Amitola Care Farm is a peaceful, green oasis in Mooresville, inhabited by a menagerie of loving animals.
“We offer a safe place for women and youth who’ve experienced trauma, primarily abuse, to come here and spend time with the animals, healing,” said Amitola’s founder, Katie Wyatt as she sat beside a paddock filled with curious llamas. “It’s a safe place for them to connect and remember their gifts.”
Wyatt is a skilled therapist and understands how powerful animals can be in the healing process following trauma. At Amitola, clients are surrounded by animals that play an important therapeutic role. Wyatt finds her clients are better able to process grief and trauma in the company of the amiable Amitola creatures.
“I think it’s the unconditional love,” Wyatt said thoughtfully. “They teach us to be mindful in spending time with them. It just brings us back to that presence and stillness,” Wyatt said. “And, they’re just entertaining as well.
Christine Rheinheimer is dealing with the devastating loss of her son to a Fentanyl overdose. She says the animals at Amitola provide an immeasurable amount of comfort.
“It’s the feeling of just being around them,” she said as she sat a few yards from a pen filled with donkeys. “I can feel them and touch them, just see that they have good vibes. It’s like an energy is healing you.
Among the animals at Amitola is a retired police horse from the Indianapolis Police Department. Likely gunmetal grey in his prime, Cody is now completely white. He is beloved by clients and visitors alike at Amitola. When I interviewed Kim Gray, she was in constant physical contact with the big steed. The outsized horse exudes comfort.
“Just being able to be around the animals has brought a lightness and a joy to my life that I didn’t really have before,” Gray said as she ran her hands across Cody’s withers.
For her part, Wyatt has established Amitola Care Farm as a 501-C-3 charity able to collect donations. She wants to expand her facilities to provide housing for young women aging out of the foster care system who were never adopted, giving them a place to transition into independence. She is hopeful she’ll be able to attract corporate sponsors to Amitola as well as individual donors who support their worthwhile mission.
If you would like to help Amitola Care Farm, click here to go to the charity’s website and tap the “donate” button in the page’s upper right-hand corner.