A Somers animal rescue group is seeking a new location in the wake of Foxconn, which is set to build its massive operations adjacent to the shelter’s current home.
Beca Thompson, 30, is the founder, president and executive director of Tiny Hooves Rescue, a 12-acre animal rescue facility on Highway EA (72nd Avenue), just south of Highway KR.
The coming Foxconn Technology Group manufacturing campus is set to be built between Interstate 94 and Highway H and between Highway KR and Braun Road, less than one mile from Thompson’s rescue center.
This has created an uncertain future for the rescue, causing Thompson to considering the moving her entire operation.
Thompson is passionate about animals. The 31-year-old vegan started the rescue in 2014 because she wanted to help neglected, abused and abandoned animals and provide them with a loving home.
The rescue is currently home to 110 animals including chickens, a turkey, ducks, geese, a pigeon, rabbits, donkeys, sheep, miniature horses, a cow, goats and a potbelly pig.
Thompson, assisted by a handful of volunteers, cares for each of the animals and provides round-the-clock care.
The first year, Thompson funded the rescue herself. But since 2016, she has received assistance from private donors for about 60 percent of her costs. She pays the remaining 40 percent out of her own pocket.
Even though Foxconn has not yet arrived to the area, its impact is already being felt at Tiny Hooves Rescue. When Foxconn acquired a nearby property, Thompson took in the 10 pigs, six chickens, two ducks and a goat that were displaced.
She currently rents the land her rescue sits on, and developers have begun obtaining properties near the manufacturer’s future home, often offering large amounts of money for the properties.
And although Thompson’s landlord has not yet received an offer, even if the property is not sold, Thompson does not believe the busy business district that promises to spring up around Foxconn is an appropriate place for her animals.
“I am happy for Racine and Racine County to enrich their business and increase job availability,” she said. “I just feel it is a shame to put so many farms and homeowners out, and so quickly. Maybe if it was a gradual business district increase, then we would all have time, but construction starts in spring, and we all have to make plans now.”
Thompson is searching for a permanent home for her animal rescue. Although she would like to stay in the area, her greatest concern is maintaining the rescue.
Thompson said just moving the animals will take between a few weeks to months, depending on how far they have to travel.
She is currently seeking a farm: either a long-term or life-long rental, a rent-to-own contract, or a donated property.
It must be 8 acres or more with a barn or outbuildings, pasture space that is preferably fenced, zoned for agriculture-residential and in a fairly secluded area.
“Sadly, I never thought where we are currently located would be a huge business district,” Thompson said. “But the time has come, and we need to find a safe home for Tiny Hooves and all of our retired residents.”