Volunteer Spotlight: Debbie Noble & Sandy Smith

Nov 26, 2018

Sandy and Debbie are our Friday “open” super duo. Debbie says “We like to wear our SALI t-shirts and look like the A Team!”.

The two met on the tennis court at their complex. Sandy fell in love with the sport several years ago. Along with all her other sports activities Netflix and chocolate rank high on her enjoyment scale! Deb is kept busy with family, her dogs and a business she owns with her husband.

After her beloved dog passed away Sandy was left with a hole in her heart. She wanted to volunteer with animals and she knew an animal shelter wouldn’t work as she would want to bring all the dogs home. She asked Deb whether she would like to volunteer with her. When she agreed they did a search and found SALI.

After the farm tour and orientation it was clear to them both that it was the place they wanted to be. Sandy had no idea how much she was going to love working at SALI. Another plus was that you can’t bring a goat home. So no worries!

They both have some very special memories of their time at the farm.


Deb loves to see the animals happy and content even the “lovely goaties” who sometimes aren’t so lovely! Every week there seems to be something new and this keeps them on their toes. Lately for her it has been a bit therapeutic as she can forget about what is going on in the outside world and just be present with the animals.


For Sandy it was finally getting up the confidence to “…hang with Barney and Clyde. Deb and I would treat them to a Spa Day, starting with a massage and if they tolerated us, a quick brush”. They call B and C “Our Boys”.The day that she met Gracie and Peanut Sandy was in tears as she was so happy that they had found a safe haven. Finding out that Gracie was pregnant and then being there for the birth of Clover was incredible.


Let’s not forget Badger, Chase and Secret.

“Call me crazy” she says, “but I love mucking the horse barn. Being surrounded by such majestic and beautiful creatures is very Zen for me.”


As they drive to the farm each Friday they catch up on things and plan what they might do that day. It started as a fun way to spend time with each other. It has turned into so much more. They have shared a lot of laughs and had a few good scares along the way.

The animals have become “…our Fur and Feathered Kids. Although we do have loads of fun, we do take the care and well being of each one to heart. Doesn’t matter how long it takes us to get things done, we won’t leave until we both feel we have completed the tasks.”


So Sandy’s husband John is very allergic to animals and hay. Sandy loves the farm so much that John came up with what seems to be a solution that isn’t very technical but works. He bought bins that go in the trunk of the car and floor mats that can be removed when she gets home. As she says she basically wears a Hazmat Suit! She has to change clothes and shoes before getting in the car and all of that goes into the bins in the trunk.

Oh and Deb has to comply too!

All in all they both agree that there Friday mornings at SALI are even more special because they share it with each other.

Written by,

Terry Pratt
SALI Membership Coordinator