In Llove with Llamas. Smitten with Kittens.

It’s one thing to make charitable donations, and it’s a great thing to do. But PopCap takes community involvement to the next level by also sending on-the-clock employees to work up a sweat and earn some blisters for a good cause. Several times a year, we are all invited to spend part of our workday to help out at a charitable organization in the area. One of the charities nearest to so many of our hearts around here is the animal rescue Pasado’s Safe Haven.

A miniature horse and a dog in a baby carriage? If you can handle this much cute, click More to keep testing your cute overload meter!

Pasado’s is a special place, a true haven for animals who have been through hardship or neglect. In addition to dogs and cats, you will find geese, chickens, sheep, donkeys, goats… even llamas!

The good people who work or volunteer regularly at Pasado’s are deeply passionate about their work, and they know each animal by name as well as the tragic background each has.  Walking through the farm, we heard stories that would break the stoniest heart, but we also got to see the miracle of how compassion heals all wounds, because these animals, no matter what they’ve suffered, have learned to trust people again.

Fun farm fact: llamas are the caretakers of the animal kingdom! A llama in your pasture will defend his barnyard companions from intruders. Plus, their snaggle-toothed smiles are irresistibly charming.

This lovely white pony is blind. Rather than focus on that sad tale, I would rather share with you the fact that other animals in her pasture instinctually acted as her guide until she got comfortable on the territory.

Louise the pig escaped her certain fate by falling off the truck and was brought to Pasado’s to live out her days in peace and comfort. I recall meeting her a couple of years ago, when she was so fattened up she couldn’t move. Just after her arrival on the farm, she lay on her side in a barn stall, being fed a steadily decreasing diet until she regained her footing.

Having volunteered at Pasado’s several times now, I knew to bring along some special treats for the animals.

This little pig went to market...and halfway there, she said, “Heck with that!”

Expert hint: chickens love spaghetti!

After we handed out all the apples and carrots to our goat buddies, they swarmed around me to see if I was hiding anything else in my bag!

Our task on this visit was to help build a fence for the new geese enclosure.

Geese are beautiful, loud creatures! They supervised our work from nearby, cheering us on all the while.

With the help of Dan, a Pasado’s employee with Thor-like hammer skills, we spent the morning measuring, cutting, and affixing about 30 yards of chicken wire to the fence posts, making a nice, safe space where some happy geese will take up residence soon.

Bunch of city slickers that we are, I shudder to think how this fence would look if we were asked to figure it out ourselves…but with Dan’s expert supervision, we did just fine!

Interacting with these beautiful beasts and seeing their affection toward us and each other is a wonderful, eye-opening, heart-expanding experience. Pasado’s is a glorious gift to the animals who live there. It’s a safe and happy place for those who desperately need one.  And if your heart has been touched by their sweet faces, you may be interested to know that most of the residents of Pasado’s are available for adoption! Visit their website to find out how you might be able to take in a loving cat or dog. Or, if you have the land, maybe a darling goat? Chickens who will lay eggs and cluck musically for you (plus help you get rid of leftover spaghetti)?

These are some lucky people’s pets…the people just don’t know it yet.

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