I am Farm Sanctuary National Shelter Director Susie Coston, aka “The Farm Animal Whisperer.” Ask me anything!
I started working for Farm Sanctuary 15 years ago, and I'd previously worked at another sanctuary for 5 years. I started doing sanctuary work because I fell in love with it while teaching. So that's what I've been doing for the past 20 years. As National Shelter Director, I have a staff of about 50 people I supervise. I do a lot of training of caregivers, I frequently deal with animal emergencies, I'm constantly giving advice to other sanctuaries, and I'm dealing with people for everything from maintenance to rescue to healthcare - because caregiving is my big thing. I've worked with tens of thousands of animals over the years. Farm Sanctuary has 3 sanctuary locations - 2 in California, 1 in New York, and I'm overseeing all three, although I'm based in New York.
You can learn more about Farm Sanctuary here and help support our work through donating: http://www.farmsanctuary.org/
We were the first Farm Sanctuary founded 29 years ago, based on the principle that all animals should have individualized, quality care.
I also teach a course on providing care for sanctuary animals, particularly farm animals in a sanctuary setting, and that's mostly what I focus on - but I also do behavioral stuff with the animals as well, for people wanting to start farm animal sanctuaries.
We have an annual Farm Animal Care conference: http://www.farmsanctuary.org/events/farm-animal-care-conference/
And we have the Farm Animal Adoption Network (http://www.farmsanctuary.org/the-sanctuaries/home-adoption-and-placement/). It's a network that helps provide placement for rescued farm animals - because we wish we could rescue them all, but we've established this outreach network so we can ensure there's proper placement for as many animals as we can.
I also go out and speak often about farm animal sentience.
Victoria is helping me get started. AMA.
EDIT I thank you all for your interest in Farm Sanctuary, and you can learn more at www.farmsanctuary.org!