Marley Farms Petting Zoo needs our help

Posted on January 6, 2012


I have always been a dog lover.  I prefer dogs to most humans, and feel more sympathy for them when they’re in bad situations than for most humans, mainly because humans can (or should be able to) make cognitive decisions about what’s right and wrong for them.  Dogs – and all animals – can’t. So when an animal is hurt, or abused or abandoned, it’s not the animal’s fault, it’s the human’s fault.

Since seeing “We Bought a Zoo,” (which I *HIGHLY* recommend), I’ve taken a more active interest in the plight of animals – even so far as considering the pros and cons of buying a small shelter for my semi-retirement.  I donate a substantial amount every month to the Humane Society and the ASPCA, and all my dogs have – and will – come from the Arizona Human Society shelter. But that’s just not enough. There are too many helpless, faultless, truly wonderful animals who need just a little love, care and concern from us “superior species.” And there are plenty of zoos, farms and shelters that are doing spectacular, heartfelt work on those animals’ behalf.

One such place is the Marley Farms Petting Zoo and Animal Shelter in Gilbert, AZ. It’s owned and run by former Arizona Diamondbacks star Shea Hillenbrand and his wife, Jessica. They house horses, mini ponies, camels, donkeys, goats, pigs … even an adorable red Wallaby Kangaroo named “Sydney.” They also run a horse boarding operation for adopted and privately owned horses to ensure the magnificent beasts are well-fed, well-exercised and exceptionally well cared for.

Marley Farms needs help, financially, operationally and spiritually. I don’t know how many of my followers and readers are animal lovers, but every one of us matters to animals that can’t fend for themselves.

There are several ways you can help save Marley Farms. Monetary donations are, of course, greatly appreciated. They even accept Paypal donations to their Against All Odds Foundation through their websites and have a significant presence on Facebook and Twitter. However, if you would rather help in different ways, such as volunteering, providing animal feed or supplies,or just through visiting and supporting the operation commercially. Here’s how to get there: or call them at (480) 895-8453. They’re at 26601 S. Val Vista Drive, Gilbert, AZ 85249. You can also send them an e-mail at

MSNBC recently did a feature story on the financial difficulties Marley Farms is having, and provides a bit of history on the shelter, operations, and owners.

I don’t generally use this blog to ask anything of my readers. But I feel this issue is important enough and necessary enough to make an exception this one time.

Please reach out to Marley Farms. Any help you can give will be enormously appreciated. It’s right there in the eyes of an animal you’ve helped, or could help.


Posted in: Errata