This time yesterday we had no idea of the pandemonium that was about to besiege our office as it underwent a sudden transformation into a triage ward for a critical newborn lamb. Our first hint of impending emergency came when we took the call from our Pete. It seems a kind hearted Samaritan had come upon an almost frozen newly born lamb and took the hapless creature to our new farm in Lancefield (which is yet to be fully operational). Pushing the pedal to the metal, with the near lifeless and limp lamb tucked under his jumper for warmth, Pete made post haste, quickly calling ahead to alert us of the emergency. Stored colostrum would be thawed, glucose drip readied, iodine solution on standby and heating devices prepared in order to give the wee one the very best chance at life we could.
Peter would later relay that as he made his mercy dash he felt mid-journey that the tiny creature had passed but he dared not stop to check, lest he be wrong and waste what would be valuable lifesaving minutes. How our collective hearts froze when the moribund bundle reached us, her tiny head flopping listlessly to one side, her legs equally flaccid with no hint they could ever support the weight of her body, however frail and tiny it may be. Placing a hand on her mouth for a sign of life we felt its deathly frozenness, her eyes a blank stare. But then, as Elsa raised her tiny fluffy head no more than a millimetre, our hearts unfroze and the words, “She’s still with us,” slipped from our lips. There was no time to waste, we swung into action.
Over the next painstaking hours we worked feverishly and well into the night, and our rewards were to be bountiful as the tiny lamb would stand, baa, drink, poop and pee and our hearts were reminded that a single act of kindness could save a life.
Elsa’s story is one we hope will continue for many a year as she gets to grow old, surrounded by her buddies, doing all the things sheep love to do, safe in the knowledge she will never become a meal or face a grisly death after a gruelling seaboard journey aboard a live-export vessel. And her story would not be complete though without sending our unending thanks to the kind hearted Good Samaritan who found Elsa and restored our faith in humanity. Thank you to our loyal supporter who recently sent through drip bags of life enhancing glucose. Thank you to the generous person who donated an animal heat pad that was magically at our finger tips when we needed it most and to our loyal and generous donors, whose kind donations ensure that we always have on hand the best quality lamb formula we can source, along with other essential veterinary supplies, thank you too from the bottom of our hearts.
Every year Australia sustains the deaths of millions of tiny lambs just like Elsa, their passing but another day at the office and an economic loss that the industry factors in. But when it comes to the lives and wellbeing of other sentient creatures, we should never just “Let it go”. Please share Elsa’s heart-moving story, for you never know whose heart it may unfreeze and please never let go of your kindness for animals.