On the 29th of August 1996, 67,488 sheep set sail from Australia to the Middle East as part of the live export trade aboard the cargo vessel the MV Uniceb. What followed is the world’s worst live export disaster as the ship caught fire and all 67, 488 tightly packed sheep perished, either burning to death or drowning. Having been abandoned by those charged with their care the hapless animals had no chance. Today, 20 years on, we join Compassion in World Farming’s #AnimalsAreNotFreight global day of action.Continue reading →
Just after the filming of Charlotte’s Web, when the executive producer of the film, Bernie Williams, was celebrating the fact that all of the piglets made famous by the movie had found loving homes throughout Australia, he was struck by the fate of the sow who played the mother of Wilbur. What had become of her? Sent back to the factory farm from which she had come, and at the end of her productive life (around five years of age), her fate was grim. But Bernie would have none of that: “We’ve got to save her, we’ve got to go back to the farm and save that pig”. “That pig” found sanctuary at Edgar’s Mission, where she lived a long, happy and love-filled life under the name of Alice. Rescuing the gentle sow brought hope that dreams really can come true if you believe a kinder world for animals is possible.
That story came to mind just last week as I was in the veterinary clinic with little Harry. While little Harry, who had famously pulled through his surgery, was centre stage in everyone’s thoughts, I wondered about his dear mum, who was no doubt distraught about losing her baby. “We have to save her, too,” l thought—but would it even be possible and would she still recognise her baby after the long period of separation and all the new smells that had engulfed him?
What came next will truly touch your heart, as it did ours …
On Sunday 21 August, little Harry Lamb came into our lives. This week-old wee fellow presented us with a challenge like no other. Despite being pitifully thin, with his spine forming a sharp ridge running the length of his back, his belly was grossly and abnormally engorged. We had learned that the Victorian farmer who was charged with Harry and his mum’s care had noticed Harry wasn’t putting on weight as any healthy young lamb should, so Harry and his mum were shedded for extra feeding and to keep a firm eye on the two. On closer inspection—and due to Harry’s condition deteriorating, despite all the extra care—the problem became painfully obvious. Harry had been born without an anus; a condition that is known as atresia ani. It is a congenital condition where the membrane separating the rectum and anus fails to rupture. To put it simply, Harry had been unable to poop since birth, leading to a massive build-up of gas and faeces inside him. Crying out in excruciating pain was Harry when he was surrendered into our care. It was one of the most heart-wrenching sights we have ever witnessed. Continue reading →
There can be known doubt little Harry captivates all who come into his realm. Watch this inspiring clip of Harry showing his appreciation to his rescuer and the amazing veterinary team who saved his life.
Drinking on his own is little Harry, and already telling us that he will do it his way. Second to Mother Nature we know the preferred delivery of life-enhancing formula is by bottle and teat, but Harry has decided that is not for him. Lapping from a bowl will do me just fine says he. And who are we to argue? Continue reading →
It was a pretty rough night for little Harry as his condition has taken a bit of a dip. However, the brave little man has managed to stand on his own this morning. Giving us reasons for hope is his will to live and the amazing veterinary team who are giving him every chance to do so.
The last words I said to little Harry as he was whisked off for life-saving surgery were “come home soon little buddy; you mean the world to me.” And it would seem that Harry, the week old lamb born without an anus, is heeding them. Continue reading →
As we awoke from a few hours of restless slumber this morning, a smile graced our collective faces as we heard the happy news that so too did little Harry. Making it through the night, the wee chap has proven he is indeed a fighter, having endured more than any creature his age ever should. Continue reading →
9.32pm. We have just spoken with Harry’s attending surgeon who has advised the little fella has survived the extensive surgery. This surgery was to correct his congenital birth deformity of having no functioning anus. Whilst he is far from out of the woods and his condition remains critical he is no longer experiencing the agonising pain he was when he was surrendered into our care. He will remain on intravenous fluids and be monitored throughout the night. Although still fearfully weak, Harry is alive, much loved and thanks to you all has a fighting chance.
Right now as we type little Harry is undergoing lifesaving surgery without which, he will die. Born without a functioning anus, his condition is critical. Every year Edgar’s Mission offers sanctuary, hope, and kindness to farmed animals who would have otherwise had none. Without your support, there is no chance for a brighter future for these animals. If you believe little lambs like Harry deserve a fighting chance, please support our Medical Fighting Fund today.
Incredulous is an adjective and describes a situation when one is unwilling or unable to believe something. It pretty much sums up my feelings when I first heard about the plight of male chicks in the egg industry many moons ago – innocent fluffy babies for whom there was no pardon for, for simply being born the wrong gender.
In their millions upon millions each year, I was to learn, they were ground up, gassed or stuffed live into plastic bags by the egg industry. “Surely I had read wrong”, “the figures must have been fudged”, “this was a gross exaggeration”, “there was just no way our animal loving society and our animal protection laws would allow this” – these were just some of the incredulous thoughts that sat east of my epiphany to a kinder way of living. Taking comfort, as countless other kind-hearted humans did, I stuck hard to the belief that our society would never permit the wholesale and wanton killing of baby animals, it just couldn’t happen. Or could it…
Every month we shine the spotlight on a family who have chosen to bring new faces into their homes and hearts and adopt one or a few rescued animals. Read on to see how Yolanda-Sally Pumpernickel Jewell is doing in her new forever home.
We have all had important teachers in our lives, ones who have guided us and inspired us. While for most people these teachers have been human, for me, animals have been my teachers. And for me, my most important teacher was a dashing, debonair, handsome, witty, wise, charismatic and incredible pig I came to love and adore, named Edgar Alan Pig.
For, let’s call her “Sally”, one of her most important teachers was a sheep named Wilmington. I’ll let “Sally” pick up the story.
“More than 20 years ago my ex and I bought a rural shop which came with a pet sheep. Her name was Wilmington, and she was a nuisance, always wanting attention that I didn’t have time to give. I had meat-eater blinkers on about her back then, as it was before I became vegetarian and stopped seeing animals as nothing more than food. My ex had a friend who suggested we let him take Wilmington away and turn her into a lot of free meals and I let it happen. It was not until I looked at the meat he gave us and contrasted it with the last time I saw her, so proud of herself for figuring out how to get the gate open—AGAIN—that I really realised what a terrible thing we had done. I couldn’t cook the meat, or eat it, and doing that to her remains one of the biggest regrets of my life to this day. Continue reading →
Those very words tumbled out of the mouth of a motor mechanic as he spied a small moving bundle in the back seat of a car that had just driven into his shop. As the bundle wriggled to life, it soon became apparent that it wasn’t a case of “what’s in the back seat?” but “who’s in the back seat?”—and that “who” turned out to be a tiny black lamb, cheekily popping his head up and, dare we say, sheepishly spying the world around him.
Fearing the intentions of the car’s occupants may not have been in line with the best interests of the wee one, the motor mechanic morphed into Captain Compassion and valiantly offered a kinder world for his new little buddy. Quickly realising that kinder world was not a busy car repair shop, Little Buddy was soon motoring his way to Edgar’s Mission, with a little help from his new friends, of course. Continue reading →
Today is the day when, 6 years ago, Tigga arrived at Edgar’s Mission along with his buddies Togga and Fluffy. Tigga is an endearing and handsome gent with a lot to tell the world, in the morning, in the afternoon, really any time of the day he feels like expanding his lungs and expelling that almighty crow. Continue reading →
Do it for Mon Amie, who had a most unnatural life.
“With what looked like seizures, little Mon Amie was left to struggle and flail about for days.” Ever heard of chicken hatching projects? Throughout Australia, eggs set to hatch in two to three days are set up in incubators at early learning centres, schools and nursing homes and onlookers wait for the chicks to emerge. Mon Amie was one of those chicks. Continue reading →
An eight-year-old young girl slowly opens her eyes in a bed that is not her own. Her throat parched and sore from a recent tonsillectomy, she struggles to swallow but a burning lump prevents this. Frightened and confused, she battles to take in the unfamiliar world around her that is a hospital ward. A sleeping nun sitting in the chair next to her is summoned from her slumber; this is the moment she had been waiting for. A gentle smile caresses her face as she rises, placing a cool cloth to the forehead of the child, without words she speaks a softness the young girl quickly understands: that all will be well.
Although the child welcomes the gesture, a fire still rages within her throat—in a desperate attempt to snuff it out, she mouths the words, “Water, can I please have a glass of water?”. Just one sip of water is all the salvation that is needed and the glass is returned as the comforted child lays back down and rests once more. Continue reading →
What ever happened to the rooster? With all those eggs filling supermarket shelves in every town in every state in Australia, you have to wonder where all the roosters are. Statistically speaking, for every hen hatched a tiny rooster also came into this world. Continue reading →
Bumping into BUPA Kyneton last Tuesday were a cheeky little goat named Steady Eddie and a woolly sheep named Timmy. Tagging along for good measure were their human folk from Edgar’s Mission Farm Sanctuary in Lancefield.
While the affable Eddie was more interested in checking out people’s shoes and anything else remotely edible, the anything but sheepish Timmy enjoyed a good old back scratch. There could be no doubt that the happy faces, busy hands and lively discussions, all provoked by the animals, confirmed what our hearts know – animals unite us, they calm us and make us feel good. And as Eddie and Timmy so poignantly confirmed, this is a two-way street. It goes to show that regardless of age or species we all welcome, need and cherish kindness.
Oh and a special and heart-warming note, check out the lady in the pink sweater and her friend in the turquoise twin set. These two, with their special friendship stole our hearts.
As snow began to fall around the tiny country Victorian town of Daylesford, a wee lamb slipped from the warm of his mother’s womb onto the frosty ground. Exactly what came next we are not sure but one thing we are sure of is the kindness of the good hearts who saw a little bundle of pristine white, cold, alone and in desperate need of warmth and nutrition. Had this kind heart not acted the lamb would surely have passed away as sadly so many do from the ravages of hypothermia. Bundling up with little chap contact was made with the property owner and the greatest life line was thrown to the lamb as the words “he’s yours” were uttered. But quickly realising that the responsibility of caring for newborn lambs was something these kind hearts could not meet with great certainty. Searching high and low, from vet clinics to internet searches, the call was made to Edgar’s Mission. Continue reading →
Yesterday we had the pleasure of meeting an incredible young man who had just turned 13. Instead of treating himself to all sorts of wonders, Jack determined that his $200 birthday money could be better spent looking after rescued farmed animals at his favorite sanctuary, Edgar’s Mission. Thank you so much Jack, we trust your day was as grand as you!
Every month we shine the spotlight on a family who have chosen to bring new faces into their homes and hearts and adopt one or a few rescued animals. Read on to see how Thelma and Lousie are doing in their new forever home.
There was nothing natural about the life or death of Mon Amie, a wee chick hatched out in a school classroom. Even before she blinked in wide-eyed wonder at the world, nothing was the way nature intended it to be. No mother hen had gently and dutifully turned her eggs, chirping to them all the while, each learning the distinctive calls of the other as strong bonds formed—bonds that would have seen the mother hen fiercely protect her chicks, while teaching them very important life lessons.
Sadly, the only life lessons that would be taught on this occasion were those of disposability and shirking one’s responsibility. Delivered in a hired incubator along with several other unhatched chicks to an unsuspecting teacher and exuberant youngsters, Mon Amie and her siblings had already been reduced to a teaching aid. With nothing resembling a doting mother hen or a knowledgeable animal attendant in sight, the wet chicks pecked and peeped their way into the world. With no mother hen to respond to their calls or guide the baby birds, a game of roulette had begun. And for Mon Amie, it was one she was never going to win.
Born with a crippling leg deformity, her suffering and struggle almost went unnoticed. Thankfully, a kind-hearted child refused to become immune to the plight of another creature and a plan was hatched to try and save the ailing chick. Once surrendered, the chain of kindness continued as Mon Amie was delivered to expert avian care, where help was at hand. However, the worst fears were soon confirmed that a condition more sinister than splay leg was at play. Perosis had twisted the tiny tendons of Mon Amie’s right leg, necessitating surgery if there was to be any hope of an even partially functional limb.Continue reading →
Humankind is capable of the most awe-inspiring achievements. On July 20 1969, the first human stepped foot on the moon’s dusty grey surface – tonight we will look towards the night sky knowing that while kindness to others is one of humankind’s greatest challenges, it could also be one of our greatest feats. Continue reading →
‘Sanctuary’ is described as ‘refuge or safety from pursuit, persecution, or other danger’. And for a mother animal, finding sanctuary for her offspring is one of the greatest comforts she could ever take. Arriving at our sanctuary a few months ago were Stamper and her buddies. What we didn’t know was that Stamper came with something more than her sweet soul. However, the ensuing months and her burgeoning waistline told us we had rescued more than this sweet ewe. And on 14th June 2016, Stamper achieved every mother’s dream, delivering her babies onto a sanctuary’s grounds.
A huge shout out of thanks to the fine young minds of the Out of School Care Program from Marlborough Primary School in Heathmont. Celebrating kindness and our sheepies love of wheetbix, a stash of these delicious treats came our way recently. In collecting the booty Edgar’s Mission Founder and Director, Pam Ahern, praised the students initiative to make a difference in the life of another; “it is wonderful to see these young individuals so committed to enriching the lives of animals. Their selfless gestures remind us all that each and every one of us can, through simple acts of kindness make the world a better place those less fortunate”Continue reading →
Ava, we want to thank you for raising $115 for the resident animals here at Edgar’s Mission. Thank you for using your elbow grease to give massages to your parents and their friends for gold coin donations, and for making and selling paper flowers and butterflies. But most of all, thank you for your kind and generous heart – at only 8 years old you’re already showing the world just how beautiful people can be, inside and out.
A recent recruit to our army of cuteness is The Colonel. A sweet little lamb whose bad fortune actually turned out to be his best. Having been taken prisoner by a predator who never completed their mission, save leaving a large gaping wound on one of his front legs, The Colonel was taken in by kindly folk who loved him and nurtured him. However, they quickly realised that the task of raising such a vulnerable creature was beyond their means and the endearing boy was tearfully surrendered into our care. With his ulcerated wound quickly healing and the memories of his past ordeals fading, The Colonel has indeed shown great courage under fire and is now most welcoming of the flotilla of kindness around him. That too and lots of other little lambs! Which leaves us with one final question, isn’t it time we humans made peace with the animal kingdom? Continue reading →
Wikipedia tells us that the tulip is a Eurasian and North African genus of perennial, bulbous plant in the lily family. It is a herbaceous herb with showy flowers, of which around 75 wild species are currently accepted. What Wikipedia fails to tell us is that Tulip is also the name of a gusty little female kid goat.
Tulip was surrendered into our care by the good folk at RSPCA Epping, the wee creature having sustained horrific and life threatening injuries to her head. She refused to give in, and neither will we. Over the coming days we trust that will love, kindness, care and anti-inflammatories this little flower will flourish.