Dr. Mary Odom, DVM

Dr. Odom responded to the call to be a veterinary missionary in the midst of raising five children. She and her husband moved from Scottsdale, Arizona with their five kids to Ames, Iowa for mom to go to veterinary college at lowa State University, where Dr. Odom received her DVM in 1996. After a year taking care of farm horses, cows, and sheep in Appalachia, Dr. Odom and her husband returned to Phoenix, Arizona where they owned Downtown Pet Center in the inner city for six years, ministering to the poor and homeless as well as providing low cost spay/neuter for dozens of cat rescue groups.

ln 2001 Dr. Odom took a position as Pre-Veterinary Advisor and Adjunct Faculty at Arizona State University, where she taught Vertebrate Zoology, Animal Science, and Animal Physiology to the pre-veterinary students. Dr. Odom has also worked for two large corporate veterinary practices, honing her medicine skills. After her husband became paralyzed from a stroke in 2003, they moved back home to North Carolina in 2007. ln addition to enjoying complicated medicine cases, Dr. Odom has pursued training in several alternative modalities including classical homeopathy, traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture, Western herbal medicine, and canine and equine massage therapy. She owns Sunflower Veterinary Clinic where she sees alternative medicine cases by appointment, and recently she opened both The Garden, a natural health store for pets and their people, and Carolina Cat Company, a unique gift boutique which offers both shabby chic and artisan gifts for cat lovers.

Dr. Odom is active at her church, Crossway Chapel of Wilmington, and also attends Beth Simcha Messianic Synagogue in Ogden. She is currently a student at Denver Seminary, pursuing an M.A. in Leadership. A California girl, she met her husband Edsel, an accountant from Wallace, NC, at Surf City, and they have been married since 1972. They have five grown children and ten grandchildren. Dr. Odom enjoys living on her boat, and is down to four cats, four dogs, a wacky macaw named Samson, a beautiful little parakeet named Annabelle, and her sweet 25-year-old Arabian mare, Brandy. Brandy doesn’t live on the boat, but she lives at Sunflower Farm in Hampstead, which hopefully someday will be the site for equine massage therapy classes for women.

Tanya Fairweather,  ESMT/CMT (Sonny's Equine Massage)

Fundraising Coordinator

There is truth to the old saying "I grew up on a horse" and Tanya is a prime example.  She grew up on a hobby farm and has had an equine partner since the age of five.

Tanya started massaging her horse "Whiskey" in 2005 and after consulting a horse whisperer about Whiskey's reactions/behavior, she decided to go back to college to further develop and refine her skills.  This has enabled Tanya to continue with her passion in helping horses with their healing process.

While attending Mueller College of Holistic Studies in San Diego CA, Tanya studied the Holistic Health Practitioner Program (HHP).

After specialing in Eastern Therapies and obtaining her Massage Therapy License, Tanya continued her studies in Equine Massage and Bodywork.


Phoenix Rescue and Healing Farm is a long-time dream of founder and director Shannon Harper. Shannon's first job growing up was working at a local pet store where she cleaned cages and fed and watered the animals after school and on weekends. In her early twenties, she moved from Michigan to Florida and joined a grassroots group, Dolphin Alliance in Melbourne. The Alliance rescued two female bottlenose dolphins from a life of performing in the entertainment industry. The dolphins were being rehabilitated to be returned to the Indian River Lagoon, where they were caught eight years earlier.  After leaving the project, Shannon worked for the European Cetacean Organization based in the UK, focusing on anti-captivity issues for dolphins and whales. She moved up to Gainesville, Florida to attend the University of Florida and entered as a junior in the College of Agriculture with a Pre-Veterinary major focusing on the Equine Track. Here, she spent most days working with the University’s horses in animal nutrition and behavior studies, and more influential in her continued interests, with the horses of her Professor and mentor, Dr. Sandi Lieb. Shannon left the Pre-Vet program but kept working with Dr. Lieb for several years.  Shannon began volunteering for a primate sanctuary located outside of Gainesville; Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary. In search of a career in healing (and one that would support her volunteer efforts) she enrolled at Florida School of Massage and graduated in October, 2003.

New degree in hand Shannon and her daughter moved to Wilmington, NC and set up her massage practice, all the while missing her animal and horse connections. She joined Cat Adoption Team in Wilmington, a local rescue group for both cats and dogs. Shannon helped facilitate the adoptions of hundreds of animals during her seven years with the group and served on it's Board of Directors for four years.

It was only after her daughter turned twelve that she decided she had the time to follow her dream of having a horse rescue. Shannon found the two haflinger mares she rescued from Tar Heel Feedlot, in Mount Airy, NC. It is her dream to be able to rescue horses and other farm animals in need and to partner them with people who would benefit from the interaction with the animals. Shannon is on a mission to connect Veterans with PTSD with animals that need unconditional love!!