Our mission at Farmhouse Animal & Nature Sanctuary, a 501(c)(3) non profit, is to care for, love and support the exotic, domestic and farm animals that live at the sanctuary, to the best of our ability, for the remainder of their lives and to educate the public on animal care and nature.
Founders & lifelong pet owners, Dave & Lisa Burns, volunteered for many years at a local wild and exotic animal rescue/rehab and later became live in care takers at that sanctuary. When the sanctuary was closing they decided they needed to continue caring for the animals currently under their care and help others as well. They started their own nonprofit, became a 501(c)3, and moved the animals to their property in Myakka, where the sanctuary continues to grow and evolve. Along with their board of directors and volunteers, their goal is to continue to give the animals a place to feel safe while teaching a new generation the joy of caring for animals.
Farmhouse Sanctuary, located in Myakka City, Florida, off of SR64, grew out of our love for animals and inspired by dear friends’ commitment to helping animals. They always gives more than they received and taught us that if we listen, the animals will tell us what they need. We hope to make them proud by continuing what they started with some ideas of our own tossed in. To learn more about what we do check out our Giving Partner Profile.
Our Board of Directors
Dave Burns has been a local business owner for over 30 years and is a skilled tradesman with experiences in the construction, landscape and hardscape fields. His animal experience includes 35 + years of hands on caring for farm animals in addition to 2 years caring for exotic, wild and farm animals as a live in caretaker at a local sanctuary before co-founding FANS in 2017. He is a life-long pet owner of domestic animals including horses, dogs, cats, birds and fish. Dave has implemented and taught a hands on program at local schools creating wildlife habitats with the students. He also volunteered for many years working on construction and maintenance projects at a local wild, exotic & farm animal sanctuary.
Lisa Burns is a local business owner/manager for over 30 years in construction, landscape and retail fields. She brings an educational background in Marketing/Management. Lisa is a published writer who covers topics in gardening, wildlife and pets. Her animal experiences include eight plus years of hands on caring for farm animals, two years as a live in care taker at a local sanctuary caring for exotic, wild and farm animals, before co-founding FANS in 2017. She is a life-long pet owner of domestic animals including dogs, cats and birds. In addition, Lisa volunteered for many years working on fundraisers, acquiring grants and marketing for a local wild, exotic and farm animal sanctuary.
Carrie Burns has been a resident of Manatee County for most of her life. She is a Veteran serving as a medic in the National Guard. She has 15 + years of experience in the medical field and three years as an administrative assistant including phlebotomy, medical billing as well as emergency room staffing. Carrie has an Associate degree as a Pastry Chef and Restaurant Management. Her animal experience include two years as a part time caretaker on an exotic and farm animal sanctuary. She is also a life-long pet owner of dogs and cats. Carrie has a soft spot for big dogs and bully breeds.
Sandra Krug is a self-employed nurse entrepreneur. She has resided in Myakka City since 2007. Her experience with animals includes domestic pets such as dogs, cats and birds, large such as llamas, pocket pets and a wide variety of exotics. Special needs and senior animals are near and dear to her heart. She has cared for disabled, sick and injured animals for many years.
Garrett Krug has been a Manatee County resident since 2007. He is a business owner Respiratory Therapist. He has a love for all animals and a passion for animal advocacy. He has personal experience with pocket pets, such as sugar gliders and prairie dogs; exotics, such as monkey and raccoons; small animals such as cats and dogs; large animals such as pigs, goats and llamas; as well as fish, birds, reptiles and amphibians.
Sue has been a Manatee county resident since 1976 and has over 22 years experience in the veterinary field working with small animals, mostly cats and dogs. She is a life long animal lover and has had many pets of her own. Her work in the veterinary clinic includes technical work, billing and inventory management. Sue tells us she enjoys getting to work with the exotic animals as a regulary volunteer here at the sanctuary, and even though it’s hard to choose a favorite, she would have to say the kangaroos are at the top of her list.
Kerstin Wiles (Director)
In Memoriam: Tony, one of our original board members, passed away December 2018.
Tony Wakefield has over 20 years of experience in large scale business management and customer service. His experience includes purchasing, inventory control, scheduling and accounts payable/receivable. Additionally he is an author of short stories, poems and spiritual writings. He has a great love and appreciation for nature and wildlife. His animal experience includes hand raising Cockatiels, chickens and Oscars, as well as being a life-long pet owner of dogs and cats. He has experience as a dog trainer, helped retrain an abused horse and raised a cow and a bull that liked to headbutt.
Andrea Inman is a native Floridian with a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology. She has worked in volunteer management at an animal nonprofit for the past 6 years and has obtained a certificate for Excellence in Volunteer Management from VolunteerFlorida. Andrea has a passion for all animals, with experience caring for monkeys, primates, tortoises, ducks, guide and service dogs in training, and cats primarily. She loves volunteering at the sanctuary and getting to care for so many different animals, and as the volunteer coordinator assists in building recruitment, retention, and appreciation for the dedicated volunteers at FANS.
Amber has a bachelor’s degree in professional writing and has been writing for animal-based nonprofits, websites, and brands for eight years. She has completed several educational grant writing courses and now volunteers her time to help FANS find grant opportunities and submit proposals to fund their many projects and programs. Outside of writing about animals, Amber enjoys spending time with her rescued pets and foster pets, exploring nature, and tending her garden.
Youth Advisor Panel
Our youth advisor panel will help us develop our children’s programs and as well as give us a young person’s perspective on programs and animal enrichment
David, 18, has grown up helping care for the animals on his grandparents’ farm while visiting them during the summers. He has two years past volunteer experience at a wild and exotic animal sanctuary as well as being a FANS volunteer for three + years. He is very interested in creating art, particularly charcoal drawings and anime, as well as writing fiction. David loves learning about all types of science and although he hasn’t chosen a major, he plans to study science in college. His favorite animals to work with at the sanctuary are the kangaroos. He feels it is important for us to plant more trees to help clean polluted air and to provide homes for wildlife.
Justin, 15 has grown up helping to care for the animals on his grandparents’ farm and has also spent two summers volunteering at a wild and exotic animal sanctuary. Justin has been a FANS volunteeer for 3+ years. He loves music and video games. and is interested in creating video games. His favorite animals to work with at the sanctuary are the Sulcata Tortoises. He likes tortoises and turtles of all kinds. He feels it is important for humans to pick up after themselves and to waste less creating less trash for landfills and picks up trash whenever he sees it. He enjoys being in the spotlight and would like to have his own youtube channel one day.
Emilia, is a 18 year old college student and a past member of Lakewood Loves Animals, a local service club focuses on helping animal rescues and sanctuaries. She is also an active volunteer at FANS. Emilia enjoys researching about fashion history and listening to music from the 60s-90s in her free time. She plans to major in Sustainability Studies in College. Her favorite animals to work with at FANS are the horses. She feels anyone can help contribute to making the Earth a more habitable place by investing in reusable items over single-use plastics and making sure that you are recycling items that your recycling facility accepts.