POWHATAN COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — One Powhatan couple is taking time out of their lives to volunteer and take in multiple animals, ranging from dogs to pigs and donkeys, many of them with special needs.
The husband-and-wife duo, Brittany Ketcham and Bryan Buehrle, have taken in animals from all over Virginia and other states, animals like their beagle, Aster, who they took in from the Envigo facility just a couple of blocks away from the home.
Ketcham said the couple’s farm is full of animals from shelters in Richmond, Henrico and Cumberland, with some animals coming to them from as far as Mississippi.
“Two goats, four mini donkeys, five horses, eight dogs, three pigs, three geese, two peacocks, and some chickens,” Ketcham smiled.
Clover, one of the eight dogs the couple has taken in, is missing part of her brain. Like Clover, many of the animals the couple has taken in have special needs.
When asked why the couple works so hard to take in all the animals on their own, Ketcham said the answer is love.
“Because nobody wants them. And then they’ll get euthanized. So that’s the biggest thing is I mean, I love everybody,” she said.
Like many of us, when she sees those puppy dog eyes, Ketcham laughed, saying she just “can’t say no.”
While walking through local shelters, she said she cries seeing all the animals that haven’t been given homes.
“The shelters are so overrun,” Ketcham said.
Ketcham said she also heard the cries of hundreds of puppies themselves, while they were in disturbing conditions at the Envigo breeding facility located just a street over from her home. The facility closed its doors in June, with thousands of beagles transferred out of its care since. The last of the dogs were scheduled to be removed in early September.
So, she’s done something about it and is using her photography business to take photos of animals for free for local shelters to help them get adopted faster.
“I’m trying. It’s only, you know – I can’t take in everybody. I don’t have a shelter. I don’t have, you know, the space. So I take in who I can handle and who can live at the farm,” she said. “The biggest reason being, if somebody comes into the farm, I’m going to get attached and they’re not going to leave.”
She’s asking others, if they can, to do the same and help out.
“You really just have to open your home for one, maybe two animals. I’ve done bottle baby kittens, bottle baby puppies, puppies, you know, adult dogs,” she said.
For those interested in helping out, Ketcham said there’s a host of local shelters to provide assistance through. You can find a list of just a few, below.
- Richmond SPCA
- Richmond Animal Care & Control
- Richmond Animal League
- Powhatan Animal Control
- Fetch A Cure
- Henrico Police Animal Shelter
- Cumberland Animal Control
- Goochland Animal Shelter
- Lab Rescue of Greater Richmond
- Southeastern Virginia Golden Retriever Rescue