Betsy & Jared Saul create peace for animals at home and in the world through their pet savvy website: petfinder.com
Together, they have created an online database of pets that connects pet lovers to animals in desperate need of homes in the United States, Canada and Mexico, and provides a way to search for shelters and adoptions organizations, Animal Fair spoke with Jared and Betsy about designing their 250 year old farm in New Jersey with their pets in mind.
AF: Tell me about all of your animals, were any adopted from Petfinder.com?
BS: Well, we have three dogs, four horses, two guinea hens, one sheep, a feral cat and one cat we are fostering. One of the dogs, Kobe, was on Petfinder and when I saw his face I just felt like we knew each other. So I called the shelter. His story was that he actually was going to be euthanized that night in New York City. A worker was there and it was almost closing time and she said she would bring the dog to me to save him. I met Kobe and I made the promise he never be lonely again.
AF: That’s a lot of animals! Do any of your pets do anything unique or entertaining?
JS: Sophie is a cattle herding dog that we found in Tucson, Arizona. She has the natural instinct to herd the farm animals so she nips at their heels and fusses with them and ends up sending them running in all directions. Jim, our hound dog, loves car rides. When we go outside, he stands by the car and we have to drive him around the block to satisfy him.
AF: How have you designed your home to be pet-friendly?
JS: Our home is older, we have hard floors. We put rugs around and dog beds in every room so there is always a soft spot. Water bowls are in strategic places so they never have to go too far. Their things blend in with our things. It wasn’t a conscious process, it happened over time.
BS: For most people, it’s not so much about having a designer come in and design a room around animals. When you get a house you start buying things for your pets and slowly your pets take over your rooms! In our bedroom, instead of dog beds, we have a hassock at the foot of the bed for Kobe to sleep on that is lower than our bed. We also have an amazing screened in porch. One of the first things I did was buy a daybed. On pretty spring and summer nights, I love to sleep on the day bed and pull out the trundle bed from underneath. All the dogs line up and lay on the bottom and one on the bed with me. Dogs love to be on the porch, they can see everywhere on the farm but can still be inside.
AF: What about all the farm animals? Where do they stay?
JS: We have a big barn for the horses and the other animals are in there. The sheep and goats have a field of their own. All the necessities are out there.
BS: Goats are surprising. They make such awesome pets. The Guinea hens, goats, dogs and I all go for walks. Goats are not predators, which we are so used to being around. I would encourage anyone that ahs land to get one. They make great land-mowers!
– Stacey Brechet