PUNTA GORDA — Chris Vane's dream project, a sanctuary for abused and neglected farm animals, began to take shape three years ago when he bought a 30-acre parcel of land in Punta Gorda.
Now, his work in combating animal abuse has garnered national attention, as the newest recipient of GoFundMe's Hero award, spotlighting excellence in utilizing the crowdfunding platform for good causes.
Formerly in real estate, Chris tells GoFundMe he was attending a seminar on creating a multi-million-dollar business when the goal of the sanctuary first dawned on him. “I couldn’t get animals out of my mind, and every thought I had led to specifically rescuing farm animals and opening a sanctuary," he said.
Chris left the real estate field and earned his certification as a veterinarian as he set his goals in motion.
Named after his mother Ursula ('little bear' in Latin), Little Bear Sanctuary started in earnest in 2017. Today the animal haven is home to pigs, chickens, sheep, goats... and even a tortoise -- all cage-free, and all doted upon by Chris and his staff.
But the dream isn't over. Chris is hoping to secure $55,000 in funding with the goal of expanding the sanctuary's footprint by another 20 acres, thus increasing capacity to house even more animals.
You can support his mission on Little Bear Sanctuary's GoFundMe page.