Nine months after the Danny's Farm petting zoo in Altadena shut down, forcing the proprietors to give up almost all of their larger animals, the Altadena family who runs the farm has a new and bigger flock to work with at Cal Poly Pomona.
The program, founded by Altadena residents Cathy Gott and her husband (and former Dodgers pitcher) Jim Gott, was designed to cater to autistic children. But after they were informed by county officials that their Altadena property was not zoned for animals, the program was moved to South Pasadena and limited to just small animals.
With the Gotts now working out of Cal Poly Pomona, and also , they will be able to really bring the program back in its full capacity, Cathy Gott told Altadena Patch. The trailer was purchased following a .
Opening up shop at the school's agricultural program was perfect for the Gotts because the school already had tons of goats, sheep, and other animals, Gott said.
"It was a perfect fit because the school was saying, 'Here's a staff that needs a petting farm and we have a petting farm with no staff,'" Gott said.
The Gotts will continue to operate their program for autistic children at the Almansor center in South Pasadena, she added.
The Cal Poly Pomona partnership came together after a professor in the agricultural department, Broc Sandelin, heard about Danny's Farm's zoning problems in the media, and decided to reach out to them.
According to a story on Cal Poly Pomona's website, Sandelin and others at the school had long wanted to use the school's animal resources to start a petting zoo, but never had the funding for staff.
Those who want to visit the farm can do so during their open house each Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The farm can be found next to the school's farm store.
Visitors might find other reasons to drop by: the school runs a fully functional farm and sells produce, and also produces its own wine and honey, Sandelin said.
"It's kind of like a home-grown Trader Joe's," Sandelin told Patch.
In addition to the open house at Cal Poly, the farm will be hosting field trips and other events by appointment and will continue to be available for events with their mobile zoo, Gott said.
The Gotts at the Webster's complex, and will continue to do so in upcoming months, Gott said.
And they are hoping to be invited to more Altadena events.
"This community is where it all started, so we want to be here as much as possible," Gott said.