Oregon City-area farmer hosts pumpkin drive for rescued animals
Virginia Borden, a farmer halfway between Canby and Oregon City, is hosting an annual pumpkin, squash and vegetable drive to benefit animals rescued from neglect.
During "The Great Pumpkin Drive," community members looking to rid of non-rotting pumpkins, squash or any other non-spicy vegetable can drop them off from Oct. 5-Nov. 15 at 20975 S. Gould Court.
Borden said she began hosting the drive five years ago after realizing the amount of non-rotting vegetables thrown away after the fall holiday season each year.
"People buy pumpkins and things like that for the holidays and then they rot and nothing happens with them," Borden said. "It's just a good way for people to give away the stuff they already have and it goes to feeding all these critters."
Each year, Borden rounds up the collected food items — usually in the hundreds — and feeds them to the many rescued animals living on her land, delivering some to other animal sanctuary farms in the area.
"My heart is with the farm animals," Borden said, adding that she began taking in rescued animals from a friend's farm in Washougal, Washington, roughly six years ago and has since reached nearly full capacity at her unincorporated Clackamas County farm, which has an Oregon City address but is located in the Canby School District.
"I've had my whole entire front yard just filled with hundreds of pumpkins — it gets crazy," she added. "It's great. People get really, really excited about it."
Borden has worked for years as an animal rescue volunteer through the Humane Society and has developed a strong network of local connections with other farmers equally as passionate about saving animals from neglect.
She explained cases of neglect with farm animals frequently take place through someone "dumping" an animal they no longer want in a forest or elsewhere, sometimes because they acquired the animal without planning to care for it long-term.
"Sometimes people will buy a tiny pig thinking it's going to stay like that forever. And then it turns into a 200-pound pig, and they don't want it anymore," Borden said.
Neglected animals often end up at either animal sanctuaries or with animal control, Borden said, adding that rescue farms will then acquire the animals and provide them with the care they need for the remainder of heir lives.
"On our farm, everybody came from a sanctuary; everybody's got a different story, and it's nice to see them getting a second chance, that's for sure," Borden said.
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