The Tana del Bianconiglio is also a shelter for animals and is part of the Network of Sanctuaries in Italy, a non-profit organisation which was set up with the aim of welcoming and saving animals of all species mainly considered as ‘livestock’, who’s short existence would otherwise be destined to end in a slaughterhouse. In addition to giving back their denied freedom, the aim of the Shelter is that of making people come visit the Shelter possibly connect with the animals that inhabit it and spread a culture of respect for animal rights who are sentient individuals. Through their acquaintance, we aim to stimulate and evoke that feeling called empathy that has the ability to putting ourselves in the shoes of others, be it a human or non-human.
The Shelter, which rejects all forms of violence and discrimination, is supportive and firmly believes in a model of society based on anti-speciesism promoting vegan culture, respect and justice towards every living being.
Each and every animal that lives at the Tana del Bianconiglio has its own story of rebellion and resistance, they are unique individuals who like us has have their own personality, feelings, they look for social relationships and avoid pain.
The sheltered animals live together freely, as naturally as possible and in accordance with their ethological needs, and take back what they have been unjustly deprived of: their own lives. At the same time they become spokesmen for all those who are still waiting to be freed from slavery and suffering.
Dobbiamo svuotare le gabbie, non renderle più grandi.Tom Regan
Below you will find some of the stories of the animals living at the Shelter:
Senia is a piglet, she became famous in Siena thanks to her rebellion and her leap for freedom from a vehicle that was transporting her to the slaughterhouse. Once captured by police officers, her life was again in danger as she had been provisionally taken in by another farmer. Thanks to the immediate intervention of the Network of Free Animal Sanctuaries, the Mayor entrusted Senia to one of the authorized shelters. She was saved and was welcomed into the large family of the Tana del Bianconiglio. Once Senia arrived at the Shelter, she took a small tour of the surroundings, she entered her new wooden house with a lot of hot straw and completely immersed herself underneath it until she was all covered up to her muzzle!
Frida was used as a breeder in a small family-run farm. Her life was designed for lamb breeding intended for human consumption. For four long years she gave birth constantly and had her children taken away one by one. Following her physical drop and no longer being of use for the farm, she too was going to be slaughtered. Despite the cruelty and violence suffered by Frida, shortly after her arrival at the Shelter, she showed confidence and affection towards us. As soon as she sees us, she runs towards us making sure we are correctly greeted and always loves to receive cuddles.
Clementina was born in an organic farm of Chianina breed cows where animals, during a specific time of the year, can spend some time grazing in the meadows. Behind this appearance, however, there is also a story of abuse and violence and the ending for the animals is always the same.
Clementine’s mother, a “Frisona” cow, was considered a nanny, meaning used as a milk supply for orphaned calves or calves born from multiple births. She spent all her days tied up and could only see her daughter three times a day for a short period of time, when she was left with the other calves in order to drink her milk.
Clementina, not being a pure Chianina, was considered by her farmer of little financial value, although her fate was the same as that of the purebred calves: once she turned six months she would have been sold in northern Italy to a farm defined as “fattening” where she would have spent another six months locked in a small box until the day of her slaughter. “Adult cattle”, this is the definition that consumers would have found on the packages containing her body torn into pieces.
Clementina’s mother was sold and we never heard of her again.
We managed to save Clementina and she now lives free in our shelter together with her inseparable friend Sirius.
Diana and Bruna had both been discarded by their farmer because they were the smallest and weakest of two different litter of pigs. They would have died of starvation and hardship or, if they had survived, they would have been destined for slaughter at six months of age.
They are very fond of each other but have two completely different characters. Bruna is more reserved and wary, Diana is bubbly and loves to get scratched under her belly. Both show emotions and desires which can be easily read through their eyes.
Dina and Merlin, the story of a mother and her son taken from the disassembly chain. Dina was considered an ‘end-of-career sheep’, Merlin as lamb to be eaten, both would have travelled together to the point of no return. Since 2016 they live free at the Shelter, Dina despite the exploitation suffered and the countless deliveries is finally able to lay down close to the one dearest to her. It is not uncommon to find them sleeping with their heads resting on one another.
Winnie was found by a girl next to a dumpster, probably abandoned by those who bought her in a store as if she were an item.
Since 2019 she lives at the Shelter free and totally carefree together with other rabbits. At the Tana del Bionconiglio, Winnie, despite her small size, has shown great strength and determination, it is no coincidence that of the many available spots she can choose for resting she almost always prefers to stay on the roof.
Salvo and Dali’ being males were considered not useful for the production of milk and after a few months of life they would have been slaughtered. Since 2019 they live safely and free at the Shelter always united by their deep friendship. Both are extremely curious and lively, when someone comes to visit them they follow him/her step by step to receive a few caresses or find something to nibble on.
Allegra was born at the shelter on April 21, 2018. Her mother Eva was considered an ‘end-of-career’ sheep, too weak and exhausted to continue giving birth to lambs, which is why her farmer would have slaughtered her. A few months after arriving at the Shelter we discovered that Eva was pregnant and it was really exciting news, we would have witnessed for the first time a lamb born free, raised with the love and warmth of her own mother.
Eva has unfortunately past away almost a year after Allegra’s birth, she was left with no strength and despite our care, she let herself go. Before she died we made a her promise, that her little lamb would have received everything she and her children had been deprived of: a happy life free from any exploitation.
Argo was found in Athens (Greece) with his mother, sisters and brothers abandoned on a beach. Francesca and Stefano, two volunteers who were there on a holiday, as soon as they found them, immediately rescued them and decided to take them to Italy for adoption and save them before they could be harmed.
Argo was the only one out of the twelve puppies that had not found a home for this reason we decided to take care of him ourselves. Since 2015 he lives at the Shelter together with many other animals, he loves to dive into the pond, hang out with the piglets and steal their vegetables in particular broccoli and tomatoes.
The Shelter receives no help or funding other than that deriving from private individuals. It is possible to support the sheltered animals and give other animals the opportunity to be saved through:
- A donation made payable to the Tana del Bianconiglio IBAN code: IT17Q0358901600010570758658
or through PayPal: firstname.lastname@example.org
- A long distance animal sponsorship program for animals living at the Shelter for a fixed monthly contribution by contacting the number +39 3493522378
- Joining the group Teaming and donating 1 euro per month
- Buying organic products grown on the land adjacent to the Shelter, respecting nature and its inhabitants.