MIDDLEBURY, CT (WFSB) - Growing up, a local woman loved animals and wanted to do anything to help them.

It took a health scare to make her dream a reality, and now Lisa Miskella is quietly saving lives, one at a time.

“This is Matilde. She was a baby at the auction in October,” Miskell said.

Each of the beautiful animals on Freedom Farm Animal Sanctuary were rescued, and each has a heartbreaking story to tell.

From 4-week-old chicks just dropped at her doorstep, to baby goats she saved from being slaughtered.

“So, this is Cardi. She was found in Maine. She has frostbite still on her comb,” Miskella said.

In 2018, Miskella started the Freedom Farm Animal Sanctuary in her home in Middlebury, turning it into a safe haven for abused or unwanted farm animals.

Her inspiration derived from a setback.

After being diagnosed with cancer in 2012, her life’s purpose changed.

“After that I just felt I needed my life to be worth something. I needed to make a difference,” Miskella said.

While she recovered, she helped these animals recover, all of them healing together and thriving at the farm.

“This is Libby and her mom, Milly and they were at the slaughter auction. They used to be residents of a petting zoo and they were just considered not cute and cuddly anymore, so the owner discarded them to the slaughter auction,” Miskella said.

While 35 animals are currently in Miskella’s care, she wants to be able to help many more.

Her goal is to build a facility to care for more than 100 animals.

A sketch showing what she hopes to create, everything from a number of barns and pastures to a pumpkin patch, Christmas tree farm, and education center.

“You feel helpless at times. You try to get the word out there, but there’s just so many,” Miskella said.

Despite some painful experiences along the way, the story for these animals ends with a happily ever after, thanks to Miskella.

“I was always destined to do something with animals and this was it. I found my calling and I’m not going to stop,” Miskella said.

Freedom Farm Animal Sanctuary runs entirely on donations and sponsorships.

If you’d like to help Miskella continue her mission, click here.

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