I am Michelle Jesson.
We had been living in Western Australia for many years, a somewhat harsh landscape, so brown during most of the year you yearn to see some lush green grass. You see, we wanted to get away from the heat in WA, also somewhere less populated, quieter, greener, and definitely cooler temperatures. We were ready to find a new focus.
We purchased our little paradise in the small town of Herrick site unseen and it’s the best decision ever, it is everything we had been hoping for and more. I remember the day we drove in, this perfectly imperfect tiny cottage surrounded by 25 acres of green rolling hills and big trees everywhere. It was probably the first time in my life I had truly seen the stars, so bright and magnificent. From that point on we were hooked.
From that day on I knew where my heart belonged and how my life was to play out. With all that space, my obsession with animals grew ever more intense. So much so that in 2016 I started up the Northeast Animal Sanctuary. I even created the https://www.facebook.com/Northeastanimalsanctuarytasmania page. Yep, from just one dog and three cats so many changes have come our way. New enclosures built which means we can rescue so many more animals. At this moment we have 10 dogs and one cat of our own. Then we have 21 cats in the cattery, three dogs, one with a litter of seven. The countless donations we’ve received in our time has been nothing short of extraordinary and I want to thank each and every one for their generosity.
We don’t usually have that many here on the property at one go, mostly we like to find foster carers because that's better for the animal because they're more part of the household and they get used to being in a family life. So, they're here if there's no foster carers available.
I started up the animal sanctuary when my brother passed away 2015 and I thought, oh, you know, life's too short. I've always loved animals, but throughout my life we always rented houses, so we were never allowed pets. Around Australia Day in 2016, a dog turned up Ansons Bay, no one knew whose he belonged to and I'm like, I wish I could help. The local vet convinced me I could chase my dream; we had this big piece of land and from that conversation I started up the Animal Sanctuary.
I suppose it is the unconditional love that animals give you. My life is now where it needs to be.
The plan now is to continue being on the farm, expanding the sanctuary and providing the services we do. I basically want to have this place set up, so that it can continue forever. Hopefully Megan, who manages the sanctuary with me, she's 10 years younger will take it on in the event I can’t continue.
The next phase of the sanctuary’s life is hopefully to setup it up so we can board people's pets and to continue helping the vulnerable animals who need homes and shelter. If you ever wanted to volunteer, we would love more helpers to do dog walking and spending time with the cats.