Twin goats and siblings Bubbles and Squeak have been at Happy Herd since birth, after their mother was rescued in 2019. (Sarah Grochowski photo)

VIDEO: Aldergrove animal sanctuary no stranger to the spotlight

A Riverdale actor and E-Talk host Chloe Wilde, among other celebs, have visited the farm

Nestled on four acres in Aldergrove, the Happy Herd Farm Sanctuary is a place of harmony, farm owner Dianne Marsh said.

Just this year, tourists and celebrities alike flocked to the farm to witness a vegan utopia where animals are treated as friends, not food.

But the animal sanctuary is no stranger to the spotlight.

“We’ve been on TV a lot,” Marsh told the Aldergrove Star.

Most recently, the farm welcomed E-Talk host Chloe Wilde in October during filming for Crave TV series Healthy is Hot.

In September, a special guest from Riverdale also asked for a tour.

Marsh, 69, leads groups through the homes of each of her animals, divulging the eccentricities of each member of her 60-animal crew.

On Saturday, visitors from Toronto frolicked with the pigs, Bif Naked and Monroe, scratching their pink bellies and watching them fall to the ground from belly-rub bliss.

RELATED: Piglets take over Aldergrove animal sanctuary

Marsh strives to make visitors just as happy as her animals, letting them learn at their own pace.

“We strive to be positive. We do not condemn people for eating meat. We try to teach them something while they are here,” Marsh said.

She told the story of 750-pound pig, Lucy, the first animal Marsh took home as a small piglet, who now sleeps with donkey-friend, Baby, and pig, Betty.

Just a few years before taking in Lucy, in 1999, Marsh and her husband Stephen Wiltshire sold their 20-acre property in Campbell Valley and bought four small acres in Aldergrove.

“It was supposed to be my retirement space,” Marsh said.

“We were planning to travel in our spare time” and care for a few pets, she injected.

But with more than 60 animals in 2020; many who require around-the-clock care, feedings, and cleanings, Marsh’s retirement plan has been foiled.

Instead, she’s found a new job, one that makes her truly happy.

Luckily, word has spread about the farm and more than 50 animal lovers and friends have joined in to help out with daily care, offering Marsh and her husband a break.

RELATED: Utterly unique marriage proposals enlist help from Happy Herd cows

Volunteers think of farm as ‘therapy’

Langley couple Kylie Alfano and Kevin Hardwick – both vegan – have volunteered at the sanctuary for just over two years now.

Saturday afternoons Alfano takes to feeding the animals in their respective groups and Hardwick cleans the goat’s outbuilding area.

“This is our therapy,” Alfano said, amidst a squealing chorus of pigs and goats anticipating their next meal of avocados and other nutrition.

“They know that we’re compassionate enough to give them a few drops of food before their turn,” said Alfano, pointing out a duo of squeaking ducks.

“The animals are so happy,” she said.

“That’s what makes this place so happy.” Their enjoyment and freedom is contagious, Alfano said.

Ailing animals find Happy Herd after the worst of circumstances.

From being locked into a broom closet, battered, and malnourished, to being auctioned off for meat – individuals and agencies all over British Columbia know who to call.

It wasn’t long ago when an RCMP officer called Marsh after he had confiscated two mother goats from a man who had stuffed them into a broom closet.

Happy Herd gladly took them in.

The moms, now named Puddin’ and Smudge, have blended their families in a fun-filled enclosure which they share with a few cuddly chickens.

The rest of the sanctuary is home to several turkeys, ducks, cows, hens, sheep, pigs, dogs, cats, and a donkey.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


Co-owner of Happy Herd Farm Sanctuary Aldergrove resident Dianne Marsh sneaks in for a moment with goat Finnigan, whom she refers to as sort of a trouble-maker around the four-acre farm. (Sarah Grochowski photo)

Just Posted

VIDEO: Fire guts boarded-up Langley home

An early morning blaze struck a house in Willoughby

Harm reduction cutting Langley drug deaths, say social workers

Naloxone and drug testing kits are more widely available

Honens International Piano Competition winner to perform in Langley

Nicolas Namoradze performs at Langley Community Music School, Saturday, March 7

VIDEO: Aldergrove Star editor Sarah Grochowski up for an Emmy Award

Her 2018 documentary segment Highway Mike uncovers the opioid crisis in Harlem, New York

Riverdale actress rescues puppy from Langley shelter

American actress named her adopted pup Milo

B.C. residents in Wet’suwet’en territory have right to police presence: Public Safety Minister

Nevertheless, Bill Blair said officials remain ‘very anxious’ for the barricades to come down

Vancouver 4/20 event to protest ‘intolerance of cannabis’ at Sunset Beach in 2020

The 2020 event is billed as a ‘protest and farmers market’

UPDATE: Boy, 5, will donate organs after crash that killed father, son on B.C. highway

Mike Cochlin and sons Liam and Quinn were travelling on Highway 5A

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs to meet today with federal and B.C. governments

Nationwide rail and road blockades have been popping up for weeks

Chinatowns across Canada report drop in business due to new coronavirus fears

Around the world, about 81,000 people have become ill with the virus

VIDEO: Province promotes ‘lifting each other up’ on 13th annual Pink Shirt Day

Students, MLAs, community members gathered at B.C. Parliament Buildings Wednesday

Prepare for new coronavirus like an emergency, health minister advises

About 81,000 people around the world have now become ill with COVID-19

Winnipeg police investigating graffiti on RCMP and other buildings

Manitoba Justice Minister Cliff Cullen denounced the vandalism

B.C. seniors’ watchdog calls for better oversight after recent problems at Retirement Concepts care homes

‘There is no financial incentive right now to be a good operator’ - Isobel Mackenzie

Most Read