About Us


Cotton Branch Farm is a sanctuary for abused,  neglected, or abandoned animals that do not fall into the categories: cat or dog, or wildlife.  Both of those groups of animals have existing organizations to help them. The group of animals we help are: horses, cows, pigs, goats, llamas, emus, chickens and ducks and geese.  The purpose of the sanctuary is to rescue such animals, provide them with safe housing and medical care and then adopt them out to suitable homes if possible.  We educate the public on ways to keep their animals in a safe, comfortable and healthy state.

Jan Alber-Senn -Founder & Director


"I remember knowing the names of all the birds at the feeder when I was 8. And I sure remember getting in trouble for cutting additional circles out of my Dad's swiss cheese to feed a field mouse that I'd seen in the garage! So for me it started early....the desire to help animals in trouble.

In 1989, when my son no longer needed me full time, 4 others and I started a wildlife rehabilitation group. This was in my home for several years; we gave up one room after another when each year more babies came in. The Carolina Wildlife Care Center was built in 1995, and I worked as its Director for 16 years. When I found a replacement for myself, a friend and I moved out to the country to start Cotton Branch Farm - I thought it would be like retiring! Well, so far that hasn't worked out! My goal is to rescue every animal in the world who has never experienced healthy food, fresh water, a friend in kind, or the love and respect of a human being. Every one....that's my goal."

 Jason Ellisor - Director of Volunteer Engagement


"I organize activities at Cotton Branch Farm Animal Sanctuary. I am a member of several veg groups on meetup.com and have been vegan for nearly 11 years. I fairly recently found Cotton Branch Sanctuary and fell in love at first visit! I volunteer almost every weekend and supervise the volunteer days held every 2nd Saturday of each month. I feel that helping out at CB is a way to give back to the animals and become more active in my veganism. I look forward to networking with fellow vegetarians, vegans and animal rights activist to join us at Cotton Branch and support a very noble cause and beautiful place."

Josh Costner - Director of Acceptance & Re-homing


"I grew up near Savannah, GA surrounded by many animals--dogs, cats, chickens, goats, horses, ponies, ducks, cows, and bunnies--and I obtained a great respect and love for all of them. I have rescued cats, dogs, bunnies, and birds for years; and finally we adopted our amazing pot belly pig, Oliver, 3 years ago. Shortly thereafter, we rescued our second piggy, Winston! They changed our lives forever! This winter we added Samson to our family; he had been neglected and abused. He has been such a labor of love, but we have seen progress!

I found out about Cotton Branch Farm Animal Sanctuary when Jan, the director of the sanctuary, offered to take in an abandoned pig languishing away in a dog kennel at a near-by animal control shelter. As the parent, at the time, of 2 pot belly pigs, a friend had alerted me of this poor abandoned piggy. I reached out to rescues and animal lovers through social media; Jan saw the cry for help and immediately offered to take this lonely soul in. Louise, the pig in animal control, changed my life and introduced me to Jan and all the wonderful animals of Cotton Branch.

As Director of Adoption and Re-Homing at Cotton Branch, I am thrilled to help with facilitating adoptions, rescues, transports, and re-homing! Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have about volunteering for transport and/or fostering, or if you know of a farm animal in need of rescue!"

Rosemary Thompson - Director of Events


Evan Costner - Director of Development


Stacy Shepanek - Volunteer Coordinator (Charleston, S.C.)


I feel so lucky to have connected with Jan when I first moved to Charleston in 2013.  As soon as I discovered them, I immediately organized a volunteer day, and we have been coming regularly ever since!  I’m thrilled to have such an amazing sanctuary nearby. One of my favorite things is watching people experience the animals for the first time.  They are always touched by them, and are often surprised when they bond with animals they never expected to.  Farm sanctuaries are such important places.  Apart from being a safe haven for the animals, they are a place for animal lovers and activists to recharge. They give us so much, and I’m honored to be able to give back.


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  • What you are doing is amazing. I wish we had a place like yours in Va close to my home. I teased and told my family I may have to move closer to you. I currently have 5 pups, 2 of which were beagles we rescued. I also have been a mommy to a squirrel since August if last year. She was only a few days old and I wasn’t sure she would even survive but she did and is thriving!!! I appreciate all you do and the love you have for these precious animals!!!