On July 9, over 400 people gathered at Luvin Arms Sanctuary in Erie for the first Luvin Arms Compassion Carnival. I went, because I love the Sanctuary and an old fashioned carnival sounded great. It was. Folks ate yummy vegan food, played on rides, listened to music, and visited the barns to pet the animals. Favorite among the variety of creatures was Tito. He was born to a dairy farm, and being a male he was discarded on a trash pile. He came to the Sanctuary at 10 weeks old and was raised entirely by the kind hands of human caretakers.Now he is a really, really big cow with soulful eyes that look lovingly at anyone in his vicinity. He is a handsome guy. Tito loves attention and was laying down so the little ones could touch him all through the carnival..
I was anxious to see Devi and Mimi, a mommy cow and her baby. They came to Luvin Arms during the holiday season – a mother and child looking for a manger. They had physical problems when they arrived, but were looking happy and healthy on Carnival Day.
I visited Frankie and Arnie, two piglets who literally walked down the driveway by themselves to become part of the Luvin Arms family. There is something about the Sanctuary that is indescribable. You can feel the kindness. You can breathe in compassion. It has been described as a little piece of paradise. I’m sure Frankie and Arnie were drawn there by some intangible force that told them “here is safety”.
Shartrina White, the CEO, told me they are planning another Carnival next year, while she was showing me around about a week later. I was privileged to get a private tour, which was videotaped by John Burdon, a cinematographer and volunteer there. Learning the stories of the residents is fascinating. Each one has taken a unique path to the Sanctuary.