Susie Coston joined the Farm Sanctuary staff in 2000, after spending six years working with a veterinarian and at a sanctuary in West Virginia. With more than two decades of experience working with farm animals, she is a leading authority on both their care and behavior, and she calls on both her expertise and her deep connections with these animals (often referred to as “the farm animal whisperer”) to advocate for compassion for farm animals everywhere.
As Farm Sanctuary’s National Shelter Director, Susie oversees a team of caregivers who provide individualized care to hundreds of rescued farm animals across the organization’s sanctuary locations. They work closely with veterinarians who help Farm Sanctuary create and provide cutting-edge care and treatment to farm animals at every stage of their lives, ensuring that they receive the same high-quality veterinary care more commonly reserved for companion animals. While most animals raised for food production live only a small fraction of their natural lifespan and receive little to no individualized care, Susie and her staff work with farm animals from birth through old age and at all levels of health. The resulting advances in the care and treatment of rescued farm animals at Farm Sanctuary, under Susie’s guidance, have led to huge strides in the field of farm animal medicine.
Susie and her staff work tirelessly to heal and nurture both the physical and psychological needs of rescued farm animals, many of whom have experienced severe trauma, to allow them to live the happiest, healthiest lives possible. Additionally, she shares her wealth of knowledge with other farm animal advocates and has been a mentor to many peers who have started their own sanctuaries throughout the U.S. She also leads Farm Sanctuary’s annual Farm Animal Care Conference, which provides valuable resources and hands-on training for people interested in caring for farm animals.
Committed to increasing awareness of farm animals’ sentience and the abuses they routinely face in the animal agriculture industry, Susie can often be found sharing the stories of her rescued farm animal friends both at speaking engagements and on the Animals of Farm Sanctuary project, which she founded in 2016. By helping people get to know farm animals as individuals rather than products, she spreads the word that these beings have rich, vibrant personalities and emotional lives — just like the dogs and cats that most of us know better.
Susie is based at Farm Sanctuary’s flagship Watkins Glen, NY, location. When she is not at one of Farm Sanctuary’s shelters, she shares her home with six cats and two dogs (the latter of whom also accompany her to work!).