Founded by Laurelee Blanchard, a former executive in commercial real estate and development, who was inspired to cash-in her life’s savings and now devotes her time and energy to fostering a better community focused on animal rights and compassion. Going from corporate America to non-profit animal assistance, and rescue, has become Blanchard’s passion and pure joy. The founder also provides personal, hands-on tours of the 8-acre retreat twice a week.
Blanchard serves as the mother hen of the farm as she shares all the animal’s names, gives a brief history of how they came to be at the sanctuary and has gleefully nursed all of them to good health. The moment you step on property the setting is zen yet tropical and the grounds are impeccably maintained. The welcoming committee is a composed of about a dozen domesticated felines and a few fluffy chickens.
The farm tour includes a casual stroll through the pig pen, to meet the deer, cows, ducks and donkeys. Then a visit to the chicken coop where there are also turkeys and other feathered friends roaming freely. Blanchard will also show you how to hold a chicken and allow you to cuddle with one if you want to. Once you leave the chickens you head over to the goats, sheep, guinea pigs, bunnies and tortoise.
The moments I enjoyed the most about this visit included being in a group with other individuals who were all animal lovers as well. Everyone from near and far all spoke the same love language, we all were grateful for these animals and shared a mutual respect for them. I also thoroughly appreciated Laurelee’s storytelling, she gives great insight into the stories behind all the animals, where they came from and how they once lived a life of mistreatment. It was uplifting to hear these tales of inspiration and hope. Lastly, it was very fulfilling to be able to come face-to-face with all the animals. Many you can pet, some you can feed, others you can hold and a few you can brush. Having this experience was eye-opening and enlightening at the same time.
Farm tours are held Saturdays at 10 a.m. and Wednesdays at 4 p.m.
The suggested donation to the non-profit is $20 per person (for adults, kids, and babies).
Leilani Farm Sanctuary
260 East Kuiaha Road
Haiku, Hawaii 96708
To reserve your tour email: [email protected]