SALEM, Ohio (WYTV) – More than three dozen people took time on Friday to learn more about animals with special needs, and remember their loved ones, including their four-legged family members.
The Chinese Lantern Festival at the Forever Safe Farm in Salem was a part of a seven-day celebration for the Chinese new year. As night fell, dozens of lanterns were released into the sky, some with wishes or in memory of a beloved family member.
“I have contemplated all week about what am I going to write on my lantern. Am I going to give a memory to someone? Then I thought, you know what, this year in 2015, my goal is to have a new year and a new beginning and look at things in a positive manner and try to be as positive as I can be. So, I wrote ‘Here’s to a new journey in 2015’,” Denise Fleischer of Salem said.
“We were trying to think of something we could do in February and it is Chinese New Year, and I have two children from China, and we just thought it would be a great way to celebrate it. We all have loved ones that we have lost, whether it is two-legged or four-legged,” Forever Safe Farm director Karrin Campf said.
Campf said there are many reasons the animals find the rescue farm. Some of the animals have special needs and all of them are no longer with their owners.
“All different situations. A lot of times it is just an owner of an animal who realizes they can no longer handle the animal any longer,” she said.
The farm also has a focus on education.
“Our first priority is the animals, and it is important to us to teach kids and adults alike, what is a pet, what is not a pet, and to always be kind to animals,” Campf said.
Campf wants everyone to take a moment to turn losses into helping society.
“I hope that they just take a moment to pause to appreciate just life in general and that we all have losses and there are lot of ways to help with animals that are around,” she said.
Campf said they currently have approximately 90 animals on the farm. Once an animal finds its way to the farm for any reason, it stays there for the rest of its life.