Dear Potential Candidates:


(Warning: The content of this campaign might cause your blood level to rise in that it excludes many potential applicants with its requirements. Make sure you are drinking a good cup of coffee and are in a seated position before reading any further. If your blood pressure starts to rise close your computer immediately and start chanting Hare Krishna!)


If you are not aware, I have started a SECOND ad campaign to find the right caretaker for my property. I was not successful first time around. It would appear the ad was not clear enough. And neither was another recent “give away the farm” campaign ad that went viral in the United States .


Part of the challenge is articulating what it is that I am looking for. This is a new attempt at this and hopefully, with my new Kajiji ad and follow-up reading of my blog, only those who truly are in line with the requirements will contact me. This definitely is not for most people.


I am looking for a couple, because only a couple of full time devoted people, will be capable of handing the work here.


I am looking for a couple who is hell bent on taking this property in its infancy stages of a goal and creating a sustainable long lasting animal sanctuary where unwanted or unadoptable animals have a permanent home and those that can be adopted find new loving venues. This is a big goal and right now the situation is such that many animals, in particular cats and close to forty kittens need to be re-homed BEFORE any further animals are admitted here. This realistically will take a few years alone to achieve.


If you are applying because you require a legal lease of the property to do whatever you wish, think again. This is an APPRENTICESHIP for two strong people leading to a stable living environment potentially forever as long as they carry out the mission and are responsible caring participants. If they are not, as I have shown, they can no longer reside here. The stated mission of this project and the animals that are housed here are simply too precious. You will be able to live on this property without paying a rent or mortgage, but you will be responsible for basic running costs which amount to about $12,000 a year. I will cover the animal vet and feed costs. So if you have a pension, for example, that allows you to carry such a cost then perhaps this might work for you. If you require a job that takes you off the property, the equation does not work as two people at least are necessary to avoid being overloaded with work.


If you are suffering from any sort of mental or emotional conditions, working with animals can in general be a good form of therapy. Up to a point. That point involves not entering into a stressful situation where you are overwhelmed to the point that your triggers for depression and anxiety kick in, which is a situation we have found with some applicants. This is why I cannot accept a single applicant. Too much work.


Commitment: Without a doubt this is an important trait. You cannot go away for a day and leave the animals unattended. Ever. Someone has to be here at all times. The animals don’t suddenly stop eating. Emergencies such as a cow escaping, a horse becoming colic or a cat developing a life threatening virus are but a few of the daily challenges that emerge in a setting of hundreds of animals. You have to address these challenges responsibly which means you have to be here.


The work load when you are dealing with even a few large farm animals is very demanding, physically speaking as well as mentally challenging. This is a challenge that lasts all day long from early morning into the evening. So if you are not in top physical condition do not consider this challenge.


There is an endless requirement for patching up and creating new fencing and enclosures and, as well, framing skills are particularly necessary unless you have an endless budget and can hire out.


There is a sign in the front of the property that reads as such:










This sign pretty much summarizes the environment you are considering moving in to.

There are countless predatory animals and “nuisance” creatures such as rodents, skunks, porcupines, otters, minks, raccoons and others that live on this fifty acre parcel of land. I feed them in their natural habitat while some neighbors poison them or the cars on the highway in front of my property run them over. No creature is killed or removed from this sanctuary without exception. The house itself has some animals in it and if you are searching for an Architectural Digest clean and trendy interior, stop reading this proposal. You won’t find it here. Why, there are even flies and spiders in abundance in these here parts. Imagine that, eh? How challenging can life get?!


If you are of the mind set that is somewhat psychotic and even think that you will persuade me to turn over the ownership of this property to you in return for your sweat equity, forget about it. It won’t happen.


I will maintain ownership to protect the animals. I will also hire a very competent vet to check on all aspects of the farm every few weeks. As well, there is an elaborate visual and audio surveillance system covering the entire farm.


I will be blogging about your challenges and failures and success stories regularly to share the results of this experiment with others who may duplicate it. This means I will be in touch on a daily basis to ensure all challenges are met, even though I will no longer live here. So, if you can’t bear the thought of talking with me every day you live here, let us start the divorce proceedings immediately. I’ve been transparent on the terms.


If you are the sort that says they love animals and dislike humans, please do not apply. I am looking for a person that cares about humanity as well as animal welfare. Please read the entire blog and click on the tabs above to get an idea of what you might start.


Part of the position over a long term basis will involve reaching out into the surrounding community and rallying for volunteers and fundraising drives and networking with other dedicated sanctuaries that exist in these parts. They are as important as the one you will create.


The successful applicant will have first be willing to accept a number of probing telephone interviews, followed up by a single day of hands on experience on the daily routine here,, If you pass the smell test this far, you will be expected to devote two full months of intensive daily training after which you will be expected to move in and operate the sanctuary on your own.It may take less time than this, or more. Depends on your experience and comfort.  As such, you must be ready NOW not when it is convenient for you  to jump into the unknown. You must have a telephone with a number where you can be reached easily. I don’t play telephone tag. And both of you will need a perfect and valid driver’s license (a requirement I now realize was overlooked in my first campaign where I learned the hard way my former successful candidate had lost his license with repeated drunken driving charges).


Ideally, I am looking for a non smoking, non drinking party who do not have ANY PETS at the moment, especially dogs, cats and horses. Having your own small zoo will only get in the way of focusing on the goal of this place, not to mention there are already dogs here and too many cats and one small horse all of which make for a messy start of interactions and take away energy that would best be applied to the cause at hand. .


If you have small children this is definitely not the job for you. A week ago one applicant, in a profound way, summarized a certain psychotic pattern of thinking amongst applicants. The mother of a child told me: “Don’t rule me out. Please interview my child. She is very capable of working here and helping out.” I replied, “How old is your daughter.”


The startling reply was this: “Three.”


Enough on this topic, I am intent on finding a couple that can devote themselves to this cause without exception. This is not a housing opportunity, or a land grab, it is a chance for someone to make a difference in an often overlooked and poorly addressed issue, namely: animal welfare. The ill judged notion that this is a romantic setting for a family is just that, a notion. This is a project which involves a lot of hard work and the reward is in achieving the goal with others. In other words, GIVING of yourself rather than GETTING for yourself. A reverse thought of priorities for many people for sure but it is what it is.


If you show up in person, telephone me without a pre arranged interview, you will immediately be disqualified. You have but two choices:


write to me in some legible manner, even type written letters with large type on white paper recommended to the following:


Stephen Overbury

360 County Road 17 RR #4

Smiths Falls, Ontario

K7A 4S5


Be sure to include a phone number where you can be reached with ease. I will call once only. If you write to me in small type on colored paper as countless people did, forget to leave your phone number, consider your application toast. I want to read it with ease and call you back and simplify my life. My eye sight has been on the wane of late with reading so many varied letters. Thousands in fact.  I pray this never goes viral again. And please do not under any circumstances send me any unwanted gifts as so many have. This is not a charity. It is a cause for the pure of heart.



You may decide to email me but be sure you understand my request not to send a note through kajiji’s mail system. I want a full name and phone number from you and a legal address. If you cannot do this, or don’t want to, don’t apply.



May there be someone out there that will find this new challenge their life dream. And may they apply with all of the requirements stated without exception. Best of luck for round two.



Your Average Joe,


Stephen Overbury








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