Sick, elderly farm animals feel the effects of unhealthy air quality
The smoky skies are clouding even the normal peacefulness of animals and nature at the Woodstock Farm Sanctuary in High Falls.
“We are hoping it passes quickly because it’s scary and we don’t know if there’s going to be any long-term effects either," said the sanctuary's executive director, Rachel McCrystal.
The abnormal air quality index is a concern for the sanctuary’s 400 farm animals, most of which are elderly or special needs.
“We are really worried when the weather gets bad about birds, especially because their lungs are so tiny," said McCrystal. "They are very sensitive to any pollutants in the air, fumes. So, we are keeping everyone in the med barn.”
Staff members say many animals are naturally choosing to stay indoors instead of grazing or playing outside.
"I think we all kind of feel the effects of it. Lethargy, just not wanting to go outside. Everybody is just kind of not feeling great right now," said McCrystal.
The staff is using air purifiers in the medical barn and fans indoors everywhere else for the animals.
The air quality is taking a toll on staff and volunteers, too.
“Our work is outside. We have 150 acres. We’ve all been wearing masks when we’re outside to try to keep the particulates from going in our throats," said McCrystal. For more information about the Woodstock Farm Sanctuary, click here.