Here at Kim’s Nurturing Nest Animal Sanctuary we are dedicated to providing a safe landing for any abused, neglected, special needs, or homeless domestic or farm animal in need. We aim to provide the highest level of medical care and love to each animal for the rest of their lives. We are dedicated to increasing knowledge on eating plant-based foods and the health benefits that go along with this lifestyle. We try and set an example of living a compassionate life by not hurting others.
We are a certified 501(c)(3) organization formed and operated for the prevention of cruelty to animals. We also have a Silver Transparency Seal through Guidestar, an organization that provides information on nonprofits and ensures their validity and transparency.
Our Story and Evolution…
Our first rescued animals were chickens from a factory farm here in California. We actually assisted a larger animal sanctuary in the actual rescue and were overwhelmed by the conditions these animals are forced to live in for their entire lives. This is really when the questions started being asked and how this sanctuary started to take form. We don’t believe most people would be ok with this sort of suffering if they saw, and smelled, the horrific conditions that our food system has become. It’s just not right to allow these sweet souls to continue to suffer in such awful environments.
While we started out mainly focusing on rescuing hens, we continue helping other sanctuaries with factory farm chicken rescues and aid in health checks once they are in a safe environment. There is really no medical issue we will not take on to help support these hens to rehabilitate. We have hens with mobility issues, neurologic issues, arthritis, scissor beak, weight control issues (due to breeding) and many hens that have bacterias, lying dormant, that flare up from time to time, that need tending to by veterinary intervention. This is an ongoing, daily, focus for many of our residents.
We provide ALL residents with the love and care they need to recover and excel to be their best selves. We are small due to our zoning but we have a range of domestic and farm animals that we care for daily from pigs, to chickens, to ducks, to dogs and cats. Every animal is evaluated by our medical director, and if needed, is then seen by the appropriate vet for that species.
We help with fostering when other sanctuaries are in need of help, for a few days or a few months. We have helped foster special need goats, chickens and cats. We know how important it is to work with other local animal sanctuaries to aid in quick removal of animals from potentially dangerous environments. We also help aid in evacuations for other animal sanctuaries within a 2 hour radius.
We are a plant based sanctuary and enjoy growing fruits and vegetables on site, to not only provide healthy food for ourselves but also for the animals to consume on a daily basis. We built a greenhouse for starting plants from seeds and share our seedlings with friends to help foster more home gardens.
Our Board of Directors…
Kim Kunst - Founder/President
Kim spent the last 27 years as a Pediatric Critical Care Registered Nurse and was fortunate enough to retire in 2019. She adopted her first 4 chicks in 2010 and this experience lead her to see that she needed to dedicate more of her life to helping those animals in need. While she grew up with horses, several dogs at a given time, multiple hamsters and cats; raising chickens seemed to create a whole new level of awareness for her in terms of caring for animals. When she realized how entertaining, lovable and sweet some chickens are, she couldn’t stand to eat them anymore. She began to question what she had been raised to consume and began to research the impact it had on her body, the animals lives and the world we live in.
She started volunteering at Animal Place Sanctuary in California and was able to participate in rescuing chickens from factory farms in California. With the farmers permission, they would go to the farm at either 1am or 5am, depending on how hot it was, to rescue and transport 2000 hens at a time and bring them back to the sanctuary. It was heartbreaking to leave all the other hens behind knowing their fate. Since she was a nurse by trade and training, taking in the special needs hens, who need more specialized care, seemed like a no brainer for her. She is now a full time caregiver for chickens, ducks, pigs, dogs and cats, while also fostering goats and kittens.
She has always been interested in nutrition and understanding how what we eat affects every aspect of our health. She has attended several nutrition conferences held by Dr Weil's Integrative medicine program and loves gardening and growing food to consume a little more seasonally. She also enjoys playing tennis, hiking and a good glass of Cabernet with her husband Doug.
Russ Neault- CFO
Russ continues to serve as the Executive Director at Albert and Mackenzie, a California law firm. He joined the firm in 2006, and has primary responsibility for the operational management of the firm. In this capacity, he oversees the finance and administrative functions, including operations, marketing, human resources, technology, recruiting and office development. He works alongside the senior partners in connection with all strategic planning efforts.
Russ spent a part of his teens learning how to ride and care for their two horses Bonnie and Johnny. After being thrown off Johnny, which was a 17 hand Quarter horse, he learned how important it was to slow down and connect with him while being in his presence. He also realized that horses and many animals, are at the mercy of their “owners” and not all owners treat them with the care and respect that they deserve. From that point forward he realized that animals do not exist for the pleasure and service of people and they are all in need of love, support and advocacy.
Alma Hachey - Secretary
Alma has alway been an animal lover from an early age and loved being in the presence of animals, big and small. She was born in Bosnia and Herzegovina and came to the United States in 1995. Here she encountered raccoons and possums for the first time and was fascinated by them. Alma loves seeing animals in the wild in their natural habitat. She loves seeing bears in Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, Banff and other parks. She has travelled to Rwanda to see mountain gorillas and other animals in the safari.
Alma has volunteered with Animal Place and has participated in multiple rescues of hens raised in cages for their eggs. She loves spending time with chickens and watching them in their natural environment, such as when they’re dust bathing. She volunteers at Kim’s Nurturing Nest Animal Sanctuary.
Alma currently lives in the East Bay with her husband Marc and 3 kitties.