Since it is near my office and I have always been curious, I stopped by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Animal Farm to check out their annual Christmas at the Farm event this past weekend. I was expecting to see a sloth and a pig or two. I had no idea how many animals that they housed or the circumstances that happened to get these animals here.
In 1994 the farm was started to give a home to homeless animals. It started with ducks and chickens that were getting run over on College Road and reaping havoc for golfers at the nearby Golf Course. Next came an abandoned blind horse from Miami, which inmates made a pen for. Today, the farm also houses everything from rabbits to reptiles including donkeys, goats, sheep, alligators, turtles, tortoises, Key Deer, pythons, sloths, pigs, a bull, and more! I could not believe how many animals were just next door! Sadly, most of the animals at the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Animal Farm are either donated by people who can no longer care for their pets or they come from abusive homes.
The animals are taken care of primarily by the inmates at the jail. The inmates learn about animal husbandry and compassion by caring for these animals. During my visit to the farm, you could tell that the inmates really cared about the animals that they work so closely with. And the animals seem happy too being in an environment where they are cared for.
Obviously, the animals were the big draw for this annual holiday event at the farm, but local kids also enjoyed getting their pictures taken with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, listening to holiday tunes, and working on holiday crafts set up on the farm.
If you are in the Key West area, you can visit the animal farm on the second and fourth Sunday each month form 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM. The address is 5501 College Road, Key West, FL 33040. Admission is free but donations are very welcome. This is truly a great activity for the kids!
Before making your reservations for Christmas dinner or any other meal while in Key West check out our restaurant reviews!