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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

CJ Acres Animal Rescue Farm

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animals

Mission: CJ Acres Animal Rescue Farm (www.cjacres.org) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, all-volunteer organization that exists to rescue, rehabilitate, and reintroduce in-need animals suffering from abuse, abandonment, neglect or catastrophic disasters, all while promoting compassionate animal care to the community.

Target demographics: In-need animals throughout the United States. Currently, our "residents" come from Arizona, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, South Carolina and even Canada.

Geographic areas served: United States

Community Stories

50 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

11 dalestine

Client Served

Rating: 5

CJ ACRES is not just a sanctuary for the animals, whose many lives are saved there.It is also a haven for the people who give tirelessly of their time, their passion and their love to care for them.One might not generally think of a barn and its environs as a magical place but that is most certainly how I see CJ ACRES. Very recently, I found myself in an incredibly difficult and emotionally-charged situation in regards to my 16-year old cat Patch. Without going into the details of the for-me-very-sad story, suffice it to say that I reached out to Lee Sacket, the "lead mare" at CJ and after a series of important and appropriate questions, he took her in without hesitation. Had it not been for Lee and the sanctuary, Patch would not have made her way further into an ideal setting and home to live out the remainder of her years. I will always miss her, but I know in my heart that I did the "right" thing by taking her to CJ ACRES.I do not know the number, but I venture to say that there are VERY few farm animal sanctuaries in existence. For me, this is some of the most important work that is being done on the planet. It speaks not only to the rescues who live at CJ, but to a greater global consciousness and awareness. I highly recommend that anyone who finds him- or herself in the area (or nearby) inquire about receiving a guided tour of the farm. I even MORE highly recommend that everyone consider becoming a donor. It is very easy to create a recurring donation directly from your bank account. One can choose to be an active participant for as little as $12 per month by becoming a member of the Compassion Club.I could go on and on as I cannot say enough good, glowing and glorious things about CJ ACRES, but for now, I'll leave it right here. PLEASE DONATE and MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

Client Served

Rating: 5

My boyfriend and I live in London, ON. Canada. We drove down to Captiva Island, FL for a friends wedding and we stopped at a few places along the way! My boyfriend searched for rescue farms to check out because he knows how much I love animals! We came across CJ Acres Animal Rescue. When my boyfriend called he found out they did not have any tours going on that day but he explained that we were from Canada and Lee was kind enough to let us come visit the animals! It was an amazing experience, we got to meet, interact and feed the animals, and we learned about their stories and where they came from. It was SO amazing and my heart was so full from getting to see all these beautiful animals. I was also super impressed that we were feeding them 'organic' food, bonus! All of the animals have lots of room to roam and they are very well taken care of!! If you are ever in the area i recommend checking them out and donating to these lovely beings!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Amazing amazing animal sanctuary! Such an incredible experience with all the animals! Lee is an amazing person to work with!

7 Allyson B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I went to visit CJ Acres Rescue Farm to volunteer. I loved my experience there! The animals are all very well taken care of, they are very safe and happy. I loved interacting with the animals and getting to see their unique personalities. I recommend this place to everyone who is looking to donate their time or money to a good cause. I look forward to visiting Lee and the animals again!

11 Johannes2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 1

I attended two events at Cj Acres. Each time the pigs had bleeding sores on the ears and the volunteer with the tattoos said there are many reports to the local animal control. When I was there the volunteers kept talking about the lawsuits filed against this rescue. I asked them why this was happening and they said the owner was never there and he kept lying to the public and losing animals. Last year six animals went missing and he didn't let them look for the lost animals.He told them to take down the missing flyers. I asked the man who runs the events if he worked outside of this rescue and he said no. He owned the rescue and didnt need a job. So does that means that the money donated has been used to fund his lawsuits and pay attorneys fees. That is against the law. I asked him why he auctioned off animals and he told me that he never did. I found court papers that show the truth. When you look at the animals and facilities when you are on the grounds it looks like a petting zoo that one sees at carnivals the animals are in severe neglect. I do not believe that this place serves the public. Why are there so many lawsuits and why are donations used in direct violation of laws that direct non profits. Also there is a group of people that harass and attack and lie about those who have complained about this place. That is the well kept secret that the volunteers all tell you. If you complain the attacks begin. I think this place should be closed down. If you go to events there is a huge difference from what you see on their social media. The animals on social media are not at the Keystone Hieghts location. Where are they. The volunteers described the horrible castration of the animal auctioned off in the lawsuit they said he almost bled to death and that no one cared.

5 Heather274

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering for CJ's back in 2014, and I have enjoyed every minute of learning about farm animals and how to help and care for them. Because of this rescue farm, I have a better understanding of compassion, not just towards animals but towards people who don't treat creatures with loving kindness. This place has taught me to educate with grace, on why animals should be taken care of, not abused, neglected, or killed. It has opened my heart to see them as sedentary beings. I am in awe of how many lessons I take away from cows, pigs, goats, dogs and cats and even the sanctuary's lead mare, Lee Sackett. :) It's all been a positive experience that I have shared with family, friends, and co-workers. And I am happy to see some of them putting their volunteer efforts towards this place as well.

10 Ana_36

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have personally known CJ Acres and Lee Sackett for more than 5 years and have been to the location in person. This sanctuary is one of the best, most ethical and compassionate ones in all of Florida. It's a top notch facility and I have only hundreds of wonderful things to say about it and him based on personal experiences.

They receive abused, neglected, emaciated animals surrendered from extreme animal abuse cases and illegal slaughter farm raids. I have personally witnessed them nurse these animals back to health with proper vetting, excellent diets and nutrient support. Not only do they save animal lives and give them the quality of life they deserve, but they also are real and true advocates for compassion and veganism.

I would highly encourage everyone to donate to CJ Acres and support this wonderful sanctuary. They are the real deal and put the animals first. They are what many other sanctuaries and rescues should strive to be. Animals First. Ethical. Compassionate.

If you want a personal recommendation contact me on Facebook and I am more than happy to provide an excellent one for CJ Acres and Lee Sackett.

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

That fifth star, "far exceeds expectations", is definitely appropriate for CJ Acres Animal Rescue Farm. From it's mission to it's methods, CJ Acres is a great model for a small farm animal sanctuary. The animals who find themselves at CJ's receive thoughtful care and kind affection. The community is welcomed at interesting and engaging special events and volunteer sessions, which are frequent. Beyond this, countless other farmed animals benefit from the farm's commitment to promoting a compassionate, plant-based lifestyle. We can't recommend CJ Acres highly enough!

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer at CJ Acres Animal Rescue Farm for nearly a year. I have worked with many of the other volunteers and board members who come weekly to care for and share their love of these animals. I have read the negative reviews from people who obviously have an agenda to spread hate, tell lies, and try to destroy an organization that does nothing but rescue animals from deplorable conditions, hoarders,and people who never should have had animals in their possession. I can personally attest that the animals at CJ Acres are cared for daily by numerous volunteers who feed and love these animals and have genuine concern for their well being. These volunteers travel long distances weekly to provide care to the animals on this farm and would not do so if the animals were not fed properly or enough, not have proper shelter and given proper vet care. This sanctuary has had events open to the public and has volunteer sessions frequently. Why would an organization invite the public to events if they had something to hide? Common sense would tell you that this is the last thing they would do. I happened to be voluteering on a day that the vet came to do some inoculations and look at possible treatment for a couple of the animals. He stated that the animals were given excellent care and any conditions that some animals may incur such as cancerous tumors or sores that may look concerning were not due to any lack of care or neglect in any way. One reviewer stated that the animals were dirty. This is an absurd statement. This is a clean, well maintained farm and the barn cleaned several times a week. Any dirt on the animals is from them rolling in the dirt to keep flies and bugs away or to allow them to be out in the sun when they choose to graze, eat or swim in water holes. There are ample water troughs with fresh clean water. As a volunteer, the troughs are cleaned twice a day and filled with fresh water. This organization has very high ratings with the exception of a few negative reviews that are obviously related to each other and have been thrown in to the site strategically to antagonize the organization and intentionally lower the rating for the poster's personal reasons. I would ask the public to look past reviews that are done for personal reasons or to promote hate and understand that there will always be people who do not tell the truth, act meliciously by using public forums and want to destroy organizations that are truely reputable for their own personal gain. I feel it necessary to speak out as a volunteer and animal advocate to say that CJ Acres Animal Rescue Farm is a fine organization with an outstanding board of directors and numerous volunteers who make sure the animals who come here and will come here will be cared for with the highest degree of compassion and love for the rest of their lives. I would never connect myself or volunteer with an organization that would abuse, neglect or mistreat animals. Great job CJ Acres! Keep up the good work.

9

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Overall, CJ Acres is fun place for adults and kids, as well as animals! The animals are so friendly which speaks well of how they’re cared for. Throughout the year there are some great fundraisers that include tours, vegan food and wine, naming new rescues, and silent auctions. Don’t miss ThanksLiving and Wine With Swine!


This gorgeous, life-affirming haven for rescued animals is a testament to compassionate living and very restorative to the spirit. The farm is spacious--with many well-cared for sheep, goats, pigs, cows, ducks, chickens, dogs, cats and donkeys. You can spend your time volunteering or, you can just take a tour and enjoy the relaxation that comes with being surrounded by friendly animals and people. The people who work on the grounds are super laid back, pleasant, and informative. No snootiness. The volunteers we saw there were all working hard and deeply committed.


It was great to get up close and personal with all the animals and Lead Mare, Lee, is a compassionate and entertaining guide! He provides such insight into each of the rescued critters you’ll meet while subtly educating people on factory farming. On my first tour, Lee held a special “freedom ceremony” for a new chicken. She had a number tag on her- 32651 if memory serves. He brought a young man up and together they held the chicken, cut her awful number ID tag off and set her down saying this is your new home… WELCOME!


I guarantee you will be moved by the wonderful personalities of these animals and the dedicated people at CJ Acres caring for them. I was struck most by how loving, social and intelligent a turkey could be! Then there are goats goats goats! Who can resist little Athena Goat? How about feeding bread to giant pigs? Or rubbing the belly of a sleeping pig? You will be met with enthusiasm by a bunch of hens and their one lucky man! You will surely think twice about that food in front of you. Even if vegan is not your thing, just go and support the good work that they do and have some fun talking to the animals!

9

Donor

Rating: 5

I was introduced to CJ Acres by a friend when we went to a "farm day" event. What an amazing experience! We learned about all the animals stories and even did a few "chores" that made us all feel useful but not overworked. We got to interact with them, feed them, and truly see their different personalities! Lee was very careful to make sure we (and the animals) knew the boundaries. Overall a fabulous experience that I believe everyone should have the chance to experience!
Since then, I've had the opportunity to go back on a couple occasions (they hold fundraiser events that are tons of fun - like wine with the swines), and it's always the same, fantastic, educational experience.

Comments ( 1 )

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Lee S. 07/20/2016

We appreciate your kind words and support and look forward to seeing ewe at the sanctuary soon!

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I began volunteering in June of 2015 and it has been one of the best experiences I have ever had and so rewarding. Lee is caring, very knowledgeable and dedicated to the animals and I wish more people had his passion for animals rights. CJ Acres is truly an awesome organization.

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Lee S. 07/20/2016

So thankful to have ewe as part of our volunteer herd. Looking forward to creating MAREvelous memories for the animals in the future!

10 Megan123

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Such a wonderful farm! The animals are obviously so loved and well cared for.

Comments ( 1 )

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Lee S. 07/20/2016

Thank ewe for the kind words, Megan. Our volunteer herd works hard to ensure our rescued residents receive aMOOOzing care! :)

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Love this place.

The animals are so clearly respected and given as much freedom as safe and reasonable. It's not overcrowded like some sanctuaries and the animals seem genuinely happy and Lee is dedicated to the mission.

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Lee S. 07/20/2016

Awww...thanks for the nice comments. We strive to provide top-notch care for our rescued residents and are happy to see both visitors and volunteers notice.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

CJ Acres is home to a variety of animals including pigs, cows, chickens, horses, a donkey, sheep, lamb, and turkeys. You can tell how well they are treated by how well-socialized the animals are (even after being rescued from situations where humans did not treat them well). All the animals are eager to meet human visitors! I volunteer there quite frequently, participating in feedings and helping maintain the farm. It's always an incredible experience to interact with these loving animals. For the comments that are accusing CJ Acres of abuse, those claims are false. I highly recommend volunteering here, or helping in any way (such as sponsoring an animal). It's a great way to find a connection with the animals we often that people often don't interact with, and to give them a better appreciation and understanding of why it's so important to rescue and care for these loving beings.

Comments ( 1 )

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Lee S. 07/20/2016

Thanks so much for the incrediBULL review and great photos! We look forward to your continued help at the farm!!!

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been volunteering with CJ Acres for over a year now and it's been incredible! As someone who cares deeply about farmed animals and animal rights, there's nothing better than seeing and working with these animals up close. I can't recommend them enough!

Comments ( 1 )

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Lee S. 07/20/2016

Awww...glad ewe are enjoying your time with us and appreciate all your assistance over the past year!

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Love this place and all the good that is being done for formerly neglected, abandoned or abused farm animals. Will continue to give my time and talents to help this great charity!

Comments ( 1 )

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Lee S. 07/20/2016

Thanks Roger...we appreciate your help and look forward to seeing ewe soon!

17 Brad1976

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

I am very interested in the the ethical treatment of animals. As such, I was excited to learn of this rescue farm located near me.

Upon review, though, I was alarmed to find some animals looking malnourished. Furthermore, the condition of the fields in which they were being kept was deplorable. When the host was questioned about these conditions, the answers given seemed disingenuous. I do not feel very confident in this operation.

This week, I began searching online for more information on how the farm was run. Unfortunately, I came across alarming evidence that has dissuaded me from being able to endorse CJ Acres. Numerous animal cruelty complaints have evidently been filed against CJ Acres. Several of them are have been obtained from public records and are presented on the following website: https://goo.gl/3ytSDG

The most disturbing bit of news to me was finding out that over the course of the last year, the health of at least one horse has actually gotten worse, rather than better at this rescue farm. This is evidenced and documented by county officials in the documents posted at the link above. In particular, one of the horses—named Star—has been documented as declining in health from a poor rating of 4.5 a year ago to only 4.0 a couple of months ago.

I do not wish to support a "rescue farm" where the animals that are "rescued" are worse off after being on the farm than they were before. Their health should be improving not declining.

In light of this evidence, I cannot in good conscious recommend CJ Acres and will not be donating money to this charity.

Comments ( 1 )

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Lee S. 07/20/2016

It's interesting that ewe felt this way Brad as we have no record (signed visitor agreement, event ticket sale, completed volunteer agreement) of your being on-property. As for your comments on Star, depending on your knowledge of equine body scoring, you may or may not know that any score between a 4.0 and a 6.0 is deemed normal. Also, as the scores are somewhat subjective, the same horse could be reviewed by two different examiners within a day and receive different scores (within a half point). That doesn't mean the horse got better or worse in just 24 hours...it just means the judgement of the individual was different. We are happy to report that Star recently receive a body score of 5.5 during her bi-annual exam and was in perfect health. We'd love to show you her progress and encourage you to contact us at 904/600-7676 to schedule an appointment.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering at CJ Acres for over a year. I think of it as my happy place! It's such a pleasure to socialize with the animals and other volunteers. Lee Sacket, the Lead Mare, always gives great educational information. I learn something new each time I volunteer. It is so wonderful to see these animals being so well taken care of, after living a horrific life on a factory farm. CJ Acres gives these animals a wonderful place to live out their lives. It truly is one of the happiest places on earth!

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered at CJ Acres several times and am proud to be a member of "the herd." Under the guidance of Lee, the farm is a great place for both volunteers and animals. Volunteers have the opportunity to learn new skills, grow as people, and help the animals, while the animals themselves get to live in a compassionate environment where they receive plenty of food, water, love, and attention, and have plenty of space to run, play and live. I am happy to have found CJ Acres to volunteer at and I think it is a worthwhile cause.