The Sanctuary of Ippoasi
Ippoasi is an animal sanctuary in the heart of Parco di San Rossore in Pisa, Italy. It is home to what the industry likes to call “livestock”: cows, donkeys, horses, pigs, goats, chickens, ducks, rabbits and wild boars. They have all been freed from suffering and now they get to live in this magical place that is Ippoasi: almost four hectares where they can roam freely, be themselves, live in dignity, enjoy the company of others, and where they will never be exploited again.
Our approach at Ippoasi is “back to nature”: we try to respect the species-specific needs of each individual and to learn as much from nature as possible. The sanctuary has limited capacity but in addition to the permanent residents we offer temporary or retirement spaces for horses.
Ippoasi takes in individuals who often suffer from serious physical and psychological traumas. The sanctuary offers them the opportunity to rehabilitate – and with great success. Our secret? Kindness, love, respect, and constant support from our volunteers. The most important role, however, is played by the other animals with whom they can begin to build meaningful relationships. Herd animals are able to satisfy their fundamental social need and to find their way back to a more natural state of being, guided by instinct. At times their rehabilitation seems miraculous considering the fact that most of them, for all their life, have been kept in a tiny box, tied up in chains in complete solitude, or imprisoned in cold cages.
At Ippoasi every animal has a name: none of them will ever be considered as a mere object again. They are loved and respected for the irreplaceable individuals that they are.