As the year comes to a close, we’re reflecting on 2023 and what we were able to accomplish. 2023 was a busy year for Lighthouse and despite the challenges and complications of inflation, we managed to continue providing incredible care to our rescued friends.

This year also marked the start of our new Youth Empowerment Initiative, aimed at providing work/life opportunities in a compassionate environment for the underserved youth in our community.  We also welcomed many visitors, tabled at a few events, and finished an important update for our rescued pigs.

Teaching Compassion through Actions

In 2023, our new Youth Empowerment Initiative joined forces with the Community Services Consortium, sparking a powerful collaboration! Every week, teens and young adults with unique learning goals flocked to Lighthouse, diving into projects like property maintenance, animal care, and construction, elevating the well-being of our rescued friends.

The members of these groups span a wide range of different interests and outcomes with their focus being accomplishing their GEDs and building skills to improve their job readiness.

Each week we work with them on a variety of tasks structured on a skills-building progression where the students work to improve their knowledge on a wide range of tasks.

Students interact with our rescued animals while tackling projects such as cleaning barns, building walking pathways, learning the use of basic tools and processes of organizing building projects, and working their way through the steps of these projects. Throughout it all, the students get a first-hand opportunity to feel the satisfaction of their self-worth while seeing the direct positive impact on the animals that call Lighthouse home.

It has been a tremendous privilege to help these students learn new skills and work through different barriers, whether it’s the initial shock of working around Nellie, our six-foot-tall blind cow, or bonding with Hermes, the glove-collecting pig. Our youth initiative is more than skill-building; it’s a journey into compassion, witnessing students form meaningful connections with animals and transforming into confident team players.


We are excited for the future with big plans for 2024 and growing this connection even more with additional branches of the Community Services Consortium.

Visits to the Farm with a Purpose

It was a great year at Lighthouse for us to make new connections by increasing our outreach and having more visitors to the farm with a purpose.

A standout moment was hosting the fantastic crew from the WINGS Transition program, —an alternative education initiative guiding 18-21-year-olds into their post-high school journey. They rolled up their sleeves, dove into wintertime prep, and transformed our mini pig area with woodchip pathways.

These unique young adults had the opportunity to feel a sense of accomplishment from their hard work and were rewarded with an extensive tour of the property where they were then able to meet and interact with our array of rescued animals.

Guess what? They had a blast! The group leader later revealed that many are eager for a round two. We assured them the doors are always open, praised their fantastic job, and can’t wait for their encore.

Lighthouse was proud to host multiple work parties with members of Oregon Initiative 3.  Initiative 3 was a ballot proposal to challenge and change the laws regarding animal cruelty, abuse, and neglect in Oregon.  These hard-working employees and volunteers of the initiative joined us for several large work parties where they helped us with getting some large projects over the finish line at the Sanctuary just in time before the rain set in.

They told us that they had such wonderful experiences here that they made plans to continue coming in large groups on an every-other-month basis.  Seeing the property and the rescued animals through new eyes always amazes us, and the IP3 group was gifted one of the best experiences of the year at the sanctuary.  After their projects were complete, we took the group to our oak grove where each fall you can spot the pigs en masse searching for all the acorns that fall from the oaks.  One member of the group said it was as if they were on safari seeing pigs, cows, horses, and wild turkeys all intermingling watching them on their adventures.

Finally, we were grateful for the opportunity to have Dr. Rebekah Sinclair, philosophy instructor at Oregon State University, bring her honors ethics students to the sanctuary for a day involving some light chores. At the same time, we discussed with the students a wide range of topics including the importance of animal rescues, farm sanctuaries, how the residents interact, and how the different species make connections.

It was a wonderful day at the sanctuary, and we were told that the students spent the next week of class talking about the topics we discussed and the different ways the experience impacted them.  Many of them have never been around farm animals and all of them with different majors find throughlines between their paths and living in an ethical world.

Dr. Sinclair reiterated that it was a tremendous day and that she will be making the experience a regular part of her curriculum moving forward with each new class.

We hope for even more opportunities for groups like this 2024. We’ll also be opening group tours in the spring – keep an eye out for more on that!

Events and Outreach

It’s been a long time since we’ve had the capacity to bring our mission out into the community. This year we were fortunate to be able to attend two events: Dairy is Scary and the Tofurky Trot.

“Scary Dairy” was an event by The Raven Corps aimed at promoting “Operation: Mind Over Milk”, their campaign to increase access to climate, student, and animal-friendly plant milk in over 100,000 US schools. Peter was asked to give a speech at the event where he explained how difficult it is being a sanctuary surrounded by dairies. We had a ton of positive interactions with potential supporters and volunteers.

We were also grateful to be included as a beneficiary at this year’s Tofurky Trot. Over 900 participants ran a 5K on Thanksgiving Day in support of several sanctuaries. We were glad to have the opportunity to see old friends and make some new ones at this fun event.

Volunteers Lori and Ron making friends at our table

A New Barn for the Pigs

As the pigs we care for age and grow, their needs evolve and change. Last winter we realized the immediate need for a larger enclosed space for our large herd of pigs: somewhere they could relax, stretch their limbs, and socialize all while staying warm and dry. We launched our Summer of Pigs campaign this summer to raise the funds to build them a new 36×60 barn. We were able to finish construction just in time for the torrential PNW rain. The pigs have been overjoyed! They love the extra communal space to hang out during the cold dark days of winter and we imagine it will serve the same purpose when the weather warms up, providing them with a cool spot to relax during the midday heat.

Projects like this would not be possible without the financial support of our donors. Our mission is to provide our rescued animals with everything they need for a happy, healthy life. We appreciate every single person who contributes including not only our generous donors but also our volunteers.

2023 in Numbers

  • This year we fed
    • 62 tons of grain
    • 81 tons of hay
    • 800 lbs. of apples
    • and 4 tons of pumpkins to the animals!
  • We handed out 36 tons of straw to keep them warm and snuggly
  • Continued to provide outstanding care to over 300 rescued animals
  • Our volunteers donated over 2,000 hours of their time this year to help keep the sanctuary clean

Thank you to everyone who supported our work this year! We couldn’t do it without you. You can help fund our work in 2024 and expand our educational offerings by making an end-of-year donation today.