Brothers honored as 'Humane Heroes'

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Two brothers from Warwick, Christian and Nicholas Woods, recently received Humane Heroes Awards from Defenders of Animals for their continued volunteer work at Smith & Agli’s Pot Belly Manor in North Kingstown.

The awards came during the Homeless Animals Day/Candlelight Vigil, which is held annually by Defenders of Animals Inc. in cooperation with the International Society for Animal Rights. It is now in its 26th year.

“It’s very encouraging when you witness youth volunteering especially doing the hard work on a farm like,” said Dennis Tabella, president of Defenders of Animals. “It is, indeed, a selfless act. Their hard word is very much appreciated, and we certainly know that the farm animals appreciate getting all the special attention.”

They both have shown their dedication to animal rescue and helped to improve the lives of potbelly pigs and other farm animals and have helped to the socializing of animals.

The farm has approximately 50 animals, ranging from pigs to pigeons. It is a place of refuge for the animals.

Back on Aug. 20, 2016, Tabella presented Audrey Agli and Liz Smith of Potbelly Manor with the Defenders of Animals Humane Heroes Award with the following inscription: “In recognition of your dedication to animal rescue and improving the lives of potbelly pigs and other farm animals, socializing animals, providing medical care, coordination adoptions and introducing and educating school children to farm animals.”

“The Woods brothers have added to the success of the farm,” Tabella said. “Specifically, they have made sure that the farm animals were fed and given fresh water throughout the day, cleaned barns, fixed what needed to be fixed, handled grain and hay, cleared areas throughout the farm, and maintained the property for the benefit of all the farm animals.”

Christian Woods has spent eight years volunteering once a week on the farm and his brother, Nick, joined him a year ago.

“The Homeless Animals Day/Candlelight Vigil is held in conjunction with the International Society for Animal Rights campaign and serves as an opportunity for animal advocates from around Rhode Island to band together on a special day and jumpstart new spay/neuter/adoption campaigns while rekindling existing programs in their communities that raise awareness about pet overpopulation,” Tabella said.

Normally held at Sprague Mansion in Cranston, this year’s vigil and award ceremony was cancelled due to the pandemic; however, the Humane Heroes Awards were presented.

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