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Women’s Barnyard Full of Disabled Animals

June 9, 1987

OJAI, Calif. (AP) _ Lynn Grizzard and Devon Finnegan rise at 5 a.m. to care for barnyard animals that wouldn’t make it on Old MacDonald’s farm.

Their charges include Mime, a lame guinea hen; Dancer the duck, crippled with arthritis; a goose minus a wing; and Baby, a Moluccan cockatoo suffering from a disease that causes her feathers to fall off.

The two proprietors of Grinegan Farm for the Differently-Abled Animals have spent up to $1,000 on veterinary bills for a single animal, and sometimes survive on vegetables and rice themselves.

″We may not have a lot of money to go to the grocery store, but the animals always eat,″ said Grizzard. ″They eat us out of house and home, but there are compensations. I have never known an animal to be quite as entertaining as a duck.″

Grizzard, 32, began taking disabled animals home with her when she worked as a veterinarian’s assistant. She now works at an exotic bird farm in Ojai. Finnegan is a special-education teacher.

Since the two women began acquiring disabled animals three years ago, their barnyard has grown to include two goats, three dogs, three cats, five rabbits, six chickens, one guinea hen, 11 ducks, two cockateels, a cockatoo, a Canadian goose, an Egyptian goose, an Amazon parrot and a blackbird dragged in by the cats.

Many of the animals came from farmers who take their unwanted animals to a Santa Paula feed store to be adopted. ″Who’s going to pay to take a sick duck to a the vet?″ Grizzard wondered recently. ″People don’t take ducks to the vet.″

They hope to save money to build a more complete home for their disabled pets. ″This is the end of the line for a lot of these guys,″ Grizzard said. ″Our purpose is to give them a place to be.″

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