Local farmer helps kids with disabilities, abused animals

Published: Sep. 26, 2022 at 6:37 PM EDT
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HARLEM, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - A Columbia County farmer is combining her love for animals and her passion for helping kids in need.

Mad Hatter Farm is a rescue that takes in neglected or abused farm animals.

Jill Marier is using her farm to create a program that will honor one of the children with disabilities she fostered.

“I’m very passionate about farm animals, horses and kids,” she said.

Her rescue saves abused and neglected animals like her horse Phoenix.

“Basically when she couldn’t work anymore, they kind of chuck these horses to the auction, and in the end, they end up with a very sad story,” she said.

Marier hopes it’ll be a happy story after these animals come here. She says the animals aren’t the only ones to benefit.

“Josiah deserves a place, don’t you buddy? He deserves a place where horses and farm animals are, and he can go and play with them,” said Marier.

Marier is a special needs parent, and she understands some of the challenges they face.

At two years old, one of her foster daughters, Cassie lost her life this summer.

“Our dream is to honor Cassie’s life in creating an all-handicap accessible care farm,” she said.

She says they couldn’t take her to places like this. They were either too crowded or not accessible.

“She couldn’t go places because she was so sick, but with this all-inclusive handicap farm, they have a place they can go to,” said Marier.

She believes that place will be here, where they help animals, and the animals help kids.

She plans to open ‘Cassie’s Care Farm’ in April. They also have plans to build an accessible stable and pastures.

For more information, the Mad Hatter Farm website.