Spanish Fork woman opens home and her heart during Utah fires

r When the Utah fires struck this summer, Nicole Boothe knew she wanted to do something to help but didn’t know what. Then she had an idea, she’d offer her property as a sanctuary for animals in harm’s way.

Boothe lives on a one-acre lot in Spanish Fork. Along with her young children, she cares for 3 goats, 18 chickens, 2 turkeys, 5 ducks and 3 dogs.

When the fires started, she offered her extra space on the Spanish Fork Community News Facebook Page. Soon after, families started bringing her all of their farm animals that they were unable to take with them in the evacuations. Her already full home quickly became even more crowded.

She received 14 goats, 20 chickens and 2 ducks, bringing the grand total to 64; and Nicole Boothe couldn’t be happier.

“I have always been an animal lover since I was little. I dreamed about having a sanctuary someday.”

While to some the massive onslaught of animals might seem overwhelming, Booth hasn’t reached her max yet. “It doesn’t feel like a chore to me, it’s just something I like to do,” said Boothe.

She believes she is capable of handling even more goats and chickens. Unfortunately, her acre isn’t equipped to handle larger animals like horses or cows. Though she does hope to someday have these animals included in the mix.

The animals all come from strangers, and are welcome to stay as long as they need. In fact, she wouldn’t mind if they just all stayed forever.

Boothe is passing along her love of animals to her family as well. While her youngest child is only two and a half, she loves to participate in the farm. Often the animals are the first thing she talks about in the morning.

This busy mom also works as a graphic designer for another animal sanctuary that mostly rescues dogs and cats. However, having these animals on her property doesn’t crowd out her already busy schedule.

In fact, according to Booth, “it’s like therapy to me. I’m really happy they’re there.”

The Utah community is one of strength and support. Individuals like Boothe are making this tragedy a little bit easier for our state. In fact, earlier in September, the Red Cross asked people to stop donating and offering help. Everyone was accounted for and had their needs met.

In the words of Lieutenant Governor Spencer Cox, “Well done Utah. Well done.”

Chris Baird
Chris Baird
Chris is a family man with a beautiful wife and four kids. Three Girls, One Boy. He enjoys playing basketball, being outdoors, and the old normal.

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