Marty & Cherry Scott are the life and energy behind the mission of Black Sheep Crossing. When they purchased the farm, using the facility as an animal sanctuary hadn't yet crossed their minds. Since the barns were collapsing, a barn restorer was called in; when the barns were done, their first thought was that it would be a shame not to have a few animals in the barns. How to fill them became apparent when they began receiving calls from area animal control officers and veterinarians regarding the re-homing of abandoned and/or abused farm animals.
And the rest is history.
People often ask how the name for BSC came to be. Some assume that it was named after a particular animal. But that couldn't be furthest from the truth, because the Sanctuary was named after Marty, who himself had been labeled the black sheep of his family - his birth unplanned, unwanted; there was abuse and neglect. But he found a kindred spirit in Cherry, and together they share their passion for caring for animals of all sizes and species.
...who better then, to look into the eyes of an animal, into the depths of its soul, and to understand its innermost need? The mission of BSC cannot be defined by a slogan; this mission is a living, breathing expression of love and compassion in action.
"It is an ongoing learning experience - not only in terms of the maintenance and care of the variety of animals, but the miracles of what they give back to us as well. We have learned patience, experienced joy and sorrow, love, laughter, and heartbreak. Most of all we have learned a great deal about ourselves as humans." - Marty & Cherry Scott
Spreading out over 100 acres on a quiet country road, there are six fenced pastures for the larger animals, while the pigs, dogs, and cats roam a four-acre fenced-in yard. The barns, aviary, and shelters have been modified to accommodate the diverse needs
of all the animals.
The Scotts care for 73 animals, including five Standard donkeys, two Miniature donkeys, a Quarter horse, a Welsh pony and her daughter (a mule), three pot-bellied pigs, one guinea fowl, five chickens, four peacocks, twenty-two barn cats, five goats, a Jersey cow, a sheep, five dogs, eight house cats, two Scottish Highland steers, an African Grey parrot, a Sun Conure, finches, and a cockatiel.
Over the years, Marty and Cherry have worked together, even owned businesses together, but they had always had separate hobbies. When they purchased the farm, they discovered that they both had a passion for animals. Cherry said, "It is just amazing how they've changed our lives and hopefully we've changed theirs."
All the animals at the farm seem happy and they all seem to get along fine. When a new animal is introduced, Cherry explains to the 'residents' how they were once the 'new kid on the block' and that they need to welcome the newcomer - and Cherry thinks it really does seem to work!
When a new animal needs a name, they are often named after friends and people who live in the village of Northport. There is even a 'waiting list' of those wanting an animal named after them.
At this time the Sanctuary is at full capacity and is not accepting any new animals.
Through Vets, animal control, farrier, and word of mouth, the menagerie at BSC has grown from three to as many as 165 critters. Some were the 'black sheep' of their family, but all that changes when they come to live out their lives with love and dignity at BSC.