“Maaaaa! “Maaaaa!” »
The sounds of goats happy to see their “Human Ma” ricochet in the barnyard of Blackjack Road, near La Vernia.
Christina Cimics, owner of Happy Hooves Farm & Rescue, has provided loving care, food, and most importantly, a home for animals that have been abandoned by people who can no longer care for them, and rescued animals that were brought to her by people who found them along the roads or on properties where the owners died. She has also adopted animals from other rescues.
A Texas native born in Wichita Falls, Christina lived between her father’s home in Texas and her mother’s home in Illinois. As a child, she had to do chores and take care of her mother’s goats, which she didn’t like very much. When she returned to Texas, she decided, “All I ever wanted to be was a mother and a wife,” she recalls.
Christina began working at a daycare center in Wichita Falls, then continued to care for children at her home in Universal City and Converse for 25 years. When she retired, she stayed in the house.
New Kids On The Block
“I was depressed for about a month,” she shared. “I felt like I had no purpose and no longer felt needed.”
In 2018, her husband Jeff gave her two goats – “just to get me out of the house”.
Then his next adventure, Happy Hooves, began.
Six months after the “gift of the goat”, Christina bought two piglets. She came home with the two new additions and felt she needed her, so she put an ad on Craigslist to see if people had any farm animals that needed help. After a month, she received a call from a family whose grandfather had been seriously injured in a car accident and could no longer care for his nine pygmy goats.
Christina sensed a shift in her outlook.
“Not only do I feel needed, but I’m making a difference for one of God’s creatures,” she said.
Not only does she take care of the animals; she trains them to be pets.
“They are not for people who would slaughter them or use them for food,” Christina stressed.
Once an animal has been rehabilitated and deemed worthy of being a pet, she invites potential adopters to the corral and barnyard to watch them interact with the animals.
“I can always tell which people want them as pets and not as meals,” she said.
Christina also asks them to show her pictures of the shelter these special animals will be inhabiting. Some people adopt his goats to milk them, but some of his goats are adopted as pets. Adoption fees help her offset the costs.
At Happy Hooves Farm & Rescue, Christina has horses, miniature horses, donkeys, miniature donkeys, goats, ducks, chickens, turkeys, rabbits, cats and pigs. She has even rescued hedgehogs, guinea pigs, and other small animals and pets.
At this time Christina does not accommodate dogs as they may pose a hazard to farm animals.
This Eternal Caregiver names every animal except the ducks.
“They look too alike and it’s getting too confusing,” she said with a chuckle.
Currently, there are 78 animals in Christina’s care. This includes Midnight, the rescued hackney pony; Princess Leia and Han Solo, the miniature donkeys; Walter, Batman and Taz, the goats; and Miniature Horses Puzzle and Snickers.
The piglets receive special treatment. She brings piglets indoors at 6 weeks of age and teaches them to snuggle and use the indoor litter box.
“They are incredibly smart and it only takes a day to train them to use the litter box! Christina advised.
As one can imagine, running a rescue farm doesn’t come cheap. There are vet bills, food bills, first aid and necessary medications, as well as sanitation products, bath products, bedding and paper products that need to be purchased regularly to help keep animals safe and healthy. Christina and her husband are constantly building new stalls, pens and shelters for the animals, which requires construction and fencing materials.
Money for expenses comes in through Facebook fundraisers, but that doesn’t cover everything needed for animal care.
How can I help you?
Donations of items and materials are always welcome, including hay and feed, plastic pools (which hold water) for pigs and ducks, feeders and buckets, bins with lids, baby blankets, towels and hand towels, peroxide, alcohol, bleach, latex gloves, milk substitutes and bottles, litter boxes, kitty litter, pine shavings, pet beds, blankets, etc. Message
Christina to arrange a drop off or pick up.
There is also a donation jar for Happy Hooves Farm & Rescue located inside the Big Bear Home Center on US 87 in La Vernia, where Christina accepts cash donations. She also has a GoFundMe site at Gf.me/u/y4u8cx. Christina would like the farm to become a 501(c)3 nonprofit, but there are costs involved.
To donate or learn more about Happy Hooves Farm & Rescue:
• Visit happy-hooves-farm-rescue.business.site/
•Find the farm on Facebook
• Call Christina Cimics at 210-665-3225.
Here are happy leads, happy tails and happy hooves!
Trick or Treat Trail
The next fundraiser for Happy Hooves is an exciting Halloween event – The Happy Hooves Farm & Rescue Trick or Treat Trail, Saturday, October 29, 7-11 p.m. Attendees can enjoy a free spin or treatment; at press time Sept. 20, 24 vendors planned to hand out candy to hikers. Purchase tickets from participating vendors to participate in games, food and drink at this family fundraiser.
The event will also include a bounce house and ride, face painting, a children’s costume contest, and more.
Happy Hooves Farm & Rescue is located at 180 Blackjack Road; turn off US 87 at SS Water Headquarters.
For more information, call 210-665-3225.