Wake County animal savior ‘Farmer Mary’ in danger of losing farm, asks for help

Wake County News

WAKE FOREST, N.C. (WNCN) — A sanctuary for unwanted pets and farm animals is in danger of closing. Winterpast’s owner, Mary Droessler — or, as she’s better known, Farmer Mary — is trying to raise $500,000 to save it. 

“Always wanted animals when I was little,” Droessler said.

From guinea pigs to rabbits, goats to peacocks, chickens to emus — Droessler has taken in a lot of animals over the last 16 years. 

She took CBS 17 along on a tour of her 10-acre property. It’s an elaborate petting zoo.

Droessler even has a pool she turned into a pond. She keeps unwanted turtles and fish in it.

“We have school field trips, preschools come here. I also go to schools,” she said.

She also has volunteers. 

“Just help take care of the animals. Then I’ll go out into the pasture and pet them,” said teen volunteer James Albright .

“I’d hate to see big houses here and a paved driveway,” Droessler added.

Her sister is listed as the property’s owner. According to Droessler, she wants to sell the land and get back the money she originally invested. 

CBS 17 reached out to her sister, but she declined to comment. 

“I would like to try to buy her out with the help of other people who would like to help preserve one of the last farms left in Wake County,” Droessler said.

She started a GoFundMe page. She’s hoping to raise $500,000. She’s managed to raise just over $20,000. 

To volunteers, Winterpast is a second home. 

“We would be absolutely devastated if something happened here,” said volunteer Sheena Kilgore. “It would be part of our life and our family gone.”

Ultimately, Droessler said she’d like to put the property into a land trust to preserve it for future generations. 

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