her into a recovery center. Her son, Braxon, started going to Good Acres Sanctuaries.

"It was actually kind of nice that I had some animals to talk to while my mom was gone," Braxon said.

He said the animals listen, most of the time, and he has his favorites, Danny, specifically.

"Because he can do that, like, he can lift his lip up."

While his mom was away, getting clean, these animals became his safe haven.

Widener said, "It meant the world to me, that he had somewhere to go, that he could express his feelings and maybe work through some of the feelings."

Now, the pair works through those together.

"Apart from the animals, that's my favorite part, right there [gravel mound]," Braxon said.

That's exactly what the Shaffner's had in mind, not the gravel being fun but children and their parents finding relief in a little quiet time out on the farm.