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Gala offers chance to meet rescue animals and hear their stories

Every creature at Kitchensink Sanctuary has a story, which guests can hear this Saturday, July 13, at the farm's second annual charity fundraising gala.

Walking up say hello to ‘Angel,’ who was relaxing in the shade at Kitchensink Rescue Farm and Sanctuary, the llama heaved herself upright before giving us a look, which could best be described as a cross between, “I’m ready for my close up” and complete disinterest.

“She doesn’t spit,” reassures Yvonne Lewis, despite the fact the llama clearly looked like she was considering it. “Angel didn't come from a bad situation, she came from a couple who had other llamas that had passed with age, so she was by herself and they don't like to be alone. So, they asked if she could come and stay here and live with some goats or sheep.”

Which is exactly what happened and on the day of this visit, Angel was surrounded by goats, which she helps guard alongside the impressively large ‘Ari’ an Anatolian shepherd, with a possible mix of Great Dane thrown in.

Lewis, a paramedic, operates the six-acre Roberts Creek sanctuary with her husband Mike, who works in construction. The charity, which began in 1999, is the only one of its kind on the Sunshine Coast and today the couple cares for almost 90 creatures, which also include dogs, cats, chickens, turkeys, ducks, horses, a miniature donkey and two, 600-pound pigs, one of which had been used for medical testing.

Angel wasn’t the only animal taking advantage of the many shaded areas spread across the farm on the bright, sunny morning the Coast Reporter came to visit Kitchensink. Also enjoying the cool of the shade was a small flock of sheep, including ‘Blanche,’ ‘Shirley,’ ‘Sherry’ and ‘Phyllis.’

Lewis says because of the sheep’s advanced age, it’s unlikely any farmer would spend the money needed for vet bills and medication to help them thrive.

“They do have some arthritis and they do get medication for it — and they do look a little worse for wear — but they've come from being abandoned and left at properties,” says Lewis. “Some of them had been tied to fences and just left when people moved, so all weird scenarios.”

Cows ‘Solange’ and ‘Beyoncé,’ are also fortunate to have ended up at Kitchensink. As the result of the devastating flood in Abbotsford in 2021, many farmers lost their livestock. In the case of Solange, her owner lost almost everything and decided to get out of farming altogether. Lewis says the farmer contacted Humane Society International for help in rehoming the calf as a way to keep her out of the dairy industry.

Meanwhile, Beyoncé is a former “street cow,” which is suspected to have escaped from a slaughter truck in Langley in 2019. Lewis believes because the cow is smaller than average, her worth would have been diminished and the owner likely didn’t put a lot of effort in finding her. 

“So, Langley Animal Protection finally corralled and cared for her and found a farm that would foster her until they could find her a home,” says Lewis. “She was there for about a month. She was quite thin and she'd been on the streets so she just been eating whatever and was on the run for a long time.”

Every one of the creatures at Kitchensink has a story, which Lewis and her husband will share this Saturday, July 13 at their second annual charity fundraising gala, which includes food by Gourmet Girl, beer and cider by Persephone Brewing , music, a silent auction and, most importantly, an opportunity to meet the menagerie.

“We’ll be doing tours throughout the time the gala is going on,” says Lewis. “It’s kind of like a social, but also social for the animals and that way people get to experience them here in their space and learn some of the plight they've gone through to get here.”

The event runs from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Roberts Creek sanctuary, 1578 Hanbury Rd. For ticket information visit