MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Pasado’s Pen Pals brings animals, children together during COVID crisis

May 29, 2020, 2:19 PM

Smudge Goat is one of many animals at Pasado's receiving pen pal letters. (Photo courtesy of Pasado's Safe Haven) Smudge Goat shows off a pen pal letter. (Photo courtesy of Pasado's Safe Haven) Blue Cow loves pen pal letters. (Photo courtesy of Pasado's Safe Haven) Blue Cow examines a few pen pal letters. (Photo courtesy of Pasado's Safe Haven) Stella Turkey loves bright colors and sparkles. (Photo courtesy of Pasado's Safe Haven)

Isolation can be really hard when we can’t see our friends. That goes for people and for animals, like the ones at Pasado’s Safe Haven, a farm sanctuary in Sultan, Wash.

Farm animals in need of new homes during the coronavirus crisis

“The animals at the sanctuary, they miss the human interaction that they used to get from tours,” said Brenna Anderst, senior education and advocacy manager at Pasado’s. “We used to have children’s groups come out to the sanctuary to visit animals.”

So, they started Pasado’s Pen Pals where children can write letters to animals at the sanctuary.

“Socialization is so important for all of us during these times, including animals,” Anderst said.

Kids can choose to write to pen pals like Stella the turkey, Smudge the goat, or Blue the cow. In return, they’ll receive a written letter back, along with a sticker or two and a photo of their new pen pal. Anderst says the animals — just like humans — love getting letters. The staff have made it a social experience for them.

“The animals are very excited to receive their mail,” Anderst said. “So, we pick the mail up from the post office, and we bring it to each of the animals, and we read them their letters – let them look at them.”

She says the pen pal program is designed to encourage connection, as well as compassion.

“Part of inspiring kindness to animals is showing that they all have their own personalities,” Anderst said.

Pasado’s published bios for each of the animals on their website, so kids can get an idea of who they’re writing to, like Stella the turkey. Anderst says Stella is a young turkey, and is very attracted to bright colors and sparkles.

“That’s written into her bio,” Anderst said. “When she gets letters, she’s really excited when there’s a lot of color on the paper because that is really, really exciting and interesting to her. We’ve had a few letters that have drawings of Stella, and that’s what she really enjoys looking at — a very visual picture and a visual letter.”

Painters turn Seattle streets into a pandemic-inspired art walk

In the three weeks since the program started, the animals have received about 50 letters of fan mail from kids. It’s been so successful that even after lock down ends, Pasado’s has decided to keep it going.

“We can all learn so much from animals, and children as well,” she says. “So, when you put them together, the result is really magical and we’re really [seeing] that with this program when you see these letters come back and forth.”

Anyone who wants to write a letter to the sanctuary — or sketch Stella a sparkly portrait — can visit Pasado’s website here for more information.

MyNorthwest News

Sen. Marko Liias...

Jason Rantz

Rantz: Washington Democrat exposed for lying about carbon tax, I-2117

Senator Marko Liias flat-out lied about the Washington I-2771 carbon tax repeal while using his official government account.

7 hours ago

ufo, uap...

Micki Gamez

Washington continues to be a UFO hot spot

Seattle has become a hot spot for UFO sightings, with 86.5 sightings per 100,000 residents annually between 2000 and 2023.

7 hours ago

Image: Police detectives in Tacoma are asking for the public's help to identify the suspect respons...

James Lynch

Tacoma police search for suspect as stabbing victim tells her story

A Pierce County woman who was nearly stabbed to death in Tacoma’s Point Defiance Park is telling her story of a vicious attack and fight for her life.

8 hours ago

The Washington State Cougars take the field against the Oregon State Beavers at Martin Stadium on O...

Matt Markovich

Lawmakers hear dire circumstances of WSU being ‘Couged’ by former Pac-12 schools

The University of Washington’s departure from the Pac-12 Conference has created financial uncertainty for Washington State University (WSU).

8 hours ago

Image: Police detectives in Tacoma are asking for the public's help to identify the suspect respons...

Steve Coogan and Bill Kaczaraba, MyNorthwest

Woman stabbed in Point Defiance crime: ‘I can’t believe I survived’

On Feb. 10, the victim was walking at Point Defiance Park when was attacked by an unknown man, the Tacoma Police Department reported.

9 hours ago

FILE - Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch walks off the field after NFL football practice...

The Associated Press

Marshawn Lynch to pay a fine, attend DUI traffic school, but no conviction

Former Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch resolved a drunken driving case without a trial or DUI conviction Wednesday, 18 months after police found him asleep in the driver’s seat of a damaged luxury sports car in Las Vegas.

9 hours ago

Pasado’s Pen Pals brings animals, children together during COVID crisis