Shepherd's Green
139 Copeland Lane
Cookeville TN 38506
Mission Statement
Shepherd's Green Sanctuary exists to provide rescue, lifetime care and other aid and assistance to abandoned, abused, neglected, homeless and otherwise endangered pigs.
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Peggy Glover Couey
Board Chair Ms. Michele Alford
Board Chair Company Affiliation
History & Background
Year of Incorporation 1996
Former Names
Engelschwein Farm
Organization's type of tax exempt status 501-C3
Financial Summary
Graph: Expense Breakdown Graph - All Years
Projected Expenses $121,535.00
Projected Annual Revenue $125,851.00 (2017)
Mission Shepherd's Green Sanctuary exists to provide rescue, lifetime care and other aid and assistance to abandoned, abused, neglected, homeless and otherwise endangered pigs.
Background The number of miniature pigs who desperately need a safe, secure, healthy and loving home continues to escalate each year.  Animal control facilities, shelters other rescue agencies are either unwilling or physically unable to rescue and care for these unique animals.  Adding to this problem is the growing number of domestic farm pigs being rescued from "factory farms" as more and more people are becoming aware of the horrible plight of the farmed animals in the US.  Existing pig sanctuaries and farmed animal sanctuaries are fast approaching their limits or have already exceeded them.  Many pig sanctuaries are being overwhelmed by the sheer number of pigs they are being asked to take or they are finding themselves unable to generate the funds to remain solvent and are closing their doors.  The difficulty in obtaining sufficient, reliable funding for a pig sanctuary remains a daunting challenge.  Pigs do not enjoy the popularity or funding of the more traditional companion animals.  Our Tennessee spay fund for instance, does not allow us to participate, even though we are the only agency in the state providing spay/neuter for pigs, and most foundations specify dogs and cats only for their grants. The ability to place unwanted pigs in good adoption homes is extremely limited due to their limited suitability as household pets. These are captive wild animals, the analogy is more that of making a pet of a deer than a dog or cat. Thus, the need for sanctuaries for abused, abandoned and otherwise unwanted pigs remains critical as it is most often their only option for survival. Since 1996 we have provided a sanctuary for those who are homeless and programs to educate and assist in the care of those in private homes. We have been an accredited sanctuary with the American Sanctuary Association since 2003. We have received numerous awards. We have stood on street corners and sold baked goods and made national presentations to vets in training.. we have buried our friends after medical science failed them and rejoiced at the recoveries of others who were not expected to live. We have spent endless hours on the phones/email to help pigs all over the world find medical care, provided nutrition and environmental information and tried to turn the mindset from pet to captive wild animal.. the only answer to end his suffering.  And 365 days a year, the day begins with the hospital pigs with their special breakfasts and meds and ends when all 350 have been tended. 
As a “force,” we are best described as “a big frog in a little puddle.” Sanctuaries for pigs in the US and Canada are few and seldom last long. Most try to operate initially as rescue/adoption organizations, only slowly coming to the understanding that these are wild animals by genetics and the more they are handed around the worse their suffering. The financial impact of this bit of knowledge is enough to shut down most organizations whose startup was based more on compassion than economics. At an average of $6000 per pig for its lifetime care, just a small herd of 100 pigs will require over a half million in donations or self-funding. And that is with all volunteer labor.

What we do, year in and year out is give the animals in our care a safe, comfortable life with excellent medical care, high quality foods and the freedom to live in groups of their choosing.

Our Helping Hoof programs provides foster care costs for pigs we cannot take in, as well as assisting with S/N and medical care where we can.

In 2016, at the start of the year we had nearly 200 newly rescued pigs. 167 came from the closing of Planet Pig in Missouri and another 36 were abandoned by the volunteers who were helping move the pigs from MO. By the middle of the year we saw failing health conditions beyond the expectations for a herd of their ages and types. By Fall, we had vetted 15% of them and that level of vetting has continued. Bad environmental conditions and poor food left these animals with little vigor. The impact on Shepherd's Green was a near doubling of all expenses and daily work, in addition to putting us at our capacity cap.

This period also began the much needed project of clearing and milling logs to start building a small residence for help in 2017. In the meantime, we purchased a second work cart and camper to house visitors and interns. Most of the expenses will occur in 2017.

Saving 200 lives and providing for them throughout their lives is daunting, but keeps our local economy for vet care, grain, hay and supplies slightly richer. We operate organically and observe good conservation practices. Wildlife abounds, unmolested, and we are happy to be a part of it all.

Funds to do the following:
*Build a cushion of $35,000 for the next "Katrina" type disaster that impacts us heavily (40% revenue drop)
* Pilot project: 2 year assistant farm mgr to help with in maintenance, operations and animal care $15,000/yr
Service Categories
Primary Organization Category Animal Related / Animal Protection & Welfare
Secondary Organization Category Animal Related / Alliances & Advocacy
Tertiary Organization Category Animal Related / Professional Societies & Associations
Areas of Service
Areas Served
Board Chair Statement This year we brought the entire herd of pigs (167) we inherited after the sanctuary owner passed away from KY to the Sanctuary in TN.  Even though we are at our capacity max, we continue to reach out to help pigs remain in their home with our Helping Hoof fund, by providing education, fencing, housing etc. for people who have a sustainable home for the pig(s), but need assistance overcoming a specific obstacle.  I'm so proud of this organization and all its supporters for continually doing everything possible for both the pigs in our care at the sanctuary as well as for those who need our assistance across the country.
CEO Statement
To build and operate a sanctuary for pigs of all species and sizes....from 75 pound potbellied pigs to 1000+ pound farm pigs requires a special love and commitment to these unique, wonderful and most often maligned creatures. The director, volunteers, board members and supporters of this sanctuary have, together, built a nationally recognized, accredited sanctuary since its inception in 1996.
In the past 3 years Shepherd's Green Sanctuary has:
-Relocated the sanctuary from a 22 acre facility in DeKalb County to a new 34 acre facility in Overton County.
-Provided outreach services and assistance to over 600 needy, non-sanctuary pigs across the US by personal contact and 1000 a month through our website on pig health care.
- The director tends to 350 pigs here on site .. with no paid staff and a limited number of occasional volunteers.
Pigs are now known to be the most intelligent species of animal. The pot bellies think in terms of future as well as past events and reason out complex problems. They conduct death "rituals" and vocalize (if unsuccessfully) their needs. Still, in our culture these animals receive little compassion.. are most likely the most abused "pet" in the nation today and receive almost no care, not even a painless death, from municipal agencies across the country. (Many of our TN shelters do take pigs). The challenge to the few, perhaps 20 or less, sanctuaries left in the US who care for them is overwhelming. We are considered the leader in pig care information.. but it will take more than education to stop the suffering. We need to help of legislators and the regulatory agencies to stop the breeding and private ownership of these wild animals. The sanctuary has never been short on vision or commitment to the pigs. We simply need funds to make more things possible, among them to find ways/agencies to stop the continued proliferation of this species who has suffered too long in our "pet" culture, where they do not belong.
Description Provides rescue, veterinary care and life long housing, safety and security to needy pigs
Budget 44400
Category Animal-Related Animal Protection & Welfare
Population Served General Public/Unspecified, Other Named Groups,
Description Provides spay/neuter funds and other assistance in kind to the owners of pet pigs across the US to help maintain their pigs in healthy, proper environments....thus keeping them from becoming prospective rescue animals
Budget 5000
Category Animal-Related Animal Protection & Welfare
Population Served General Public/Unspecified, Other Named Groups,
CEO Comments As is only proper for an animal sanctuary, the bulk of the assets of Shepherd's Green must go towards direct animal rescue and care. However, in an attempt to educate the public and assist those private citizens with pet pigs, monies have been set aside to fund the Outreach and Assistance Program. The obvious goal of this program is to help private pet pig guardians keep their animals in a safe, healthy and appropriate environment...thus reducing the chances that a pig will become a rescue pig during its life through abuse, neglect and/or abandonment. As funds and assets increase this program will be expanded and other education and assistance programs will be implemented. But, in reality, the bulk of the sanctuary's assets will always go towards the hands-on rescue and life time care of desperate and needy pigs.
Board Chair
Board Chair Ms. Michele Alford
Term Jan 2017 to Dec 2017
Board Members
Ms. Michele Alford Community VolunteerVoting
Ms. Peggy Glover Couey Community VolunteerVoting
Ms. Denise Hilton Voting
Ms. Jackie Wagoner Community VolunteerVoting
Ms. Diane Watchinski Wildlife CAre Center , Ft Lauderdale FL.Voting
Ms. Tracey Zahn Voting
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 6
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 0
Female 6
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 1
Board Term Limits 0
Board Meeting Attendance % 70%
Does the organization have written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Does the organization have a written Conflict of Interest Policy? Under Development
Percentage of Board Members making Monetary Contributions 66%
Percentage of Board Members making In-Kind Contributions 100%
Does the Board include Client Representation? No
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 1
Standing Committees
Advisory Board
Board Governance
Community Outreach / Community Relations
Risk Management Provisions
Automobile Insurance
Commercial General Liability
Directors & Officers Policy
General Property Coverage
Life Insurance
Additional Board Members
Dr. Brandon Dixon DVM
Ms. Elizabeth Queener
Dr. Rick Wearing DVMRagland and Riley Vet Clinic
CEO Comments Over our history we have developed a core group of volunteers, private donors and corporate supporters who donate food, building supplies and equipment to support the sanctuary and its mission. This networking throughout the Middle Tennessee region has been crucial to our success as a sanctuary. With only limited funds available, this networking has demonstrated the willingness of many Middle Tennessee organizations to help in many different capacities...often making the difference between the success and failure of various projects. Each year we improve our financial acuity, making the incremental cost a tiny bit less so we can do a little bit more. And each year we move forward in our goal to improve the lives of those we care for daily. In 2007 we began an organic feeding program, replacing all commercial feeds with whole organic grains. While the initial cost is daunting, the long term effects on health and well being are well documented. We have always operated on an organic platform, with no herbicides or pesticides in use. The Organic feed completes the circle to preserve the land as we care for its occupants. Better stewardship of the land cannot do less than benefit its occupants. Any time we reduce illness or disease, we reduce suffering. As we move forward, providing care for our 350 residents as their lives advance, we have worked closely with several vets to advance the knowledge of potbellied pig medicine and care by compiling necropsy and spay data from sanctauries in the US. Our arthritis work has become a source of information on new drug regimens that offer mobility and pain relief; information deseminated by the vets working with us into the medical world where it can find that helpless pig suffering in Utah or Iowa. Our Outreach program touches lives far beyond our state lines, educating, proving s/n assistance and referrels. Our objective remains simply to help any pig any where in any way we can.
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Ms. Peggy Glover Couey
Term Start Nov 2000
Experience Peggy was born and raised in New Hampshire, moved to Tennessee in 1970, and graduated with honors from Austin Peay State University with a degree in Philosophy/Chemistry in 1978. She worked for 20 years in industry , primarily in the fields of Quality Assurance and International Product management/ marketing. In 1990 Peggy took in the first rescued pig after having had pigs of her own since 1987. The die was cast. In 1997 Peggy retired from the business world to devote the balance of her life to the rescue and care of pigs of all kinds who otherwise have no hope.
Full Time Staff 1
Part Time Staff 0
Volunteers 18
Contractors 0
Retention Rate 100%
Plans & Policies
Does the organization have a documented Fundraising Plan? Yes
Does the organization have an approved Strategic Plan? Yes
Number of years Strategic Plan Considers 5
When was Strategic Plan adopted? June 2007
In case of a change in leadership, is a Management Succession plan in place? Under Development
Does the organization have a Policies and Procedures Plan? Yes
Does the organization have a Nondiscrimination Policy? Yes
Humane Society of the United States2000
Second Harvest Food Bank2002
External Assessments and Accreditations
External Assessments and Accreditations
American Sanctuary Association2002
Sanctuary of the Year 2004PigsasPets2004
National Sanctuary AwardPet Pig Congress2003
National Sanctuary Owner of the YearPigsasPets2002
Helping Hands AwardPet Pig Congress2003
Unsung Hero AwardPet Pig Congress2001
Senior Staff
Experience/Biography Peggy was born and raised in New Hampshire, moved to Tennessee in 1970, and graduated with honors from Austin Peay State University with a degree in Philosophy/Chemistry in 1978. She worked for 20 years in industry , primarily in the fields of Quality Assurance and International Product management/ marketing. In 1990 Peggy took in the first rescued pig after having had pigs of her own since 1987. The die was cast. In 1997 Peggy retired from the business world to devote the balance of her life to the rescue and care of pigs of all kinds who otherwise have no hope.
Experience/Biography Born and raised in Denver Colorado Worked in the Aerospace industry in Seattle for several years. Animal endeavors include volunteering for several no-kill shelters in various places and such varied rescue activities as working with a raptor rehab in Oregon, disabled dogs in Tennessee and now runs our Oakdale Foster farm for pigs. Active in Great Dane rescue, transports for all kinds of animals and works with several northern shelters to rescue puppies out of shelters here and adopted into good homes where they can be found..
Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01 2017
Fiscal Year End Dec 31 2017
Projected Revenue $125,851.00
Projected Expenses $121,535.00
Endowment Spending Policy N/A
Endowment Spending Percentage (if selected) 0%
Detailed Financials
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$122,410$114,257$103,874
Administration Expense$24,320$30,001$26,704
Fundraising Expense$0$708$150
Payments to Affiliates--$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.001.061.16
Program Expense/Total Expenses83%79%79%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$180,804$182,509$167,627
Current Assets$46,061$49,804$34,922
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$1,170
Current Liabilities$5,593$7,110$0
Total Net Assets$175,211$175,399$166,457
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities8.247.00--
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%1%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, Gifts and Grants $145,860Contributions, Gifts and Grants $153,648Contributions, Gifts & Grants $150,511
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountInvestment Income $682Investment Income $211Investment Income $655
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
IRS Letter of Exemption
Capital Campaign
Is the organization currently conducting a Capital Campaign for an endowment or the purchase of a major asset? No
Capital Campaign Goal $0.00
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No
State Charitable Solicitations Permit
TN Charitable Solicitations Registration Yes - Expires June 2018
Solicitations Permit
Solicitation Permit 2017 Financial Comments
Financial figures are taken from the 990EZ.
990EZ prepared by Ricky Gentry, CPA. 
Comments provided by Kathryn Bennett 10/2/17.
Nonprofit Shepherd's Green
Address 139 Copeland Lane
Cookeville, TN 38506
Primary Phone (931) 498-5540
Contact Email
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Peggy Glover Couey
Board Chair Ms. Michele Alford
Year of Incorporation 1996
Former Names
Engelschwein Farm

Related Information

Animal Welfare

Pet overpopulation is the most serious issue facing domesticated animals in Middle Tennessee. Many ongoing animal-related issues – including dog bites, disease, animal hoarding, cruelty to animals, and high euthanasia rates in shelters – ultimately stem from overpopulation, which has posed a complex dilemma in Middle Tennessee and across the country for decades. More attention has been brought to this issue in the last 15 years, and many nonprofit groups in Middle Tennessee are working to offer low-cost spay/neuter services. Some government-funded animal-control programs also offer spay/neuter and adoption services.