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Luvin Arms treats every animal with dignity

Visitors have the opportunity to hear the stories of each animal resident at the sanctuary

When you visit Luvin Arms Animal Sanctuary in Erie, Colorado, you are not visiting an old-fashioned petting zoo. You are visiting a place of refuge and a safe haven for farmed animals.

“As a farmed animal sanctuary, outside of just rescuing farmed animals, we are here to educate the community through telling our residents’ stories. The hope is by coming here, connecting with farmed animals and hearing their stories, we provide an opportunity for  visitors to gain information and start making more compassionate and sustainable lifestyle choices,” says Kelly Nix, Managing Director at Luvin Arms.

Luvin Arms was founded in August 2015 by Shaleen and Shilpi Shah, and their two sons, Aarav & Avi, who are all Jain Indians. Jainism is an Indian religion that is dedicated to non-violence, as well as often being associated with vegetarianism.

“We’re here to provide an opportunity for any member of the community to connect with a farmed animal. We want you to see that these living sentient beings are no different from your common domesticated dog, cat, hamster,” says Kelly.

This also means that the staff at Luvin Arms are respectful of their animal residents’ feelings, refraining from introducing them to visitors if they seem uninterested or distant at the time. However, most of the residents are so socialized that they are happy to welcome visitors into their homes.

The sanctuary has created opportunities like “cow cuddles” and pig belly-rubbing sessions, which can be calming and therapeutic for both the animal and the person. While Luvin Arms is a sanctuary for farmed animals, it can also be a place of peace and safety for its human visitors.

“Visitors get to go in, hear their story, and hear about cool qualities about animals; like how cows are sociable and form really strong bonds. They get to cuddle and hug them. We’ve seen the really positive impact of allowing visitors to interact with our residents,” says Kelly.


Luvin Arms is currently home to over 140 cows, pigs, donkeys, turkeys, chickens, sheep, goats, and more. Each animal’s rescue story is unique, but many come from animal agriculture. Some arrive from factory farms, and some are from family-owned operations that shut down and abandoned their animals. The sanctuary receives many calls from concerned neighbors about suspected animal neglect, which staff and volunteers assist with by providing resources and information. Sometimes law enforcement will seize animals from an abusive or neglectful situation and will reach out to Luvin Arms.

The sanctuary is dedicated to providing high-quality care to its residents, which is why it often can’t accept general re-homing requests. They will instead provide callers with other options, to avoid overcrowding at the sanctuary. “Our biggest reason is that if we take a re-homing, that takes away a spot from an individual who’s coming from a factory farm,” says Kelly.

Luvin Arms has several elderly animals, including an eight-year-old pig named Felix. Most farmed animals do not get to live out their natural lifespans, so the sanctuary considers it a privilege to care for these residents as they age.

Pigs, with their intelligence and gentleness, are a big draw at Luvin Arms. Earlier this year, a Girl Scout troop visited the sanctuary and formed a deep bond with the pig residents they met there. Over the next five months, the group planned an art project to celebrate Luvin Arms, partnering with a professional artist to create a Charlotte’s Web-inspired mural for the sanctuary.

Luvin Arms is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Their organization relies on financial gifts from generous donors, as well as applying for grants and partnership opportunities. This holiday season, they are seeking donations to help keep their residents warm and fed through winter.

“We hope people will consider Luvin Arms as an opportunity to give for their 2023 year, or even become a life-long sponsor of one of our beautiful residents.”