We are a group of passionate volunteers from all over Italy and other parts of the world. What unites us is the desire to fight for a better world and our sincere love for all living creatures. We all have different skills and knowledge that we bring to Ippoasi.
Read on if you want to know more!
In 2012 I was vegan for 20 years, but not yet an activist and so I decided to start volunteering with Ippoasi. The past few years at the sanctuary have allowed me to gain a great deal of knowledge and confidence with all the animals who live there: here I feel just like one of them and it makes me feel good. Now I am a tattoo artist but I always manage to find some time to help out at the sanctuary. I specialise in catching goats and sheep when it’s time for a medical check or the summer shearing, and administering medicines. In short: I am their personal confidant!
Claudia & MicolI got to know about Ippoasi in 2015, at a festival, and it was love at first sight. I love taking pictures of the inhabitants enjoying the solitude, but I also like taking snapshots at the events. On these wonderful occasions I try to help out as much as I can, lending a hand wherever I can. Micol loves staying in the chicken coop spending hours and hours with the more friendly and less shy. She is obviously also an indispensable at the events at the sanctuary!
I came to Ippoasi for the first time in 2015. I immediately fell in love and never left again. I moved from Florence in order to dedicate my life to this place. Together with Giova I am responsible for the maintenance work at the sanctuary: I love improving the life of the inhabitants! Another passion of mine is cooking and so I am also in charge of the menu for our benefit events.
In Germany I worked as a mechanical engineer. Then I decided to give up everything and go to Italy. For many years I worked in a circus without animals, a circus that doesn’t generate suffering and cruelty, but that produces only art: what’s better than that? In 1991 I met Franca and since 1999 we’ve been living together. 2003 we realised our dream of buying our own land. Il Rifugio della Bubi was born many years later and today is the fulcrum of our lives, to which we devote all of our energy. Very often it is incredibly tiring, exhausting and difficult but Franca and I love each and everyone of the animals that we host with all our heart. We we would like to be able to do even more for all the others who are still imprisoned and suffering.
FrankySince I was a little girl I felt like an animal among other animals. My dream has always been to have a very large piece of land where all the abandoned, lonely, suffering animals I found could live. For ten long years I worked with horses. In 2013 I visited Ippoasi and since 2006 I have been hosting some free animals: a horse, pigs, cats and dogs. With Ippoasi it was love at first sight and in 2014 the idea was born to join forces in this adventure and to make our house available to expand the capacity of the project and to contribute even more deeply to its mission. Thus was born Il Refuge della Bubi, which I manage together with Claus, my companion of this wonderful journey. I love to go back home and find all the animals and I also love when the volunteers from Ippoasi come to give us a hand: my food never leaves anyone disappointed!
The day I arrived at Ippoasi, I met the cow Luna. Together with other volunteers we had to put her back on her feet which was not easy to say the least. I couldn’t leave this place anymore and so, I decided to contribute to the sanctuary in any way possible. I am one of the responsible volunteers for the daily management of the sanctuary and together with Claudio I also take care of the maintenance work as well as our various means of transportation.
At Ippoasi I took some of the most important decisions of my life, starting at the choice to become vegan, finishing with moving from Liguria to devote myself to this project. I remember how the first time I had planned to stay a week but eventually stayed for a whole month. At Ippoasi I take care of the daily management of the sanctuary. I am responsible for the volunteers as well as our social commitment projects to which I can make an important contribution thanks to my studies in psychology.
La CH dalla CH
After a few times of volunteering at Ippoasi I decided to pack my bags, grab my two cats and move from Zurich (CH) to San Piero a Grado because for now this is where I belong. As a Crossfitter I enjoy/need the physical aspect of volunteering, but deep down there is a little nerd in me who loves playing around for hours with WordPress, Excel and Co. Together with Susi I also manage all our social media channels.
I came to Ippoasi in the summer of 2016, due to my desire to spend time at an animal sanctuary which would support and strengthen my vegan culture. As often as I can and whenever I feel the need, I go back to this place of awareness, to reinforce my anti-speciesist choice, to provide my help and contribute to this wonderful environment of human and non-human animals.
I arrived at Ippoasi in 2015 from Belgium, in September, after a few months of traveling around Europe. On my birthday the cow Lilith arrived. She was one of the survivors of a horrible farm in the north of Italy: it was an unforgettable experience. After a few months we saved the lamb Ettore, who I nursed for the first months of his life without a mother. I went back and forth between Ippoasi and home for about a year. Now I’m trying to come back as often as I can to see my Italian family. I take care of the daily management of the inhabitants (I have a soft spot for the inhabitants of the chicken house), the kitchen (even the volunteers and the volunteers eat a lot!), guided tours and the English website.
It all started with the project IoStoConBruno (I Stand With Bruno). Thanks to that I learned about Ippoasi and met its whole (animal) family. Needless to say, I immediately fell in love with the incredible atmosphere at the sanctuary. I informed myself about how I could make myself more useful. Ever since there have been many great adventures with lots of emotions, not always positive … but I certainly never had to face them alone.
My first day of volunteering at Ippoasi, 24 July 2017, changed my life. I am a retired 63-year-old from Livorno and thanks to this place and its inhabitants – human and non-human – I rediscovered myself and found strengths I never knew I had, especially physical ones. Ippoasi allows you to rejuvenate in every sense. You should try it for yourself!
At the sanctuary I take care of the daily tasks and I can express my boundless love for all creatures, including plants, looking after the garden, the flowers, the herbs. I am also officially responsible for food supplies for the volunteers: breakfast is never missing with me!
I’ve been coming to Ippoasi for about two years now and I consider myself very fortunate to have discovered this particular, evocative and energetic corner of the world. Time stops at the sanctuary, peace reigns, and the free animals transmit so much serenity. At Ippoasi you can feel a strong, positive energy, everyone is spontaneous and is welcoming like in a big family! I learned a lot in these two years, above all that there are still generous people who pursue their ideals even if with sacrifice and who are there for you if you need them!
I came to Ippoasi in 2015 from Veneto: I fell in love immediately and decided to leave everything behind and move to Pisa together with my furry friend Ombra. Ever since my life has not stopped evolving and I’ve never regretted my decision. I love the sweat, the dust and the mud that surround you after a day at the sanctuary, but also the atmosphere of sharing and collaboration that you breathe at the events. Thanks to my work experience I rock at selling our shirts and other accessories!
I arrived at Ippoasi in 2014 and I was overwhelmed by the energy this place emanates. I decided to move from Liguria to dedicate my life to this project. I know the inhabitants of the sanctuary very well and I love spending time in their company. Over the years I have gained a great deal of experience which allows me to help in various areas of management. At Ippoasi I also have the opportunity to pursue my passion for writing and interpersonal relationships. I lead our guided tours, organise external events and together with Jackie I manage our social media channels. I also get to write for the blog Vegan è… for the online newspaper Qui News.