A Bigger Family w/ Susie Coston

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Susie Coston

About The Episode

Susie grew up with dogs ever since she was young, raised in West Virginia.

She got a Masters Degree in Special Education and in her summers off from teaching, she would do animal work – from working at a vet to with a pig sanctuary.

It was actually at that pig sanctuary that she realizes this is what she wanted to do. She started to work there even more and one day, the founders of Farm Sanctuary, the biggest farm animal rescue organization, came there to speak at an event. And now she’s worked there ever seen and now serves as National Shelter Director.

At one point, Susie also had a three-legged dog named Pablo, who she had for almost two decades and describes as her dog soulmate.

Dogs and animals were not just strictly a matter of added joy to her life. She was struggling with substance abuse and needed to find her purpose and way to change. Working with them made her a different, better person and helped change her life around. “It turned me into a person I wasn’t,” she says.

Now she has two dogs, Luke and Orville. “We’re a pack,” she says. Luke is a Rat Terrier mix and Orville is a Pure Golden. The two dogs ended up bonding together pretty much right away and are now inseparable. The dogs also go with Susie to work (the benefits of working at an animal sanctuary).

Susie realizes her relationship with each dog is different. “I can never imagine my life without one of them.”

About The Guest

Susie Coston is the National Shelter Director at Farm Sanctuary, the nation’s largest and most effective farm animal rescue and protection organization. They have rescued thousands of animals and cared for them at their sanctuaries in New York and California. With more than two decades of experience working with farm animals, Susie 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. She also has two dogs of her own who are a big part of her life in Watkins Glen, New York.

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