OUR MISSION

Georgia's Place Bird Sanctuary, founded in 2019, rescues and provides safe shelter for farmed birds who have been dumped, abused, or neglected; while promoting compassionate living and treatment of all animals through education and advocacy.

OUR STORY

In 2012, I fell in love with the most adorable little chick who I named George. I brought George home to live with me, and from that point on she and I did everything together. I wrongly assumed George was a boy, until she got older. I still called her George, and occasionally Georgia. I took her to parties with me, to the pet store, to the school where I work... everywhere! George and I were inseparable, we were two peas.

 

I enjoyed being around her so much that I wondered if I could rescue one. I heard about a religious ceremony being held in New York called Kaporos, in which chickens are spun around by their wings over the heads of "sinners" for atonement. Those chickens would then be brutally slaughtered right in the street where the ceremony was taking place. Activists rescued as many as they could and drove rescued birds all around the country. George and I decided to take one of the birds, who I named Norman. The week after Norman came, we had a couple surrender their chicken to us, Valencia Jayne. Now, we were a chicken family of three. 

 

In 2018, George passed away in my arms on one of the saddest days of my life. I will never forget her, and the happy memories she and I shared. 

Just before George passed, I met my future husband, Joe. Joe and I decided to move out of the house we were in and buy a farm in Harvard, IL. We both wanted to start a farm bird sanctuary and permaculture farm. We finally opened Georgia's Place in 2019, naming it after my sweet Georgia.  

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

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Rehana Mohammed-Smith

PRESIDENT + CO-FOUNDER

Rehana started Georgia's Place in 2019 with her husband Joe after moving to their dream home in Harvard. George Pea, in the photo to the left, (aka Georgia) is the reason behind her love for chickens, and Georgia's legacy is the sanctuary. Rehana teaches high school environmental science and biology in Wisconsin, and persistently advocates for the compassionate treatment of chickens and other farmed birds, as well as promoting a vegan lifestyle. Besides cuddling chickens, she enjoys spending time with Joe and their two dogs, Jack and Finn.

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Joe Smith

VICE-PRESIDENT + CO-FOUNDER

Joe grew up in Ohio and is a CDL truck driver and music enthusiast. After meeting Rehana, they moved together into their dream home in Harvard. Joe has been an animal lover ever since he was young. It wasn't hard for him to fall in love with chickens and quail, and his instant attraction to them helped spearhead their dream of a sanctuary together. Joe enjoys spending time with Rehana and their dogs, going to music festivals and working on the farm. Joe is a nut. He will get you laughing after only spending a few minutes with him! 

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Heather

»  SECRETARY

Heather has always had a special connection with animals, but in 2015, she made the ultimate connection to become vegan. She has since been advocating for animal liberation through community outreach and educational campaigns, volunteering at farm animal sanctuaries, hosting fundraisers, and tabling at events. Heather enjoys mentoring new vegans and helping to build a strong community of animal rights activists. She loves exploring nature, spending time connecting with others, and of course, feathered people. 

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Nancy

»  TREASURER

Nancy's compassionate living began in 1973 when she read Animal Liberation by Peter Singer. Joining the Georgia's Place board is the latest manifestation of that lifestyle. When the original Farm Sanctuary was founded in 1986, Nancy was an animal care volunteer there. She is very active in her community, serving on a variety of boards. She is employed at a free clinic as the Dispensary Coordinator. 

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Sara

»  BOARD MEMBER

Sara and her son Alex have volunteered at Georgia's Place since the summer of 2000. Sara has been a vegan for 25 years, and is dedicated to the birds here. Her compassion for animals shows through in all she does, including her involvement in animal rights protests, dedication to veganism and interest in the best care for all living creatures.

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Anni

»  BOARD MEMBER

Vegan since 2012 and volunteering for sanctuaries since 2013—advocating for farmed animals is near and dear to Anni. She's also an intersectional activist, recognizing all forms of injustice and how closely they intertwine with one another. In the spaces between work and activism, you can find Anni walking her two rescued pit bulls, reading a book, cooking something delicious, or planning in embarrassingly great detail her dream cabin in the woods.