Coronavirus impacts: Odessa rescue farm animals in need of food

Pinellas County

ODESSA, Fla. (WFLA) – The impact of the coronavirus pandemic is far-reaching. Right now, many are in need of food, including those who can’t speak up. This time, 8 On Your Side is focusing on some of our furry friends in need.

At Noah’s Ark Farm and Sanctuary in Odessa, there are about 50 farm animals with troubled pasts. Most of these animals have been abused or neglected and have come here for a better rest of their life. Now, the founder is facing troubled times herself, how to feed them.

It takes many buckets and about $350 to feed all the chickens, bunnies, ponies and goats roaming all five acres of the farm.

Marousa Placiotis Rodriguez founded this small business, which is also now a non-profit, about 25 years ago. She feels the impact of coronavirus on the farm.

“I would say this is probably the most devastating thing that’s ever happened. Obviously to the country, to many small businesses and charities too,” said Rodriguez.

She usually takes the animals on educational field trips to raise money.

“We’ve had 18 educational events for March and April cancel. There’s no church or school to go to because they’re not meeting together.”

Rodriguez said the animals depend on donations for vet bills and food. The farm is now running up credit card bills, trying to pay for their dinner.

The community can also help. The farm needs donations of animal grain and feed. For a donation, you can even take a social distancing trip to the farm.

“We did have family come out. They roamed the three pens by themselves. No interaction. Every gate was sanitized. It was awesome, they donated $100 to feed the animals,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez said she locks the animals up every day knowing she will do everything in her power to keep them loved and fed.

“I’ll go hungry before they do!”

You can make a financial donation or to set up a social distancing visit to the farm call 727-455-4985. Rodriguez said there is a suggested donation of $100 to visit the farm since they can only have one family a day to make sure the farm is properly sanitized. During the visit, you can get up close and personal to take pictures and pet many animals including the goats, rabbits, and roosters.


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