Real-life Dr. Doolittle has over 175 rescue animals including peacocks & emus – and spends $100k a year on their care

MEET the real-life Doctor Doolittle who shares her home with over 175 rescue animals — spending almost $100k on their care every year.

Adri Rachelle, 36, lives in a 200-year-old farmhouse on 200 acres of land in Atlanta, Georgia alongside her massive menagerie.

Adri Rachelle is a 36-year-old animal-lover who rescues all types of creatures

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Adri Rachelle is a 36-year-old animal-lover who rescues all types of creaturesCredit: SWNS
She lives with her animals, including several birds, in Atlanta, Georgia

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She lives with her animals, including several birds, in Atlanta, GeorgiaCredit: SWNS

Her mom, Cynthia Selby, 65, and a family friend, Shannon, 39, also own 15 acres and live in houses nearby — while her sister, Andrea, 32, soon plans to tend to some of Rachelle’s exotic animals.

Rachelle saves around five animals a month from the slaughter trade — frequently undertaking 14-hour drives across the US to bring them to her animal kingdom.

Rachelle keeps 30 chickens, 22 rescue pigs, 12 dogs, 14 cats, 13 horses, nine parrots, 10 goats, nine geese, eight ducks, eight cows, eight alpacas, seven donkeys, six peacocks, and five sheep.

She also has four ferrets, four rabbits, three mules, three tortoise, three emus, two geckos, two cockatoos, two pythons, one bearded dragon lizard, and one tegu lizard.

FAN GIRL

A Lord of the Rings fan, Rachelle has decided to name the majority of her animals after characters from the books.

Some monikers inspired by the trilogy include Bilbo Baggins the mule, Gandalf the goat, Frodo the spaniel, and two cats named Boromir and Faramir.

Rachelle runs the whole site as a non-profit sanctuary and documents her day-to-day life caring for the animals on social media.

Mom-of-two Rachelle, a part-time dog sitter and full-time sanctuary owner, said, “I think we’ve got over 175 animals now.

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“Since we moved to the 200-acre plot of land it’s just been nonstop building.

“We’ve put up three additional barns, four pastures, and we’ve cleared all the land.

“We’ve added a bunch of Highland cows and a lot more donkeys and horses.

“For the most part, we’ve got more of everything we already had like the exotic birds, reptiles, and mammals.

“The bills have gone up tremendously — horses alone are expensive.

“We’re constantly expanding. I think it’s close to $100k-a-year now for food, vet bills, general farm maintenance and building.

“We’re averaging a barn or more a year in construction and we’ve had several horses just by themselves that can eat up $15,000 just on surgery.”

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Before buying her new plot of land, Rachelle lived on a space with 90 of her animals.

“We were spending $10,000 a year on care then and now we can spend that in one month on a horse,” she said.

LIVING LAVISH

Rachelle’s pets are treated to a life of luxury on the farm — with many of the animals residing in “mini houses.”

“We have two buildings, one for small mammals and animals,” she said.

“The dogs have a house outside in addition to being allowed in my house whenever they want of course.

“It’s got bunkbeds and AC.

“And then living with me in the house at the moment we have the foster kittens that we just took in, the Newfoundland, the hairless dog, and a couple of mini pigs.”

Rachelle, posing with one of 13 rescued horses on her farm

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Rachelle, posing with one of 13 rescued horses on her farmCredit: SWNS
She has around 175 rescued animals living on her sanctuary

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She has around 175 rescued animals living on her sanctuaryCredit: SWNS

But the 175 animals aren’t solely Rachelle’s responsibility now that some of her family members also live on the sanctuary.

“I’ve always had their support and they would visit frequently before and I just kept hearing from most of them that I was living their dream,” she said.

“So when I moved here, there happened to be houses up for sale on vacant land and I guess they were chasing a dream too.

“Mom has 15 acres next door and has taken on some of the pigs, chickens, peacocks, cats, and dogs.

“Then a family friend has moved in nearby and she looks after a lot of the donkeys

“And when my sister and her husband have their’s built — she’ll probably use her zoology degree to look after some of the more exotic animals as that’s her specialty.”

When it comes to feeding, Rachelle spends most of her day tending to the animals in her care.

Some of Rachelle's family members help her out on the sanctuary

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Some of Rachelle’s family members help her out on the sanctuaryCredit: SWNS
Rachelle's sanctuary includes exotic animals, like emus

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Rachelle’s sanctuary includes exotic animals, like emusCredit: SWNS

In a bid to make the sanctuary as sustainable as possible, Rachelle has started growing her food.

“We want to be self-sustaining as much as possible which is made easier with other family members helping,” she said.

“We have a huge community garden in which we grow our fruit and vegetables for us and the animals.

“The chicken eggs are a great source of food for us and some of the animals on the farm.

“We’ve got a big fruit tree orchard, too, and we’re slowly getting it all established.”

“I spend a lot of time educating myself on the issues facing animals like the slaughter industry,” Rachelle added.

“So when I get invested in these sorts of things I know I have the knowledge, background and space to be able to intervene and help.

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“Enough that I’m making a difference so I can sleep easier at night and I know it’s having a huge impact on the rescued animals.

“Sitting back just wasn’t quite the right solution for me.”

She said taking care of the furry friends make her 'sleep easier at night'

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She said taking care of the furry friends make her ‘sleep easier at night’Credit: SWNS
Rachelle has made a point to educate herself on the various traumas that rescue animals may have faced

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Rachelle has made a point to educate herself on the various traumas that rescue animals may have facedCredit: SWNS

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