Our Story

We are John and Debbie Sims, we packed up our suburban life with mostly feathered flock and moved to beautiful Northern Victoria in October 2021 to start a farm animal sanctuary – J&D’s Farm Sanctuary, which is in memory of our Gussy girl the goose .We came across Gussy when Debbie put her hand up to help a friend in need who had lost her flock to a fox, we soon brought Gussy into our small rental in the eastern suburbs and what a wonderful majestic lady she was, sadly Gussy passed away at the age of 22 after 2 ½ years of being the undisputed queen of the yard. Gussy came and went before we had found our path in life, to dedicate our lives to animals who deserve a life full of love.

We arrived with our gang of 2 dogs, 5 cats, 10 ducks, 6 chickens, 5 quail a tough as nails rabbit and 3 Guinea pigs oh and our first official sanctuary rescues, the very young and handsome Roosters Kevin and Randall. Two days later after having to travel back to Melbourne for work John returned with 6 young roosters, the Gippsland and Reservoir boys, he talks of what must have looked like a dodgy carpark deal!!

Before we had even settled in, we were on the road to some co-op farm in Gisborne to pick up 2 pigs and 2 goats who without rescue were threatened with an ending fit for the dark ages, soon we would get to meet the timid Pinocchio (Nucky) and Pumpkin the piggies, and Peach and Tayla, the twin 13yo Saanen goats who were no longer any use on the farm as their breeding and milking days were over. we had officially taken on the care of animals, the likes we had never cared for before AHHHHHH!!

Fast forward 12 months and the rescues have not slowed, while we only have the 25 acres there is such a great need for farm animals out there to seek safety and we are doing what we can with the land that we have access to. We have since taken in horses, cows, many more pigs, goats, sheep, roosters – and the list goes on.

Our goal is to demonstrate to as many people as possible the need to treat every animal with kindness, we want the faces and stories of the animals to spread far and wide, to give the animals a voice and a chance to live a life that is loved, and to have the opportunity to live out their natural life without fear or exploitation, and with no expectations. So here we are, overseeing the care of the wonderful residents at J&D’s Farm Sanctuary!

Why Start a Sanctuary?

Did you know that under Australian law – not all animals are protected?

We were shocked to learn that in Australia there are no laws to protect farmed animals, that in fact laws that protect domestic animals – our family pets, are not relevant to animals that we consider as having ‘value’ or “use” for humans in terms of exploitation. The capacity for an animal to suffer is not taken into consideration when it comes to our beautiful farm animal friends.

There are codes of practice in each state in Australia that allows sentient animals to suffer terrible abuses – legally sanctioned acts of cruelty that we would never inflict on an animal that we love. These animals are affectionate beings that are capable of rich emotional lives, though they are denied any quality or freedom of life.

Many people are unaware of the cruel treatment these animals receive, or that these practices are outdated. We want people to have a better understanding of factory farming, and animal protection standards, and to have a better connection with the animals that are being exploited. We want people to see the animals we rescue for the beautiful, loving, intelligent, playful, sentient beings that they are and not something that can be used for our consumption, amusement, clothing, testing – these animals deserve a life that is happy, free and protected.