SAN TAN VALLEY, AZ (3TV/CBS5) -- At first glance, you'd think it was just another animal farm. But take a closer look. Every one of the "furry friends" at Aimee's Farm Animal Sanctuary in San Tan Valley has special needs.
Aimee Takaha is the owner. "A lot of physically disabled, missing limbs. Some are paralyzed and need wheelchairs," said Takaha. "Some are blind and some are missing eyes."
For the past 10 years, Takaha has been rescuing farm animals with disabilities so they wont be euthanized. She feeds them, provides medical care and gives them a whole lot of love.
Several days a month, she'll invite physically and mentally challenged children and adults over to the farm to interact, and provide much needed therapy. "It helps that they have an animal to relate to, that's just like them," said Takaha. "A lot of autistic children feel empowered, they're calm, and they really come out of their shell."
Valley mom Angela Marshall met Takaha a few months ago, when she brought her daughter by the farm for the first time. Marshall was so impressed by what Takaha was doing, often spending her own money to care for these animals, that she reached out to CBS 5 to Pay it Forward to the kindhearted farm animal caretaker.
"She just devotes so much to the farm, to care financially, emotionally and she's 100% in it," said Marshall.
A CBS 5 news crew stopped by recently to surprise Takaha and give her a $500 gift card. "I nominated you for Pay it Forward," said Marshall. "All these beautiful animals - you're very selfless and there are very few people in the world that are selfless. And every day you get up and care for these animals as individuals."
"As part of Channel 5 and my family and all the animals we're giving you $500, because we love you and you give every single day of your life," said Marshall.
"There are very few people in the world that give like that and she needs to be recognized," Marshall said.
"It's my duty and my passion to give them everything I have," said Takaha.