Deb’s been pretty busy in her life with careers that include swimwear designer, restaurateur, and commercial pilot. After living in San Francisco for 22 years, Deborah gave up the city life, bought a house, and moved to Santa Rosa. The newly acquired acreage enabled her to have space for a few chickens and a couple of goats. One thing led to another – her love of farm animals grew, as did her furry and feathered family. After seeing a video about animal agriculture and feeling shocked and saddened, she became vegan overnight. She devoted herself to the belief that all beings deserve to be happy and live a life free of harm and fear. And then she started rescuing animals. Almost all animals at Goatlandia were destined for slaughter, unwanted, sick, or born with congenital disabilities. Instead, they have been rescued, healed, made to feel safe, and are very loved (and a little spoiled). Today, Goatlandia is home to a family of goats, pigs, sheep, chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, horses, dogs, and two happy (and very busy) humans
Marie loves to raise money for rescued animals! She's also a graphic designer and manages technical matters related to print, online, web, and digital needs. Starting in 2020, she’s been leading Goatlandia’s marketing and fundraising efforts. She is also a dedicated advocate for veganism and compassionate living.
In addition to her love and respect for farm animals, Marie has a special place in her heart for senior dogs, sloths, cats, bunnies, and guinea pigs, which is evident in the roster of organizations she has proudly served in the last 12 years.
Since moving to California in 2017, Brenda has been involved with numerous farmed animal sanctuaries in Northern California and has found a special affinity for working with sheep. She has an admirable passion for animal assisted therapy and holds two Master's degrees in Clinical Psychology and Anthrozoology. Her background in sanctuary work and academic experience has also allowed her to fully embrace her vision for her own microsanctuary, Sheepy Hollow Sanctuary.
Brenda is also an avid lover of Halloween and the horror film genre. She is thrilled to bring her energy, passion, and dedication to farmed animal welfare to the Goatlandia team!
Ivan is from Oaxaca Mexico, and has been here in Sonoma County for 22 years. He has spent 13 years working in Permaculture and Landscape Installation in Sonoma County. Ivan is in charge of all of Goatlandia’s Construction, Landscape Installation and Management, and Facilities. Ivan enjoys working at Goatlandia because he loves being on the land, building things, and helping things grow. Marcus is Ivan’s favorite goat. When he was a young boy, Ivan’s mom sold his favorite goat and he was so sad, so he really enjoys being around goats now that are happy, loved and safe.
Leo Canseco is from Oaxaca Mexico and has been in Sonoma County for 2 years. He was a School Teacher in Oaxaca for 25 years and has three daughters and two sons back in Oaxaca; two of which are in college. Leo loves working at Goatlandia because the work is diverse; every day is different and the property is beautiful and peaceful. Also, he really likes that the style of animal interaction here is kind (unlike the farms he worked on in Mexico) and he really appreciates that. Leo has learned to care of animals with compassion, which he loves. He is the primary caregiver for our horses, and is seen here with Lucas.
Uta first visited Goatlandia in November 2016, on a quest to visit animal sanctuaries in the Bay Area after she went vegan in October 2016. She has been involved and in love with Goatlandia and its animals ever since! She is Chair of the Board, and has been a part of numerous outreach events for the sanctuary. Uta works in development at a mathematical institute and enjoys telling her coworkers about the joys of goat selfies. She is inspired daily by studying herbalism, being in nature, walking her dog, and by the founder of Goatlandia, Deborah Blum.
Joseph was born and raised in San Francisco and owns and operates a boutique dog hotel in the mission with his partner. He hopes to give back to his community through public outreach, advocacy, and a meat-free lifestyle. Goatlandia aligns with his views of how we should be challenging the status quo of animals, and promoting and protecting them.
Sylvie found her passion for rescuing animals two decades ago after working in the fragrance industry, being a caterer, and raising 3 children. She was born in France but has lived in the USA for more than 30 years and moved to Northern California in 2018.
Her advocacy started with cats and dogs in New York suburbs, then when she moved to California she discovered Goatlandia. Currently Sylvie actively runs her business, Atelier Sylvie Fremont, a small gold and silver handmade jewelry studio. She's also an ordained minister and enjoys performing weddings and animal blessings.
Since 2001, Sylvie is also a Reiki master and teacher. Through her practice, she promotes shelter animals, healing and compassion through Kindness Reiki, her teaching platform for animals and their humans.
During her first visit to Goatlandia, Debra fell in love with two of their resident goats, Marla and Dot, who have since joined her mini herd of mini goats. Debra's professional background is in nonprofit management. She worked for several years in the field of African wildlife conservation and her current position is at a conservation science organization. She is a huge fan of Goatlandia and is thrilled to support their mission as a board member!
Laurie, having grown up as the proverbial black sheep in her family, has always championed the underdog — sadly, somewhat silently for a good part of her existence. Recently, happily, advocating for those without a voice has begun to manifest itself in her actions with fewer apologies. Five years ago, she ditched dairy to become fully vegan. Preparing meals for her family daily during the confinement has become a joy, a meditation and a religion. Prior to this most recent revelation, Laurie grew up in Connecticut, went to college in North Carolina, married shortly thereafter to her husband of 37 years and has three children. And lots of animals. She has worked in advertising, art sales, film production and music education. Settling in to animal welfare is where she is meant to be and she is honored and grateful to have met and be welcomed into the Goatlandia community. With her husband she supports and has boots on the ground within a few other environmental and animal welfare organizations including World Wildlife Fund, E.O. Wilson’s Half Earth Project and Muttville.