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‘They Give Me A Reason To Live’: Truck Driver’s Passion Is Saving Animals

MIKE STURA: We try to save them. And they save us. Trust me. I’m telling you straight out. We give them a home, a place to live and they give me a reason to live.

CBS NEW YORK: ‘All animals need a home. Even livestock escaping the slaughterhouse have found a new lease on life. One man has turned a farm into a sanctuary… For all New York City provides for us, an hour northwest you’ll find a sanctuary that caters to animals. Mike Stura isn’t a farmer. He’s a truck driver who defends the defenseless. “I love them. I love them. My whole life has changed because of them. I see everything in my world differently because of them,” Stura said…

Five years ago, he opened the Skylands Animal Sanctuary in Wantage, N.J. “They’re not my pets. They’re not here to make me happy. They’re here to live life on their own terms. So that’s what we try to let them do,” Stura said. Along with a small staff and volunteers, the 230-acre farm has changed the course of life for more than 100 animals. Some are even “celebrities.” When an animal escapes captivity on the way to the slaughterhouse, Mike and his team become their saviors.

“Oftentimes we get a call if its a big animal, before Animal Control even gets a call about it. We’ve become synonymous with big animals that are loose. Especially cows,” Stura said. Instead of being sent to their doom, the nonprofit facility gives them a home and allows them to find their own personality…

“I like to think there’s a myth that goes around that if they fight for their lives and get out somehow, there’s a long haired guy who will give them a place to live,” Stura said. “I’m a truck driver. I’m a truck driver who loves these animals and always roots for the underdog. So if I can help somebody who’s struggling to help themselves, and I can give them a good life. That’s good for me. I’m nothing special, trust me. I’m just a truck driver.”

It takes about $700 a day just to feed the animals. It takes about $700 a day just to feed the animals. Donations keep the nonprofit alive, and more than just the animals are rescued…. “We try to save them. And they save us. Trust me! I’m telling you straight out. We give them a home, a place to live and they give me a reason to live,” Stura said’. SOURCE…

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