Margery, a saintly and elderly ewe, recently gave birth to her lamb in a country pound. Sadly, overnight a fox claimed the life of this precious baby. She was distraught when she arrived at our sanctuary not long thereafter. She desperately wanted to be a mother. Meanwhile, Malcolm, a two-day-old lamb, had watched on as his mother slipped from this world. Although losing the one he cherished most, he did not lose his will to live. He desperately needed a mother.
It’s a story we hear all too often here at Edgar’s Mission—a kind-hearted neighbour witnessing the tragedy of ewe in trouble on a neighbouring property. A closer inspection reveals she has recently given birth. Contacting the landholder concerned, who unfortunately in this instance (as in many others) is an absentee farmer, the kind heart is informed, “I’ll deal with it in a couple of days, you can have the lamb, otherwise I will hit it on the head when I get there”. Sadly, the ewe passed away shortly thereafter, but the lamb did not. Taken in and offered warmth, sweet formula and kindness, the little one had just been thrown the lifeline she needed to thrive. But how many are not so fortunate? The Australian newspaper reported in 2012 this figure was 15 million lambs dying within the first 48 hours of life, with most newborns succumbing to exposure to the cold weather.
Such a daunting statistic casts a question mark on the oft-touted remark that sheep are “supremely designed for the Australian environment”—clearly this is not true of our harsh climate. Continue reading
As the scissors began to surrender to the dense felt that was now the fleece of the gentle Angora doe we had hastily named Julie, we doggedly battled on. Why hastily? Let me explain. Julie was one of 27 of the large herd of Angora goats recently surrendered into our care reaching a crisis point in their welfare. These gentle goats were burdened by more than four years’ worth of fleece (that’s missing over 8 shearings, as Angoras need to be shorn twice a year) and countless parasites (both internal and external), and crippled by overgrown hooves.
It was then we knew Julie simply had to have a name. Taking hers from our team member who had just carried her into the stall, Julian, it was only moments before she gave birth to a sweet and somehow healthy little kid goat we dutifully named Juliet. However, the thick and heavy dreadlocked fleece was now a barrier to the baby reaching her mumma’s awaiting colostrum-filled udder.
With the baby’s cries fuelling our determination to make those darn scissors fulfil their charter, we feverishly worked. While one person held the confused and bewildered Julie, another tried to make fast work through the fleece, while yet another continued to set the stall and ensure food and water would be on hand once our task was complete. No words were needed as we all worked towards the common goal of helping two fellow beings in trouble, a mother and her baby.
It was a truly beautiful feeling, despite the difficulty of our task and the stench of urine that had invaded our nostrils and our clothes, to know our efforts would bring them to a better place. That these two were species apart from ours was no barrier to our kindness, nor should it ever be. For in our common goal of seeking to help those less fortunate than ourselves, we find the greatness of our humanity – these are the things that unite us.
Some days don’t go as planned. The 27th of June was one of them, as that day we had hoped beyond hope that little ‘Ello would turn the corner we all had been willing this sweet little lamb to turn, but her little body said no more. Up against it from the start, she tried, oh boy did she try, and so too did we. And as we struggled to make some sense of it all, we were left with the reminder that all life is precious, all want to live a life free from harm, enjoy the sunshine and the company of their buddies, and to gambol across the hills till their heart is content. ‘Ello can now do all of those things, although on another plane, in a body more robust to accommodate the gaiety and glee of a sweet little lamb. Honouring her wish, her passing was aided, surrounded by love, teddy bears, and tears. Her life mattered; she was loved, and she will be cherished in our hearts forever. Sometimes life doesn’t go as planned…
Now we all know that good things come in small packages, right? But did you know that lifesaving things come in small packages covered with fur? Proof positive is a petite little Guinea Pig named Ms Truffles. Ms Truffles came into our care recently after the passing of one of our guinea pigs, Montezuma, whose passing left her partner broken-hearted and lonely. Seeing the forlorn look on little Hernando Cortez’s face each day and hearing his high-pitched little “wees” saw us seeking to find a guinea pig in need of a home. Answering our prayers were the good folk at Coldstream Animal Aid, who had recently taken in a very pretty little Abyssinian guinea pig they had named Ms Truffles. In navigating her way through our guinea pig enclosure, Ms Truffles also managed to navigate her way into Hernando Cortez’s heart.
While guinea pigs are truly special little guys and gals, please do your research before taking them into your world, as sadly all too often, the novelty of their cuteness wears off long before the responsibility of their care and welfare does. Continue reading
In the middle of winter, the warmth of kindness continues to shine brightly. Yesterday, Liam and his mother Camille paid us a visit, well actually, they paid Saturday a visit. Watch the heart-warming video of their meeting below.
Thinking of Elysia and Miranda, who both recently turned 12, the words of the Dalai Lama come to mind: “[i]t is vital that when educating our children’s brains that we do not neglect to educate their hearts.” For their combined birthday party, rather than gifts they asked if guests could bring a donation to Edgar’s Mission – raising an amazing $510!
Whether they learnt such thoughtful generosity from their parents, teachers or from their own kind hearts, Elysia and Miranda have proven beyond any doubt that teaching kindness and compassion is priceless. Thank you to Elysia, Miranda and your guests, your donations will go a long to helping so many animals now and into the future.
While many may recognize July 4th as America’s famous Independence Day from now on in we will recognize it as Independence Day for Chickens, as history will record it as the first day of Australia’s largest farmed animal rescue. Almost 1,500 laying hens destined for slaughter received a last minute reprieve when a battery hen farmer had a change of heart. Pledging the cages would never again hold a chicken the farmer nervously sought assistance to rehome the hens to safe and loving homes. At first we thought it was some kind of a joke, but meeting with the farmer at a secret location we believed him to be genuine and so on July 4th 2012 Australia’s largest farmed animal rescue began.
Five years on, and while we still celebrate Chicken Independence Day here at Edgar’s Mission, we also strive and wish for the day that no chicken will need rescuing; a day when all hens will be free. To scratch in the soil, to stretch your wings, to bathe in the dust and to feel the sun’s warm rays upon your back – these are some of the most important moments in the life of a chicken, yet they are denied to over 11 million battery hens in our country alone. Take a moment this Chicken Independence Day to join millions of people worldwide in enjoying our beautiful, heartwarming video, Normal and Natural and ask yourself, “Shouldn’t it be Normal and Natural for humans to be kind?”
Happy Chicken Independence Day from all of us here at Edgar’s Mission!
As June wrapped up, so too did our $120,000 Kindness Challenge. We’re so thankful for all the support we received – we ended up with an amazing $128,000!
Now, it’s time to get to work. Yesterday we held our tree planting day – over 30 people came along to help us plant 40 trees. Apples, pears, peaches and figs were among the saplings lovingly bedded into their new abodes – and the roosters were only too happy to lend a helping foot.
But it wasn’t all work and no play, the team were taken on a tour and then little Acorn made an appearance to meet everyone. We loved having each and every one of you here to help plant the seeds of kindness, and wish those who live too far to join us take stock in what you have helped us achieve.
Spied by the side of the road by a kind-hearted motorist, the quizzically moving creature was at first thought to be a tiny tri-coloured kitten. But they were wrong. The hapless lost critter was a pint-sized piggy soon to be christened Gerald. With species no barrier to the motorist’s kindness, and fearing the worst for Gerald (after all, the side of a busy road late at night is no place for a tiny baby), he was quickly bundled up and taken to an emergency veterinary clinic where a chain of lost/abandoned animal procedures and red tape saw him ultimately surrendered to Edgar’s Mission. If only animals could talk, we are sure Gerald would have one tale to tell—if only he stopped nuzzling the ground long enough.
While pigs, do get dirty sometimes, they’re not dirty animals.
Pigs keep their living quarters neat and tidy, choosing to do their ‘dirty business’ away from their sleeping and eating areas. So, what’s with the mud? Pigs don’t sweat, so they lay in mud wallows to cool down, and the mud acts as a natural insect repellent. It’s undeniable, pigs are cool!
Sometimes life doesn’t go as planned, today was one of them. Today we had hoped beyond hope, that little ‘Ello would turn the corner we all had been willing her too, but her little body said no more. Up against it from the start, she tried, oh boy did she try and so too did we.
And as we struggle to make some sense of it all we are left with the reminder that all life is precious, all want to live a life free from harm, enjoy the sunshine, the company of their buddies and to gambol across the hills till their heart is content. ‘Ello can now do all of those things, although on another plain in a body more robust to accommodate the gaiety and glee of a sweet little lamb. Honouring her wish, her passing was aided, surrounded by love, teddy bears, and tears. Her life mattered, she was loved, and she will ever be cherished in our hearts forever. Sometimes life doesn’t go as planned…
In a world that is not always kind to lambs, it was kindness that saved Lambie Baa Baa. Born on a frosty morn and sadly orphaned not long thereafter, this little lamb seemed destined soon to become another statistic. But he did not. Securing not only his release but a chance at a life truly worth living, Lambie Baa Baa was soon Edgar’s Mission bound. With colostrum thawed and warmed in preparation of his arrival, Lambie Baa Baa was soon to claim his second and third hearts (having already stolen that of the Good Samaritan who saved him). Bearing testament to his few hours on this earth were his still moist and blood-engorged umbilical cord, along with the eponychium* on his little hooves.
A herd of beautiful Angora goats is in desperate need of a helping hand. And that is just what we have swung into action to make possible. With the first of these goats having arrived at our sanctuary we have already commenced urgent and much-needed hoof trimming, wigging* and dag removal**. All goats have been treated for parasites and received vitamin injections. Despite being emaciated, they are welcoming of our kindnesses and are really very sweet. Bucks will shortly be castrated, and each animal assessed for any vet work required.
What we need most right now are offers of life-long homes for the animals, they truly deserve that. Angora goats do need more upkeep that other goats, with regular fleece removal and wigging essential. If you are able to assist, please send your contact details to [email protected]
We do ask for your patience in reply as our workload has suddenly increased manyfold.
* wigging is the removal of fleece from around the eyes of goats to ensure they can see
** dag removal is the cutting of lumps of encrusted faeces from the rear end of animals
Because she has a nifty new shelter stacked with mounds of soft straw to laze in. And as we write to you, another shelter is being built. But we’re not stopping yet! Watch the video to see what we have been able to achieve so far.
Every day we edge closer to reaching our $100,000 goal in our Kindness Challenge – and we’re over three quarters of the way there. There are only ten days left until the campaign closes at the end of the financial year. If you haven’t already, please consider helping us reach our goal by making a tax deductible donation today. There are some fun perks to claim for your generosity, like planting a fruit tree followed by a guided tour of the sanctuary, where you’ll meet some of the animals your donation has helped.
We’re so humbled by the support we receive from people such as yourself: kind words, kind gestures and kind donations are what keep us going every single day. With your help we’re able to give so many farmed animals the lives they absolutely deserve, and for that we cannot thank you enough.
If you have already donated, please accept our deepest thanks and enjoy this as an update of what you’re helping us achieve.
Please note: Even though Pam is a whizz with the hammer-drill, we’re leaving the building up to the professionals.
What would drive one 10-year-old student to make a presentation to 7 of her teachers? A kind heart, that’s what. Propelled by concern for the chicks who never know the warmth and safety of their mother’s wings and who can suffer a host of physical issues due to the artificial conditions, Stephanie educated her educators on Chicken Hatching Projects.
Through her engaging account, Stephanie made one point that struck to the heart of her reasoning: chicks need their mothers, just like we do. Often, the main argument for Chicken Hatching Projects is they teach children about empathy for other lifeforms, but in reality they teach the opposite. By depriving chicks of their mothers and bringing them into a world where their future is uncertain at project’s end, children are taught life is disposable and might is right. By contrast, Stephanie knew they deserved better. She knew even though chicks look different to us, their need for the love of their mothers was the same.
Earlier this month, love birds Kate and Nathan tied the knot. While all weddings are unique and special, theirs had a touch of kindness. Rather than giving gifts, guests were asked to instead donate to Edgar’s Mission – and we can’t thank them enough for the thoughtful generosity of the happy couple and their guests.
Planning a special event and want to help animals? We’d love to give you a hand putting together all the resources you’ll need to create your own donation cards to fundraise for Edgar’s Mission, just email [email protected]. Continue reading
Have you ever made a promise in the hope you’ll one day be able to fulfil it? One year ago today, a vow made many moons ago was honoured.
Looking into the eyes of two goats tethered outside of a Laverton knackery, the words, “one day I will rescue you” were uttered. Catwoman and Dobbin’s story is a heartening reminder to never give up – every new day brings the promise of change for the better.
If you would like to help us keep changing the world for farmed animals like Catwoman and Dobbin, please consider donating to our Medical Fighting Fund. Another wonderful way to help is to share this post. Thank you!
‘tis a fact, the aged ewe, Martha, loves her tiny baby, Mandii—in fact, she is besotted with her. All the while either nickering to her or gently nuzzling her side, this is truly love in its purest of forms. Despite the now-happy outcome for both Martha and Mandii, it has been a tragic road for them to get there.
We place Martha’s age around ten to twelve years, judging by the wear and tear on the worn-down little stumps that were once her pearly white incisor teeth. Squeezing the last dollar from Martha, she had been impregnated yet again, more than likely to produce even more prime lambs (those destined for human consumption). However, this time circumstances arose that saw Martha become lost, unclaimed and apparently helpless, although the latter is not entirely correct, for dear Martha’s steely resolve ensured she would never give up, despite her pitifully thin but heavily pregnant body. Continue reading
As a not-for-profit we rely on the generosity of others to continue our lifesaving work. Earlier this year, Macquarie Bank so kindly donated $10,000 to help us make a difference for farmed animals.
Whilst our David Copperfield is no magician, he certainly did manage to wrangle himself out of a life and death situation. And in doing so, he does have a story to tell. A story of one dear little lamb and the goodness of the human heart—four, actually.
Little David was born on a sheep-farming property in the far north of our state. Unknown to the humans charged with her care, sadly, his mother, who had recently given birth to a male lamb, had passed away. With predators hovering and harsh weather prevailing, the chances of David Copperfield writing another chapter in his life seemed bleak. And had his mournful cries not pierced the ears and heart of a kindly family who serendipitously happened to be staying on the property, he surely would be no more. So, heading back to Melbourne with an extra one in tow, the two young children of the family formed a determined bond with the wee lamb. Children have such a natural instinct to care for the vulnerable; sadly, such an exemplary trait is all too often extinguished with the passage of time. But thankfully not in this family. Continue reading
I’m not really sure; in fact, to be honest, do we really know why anyone does anything? I guess the best way of finding out would be to get inside another’s head. So, to crack the answer to this age-old question, I want to take you on a bit of a road trip, a journey to find out not only what it means to be a chicken but also to find out who they really are.
Chickens began flapping out of the groves and scrublands of India and Southeast Asia around 8000–10,000 years ago and into domestication. A primary progenitor of today’s chickens, Gallus gallus domesticus, is the red jungle fowl. However, the red jungle fowl does not have the yellow leg and skin colouring we see on many of these modern birds which suggests an opportunistic and romantic interlude or two by the grey jungle fowl who does.
Did you know that today, on this planet, chickens outnumber we humans by around 3 to 1? So where are these 19 billion feathered wonders? Sadly, for these highly intelligent and inquisitive birds, most cannot see the sunshine, smell fresh air or even take more than a few stifled steps, let alone contemplate crossing the road. But contemplate they do.
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 Miss Reddy, Eden and Felicia are going in their new forever home.
On this day, May 31st, 2012 a truck carrying some 400 sheep crashed on a busy overpass of the Metropolitan Ring Road, just outside of Melbourne. The accident caused many of the hapless animals to rain down on the cars passing below. Dead, dazed and injured sheep made for a horrific sight, as speeding cars crashed into them. Many of the injured sheep were shot on site with the remaining survivors corralled and then sent on to complete their journey to the abattoir, but one sheep escaped. The unsinkable Molly Brown, as she was christened, cheated death that night not once but twice and she went to win the hearts of people all around the world. Emerging days later with a head injury but otherwise unharmed, she was to find sanctuary here at Edgar’s Mission where she will live her remaining days in peace. Molly’s story of survival is a reminder that even in our blackest of hours there is always hope and for this reason we have declared May 31st Molly Day.
Ways to be kind to sheep
- Keep sheep in your heart and not on your plate, try some meat free alternatives
- Ugg boots are for Neanderthals? While humans have moved on from our cave dwelling and animal skin wearing days, you still can look cool and keep your feet snug in hip cruelty free Ugg boots
- Sponsor Molly Brown and help keep the sheep at Edgar’s Mission happy!
Trotwood Copperfield, although small in size, is great in courage. Perhaps a reflection of his saviour, who could have simply driven past on that fateful day when they spied the wee chap desperately trying to suckle from his sick mum, who was unable to rise. Pretty much in the middle of nowhere, and almost without a hope of kindness to save him, this could have been Trotwood’s worst day. But it wasn’t—although he didn’t know it yet. With help at hand proving to be almost as elusive as a phone signal, our kind heart could have been forgiven for giving up.
Every year we here at Edgar’s Mission open our farm gates to hundreds and hundreds of school students and in doing so we trust we are guiding them to a kinder way of living. Last week we introduced the year nine students of Kilbreda College, in Mentone, to the fascinating world of cows, pigs, chickens, sheep, goats and our adorable resident turkey, Martin. “There can be no doubt” said our Founder and Director, Pam Ahern, “that looking into the eyes of these animals has the power to touch hearts, transform lives and make the world a kinder place for all”.
If you would like to book a school visit please email [email protected]
A call from our friends at the RSPCA in Castlemaine to assist with an orphan lamb saw us presented with one of the saddest babies we have ever met. Even her pretty pink jacket, warm bottle and a cute as a button new friend in Little Boy Blue could not stop this wee lamb crying. Desperate were her pleas for the one thing we could never give her: her mother. Hearing the frantic bleats, and seeing her desperate pacing left no doubt in our minds that lambs form the strongest bonds with their mothers, something circumstance cannot break. One of our most heart-breaking of days was the first day with Little Girl Pink, as she cried and cried and then cried some more for the mother she would never see again. No amount of sweet milk formula nor cuddles was going to cut it for her. As the days slowly rolled on, Little Girl Pink came to terms with her situation, a stoic resolve guiding her through.
A tiny lamb suddenly appearing in the headlights of a late-night traveller was something this kind-hearted driver least expected. But sadly, this was no tiny baby who had simply lost their way, as a serious head wound told of a lucky escape from a predator, who dropped the hapless animal some distance from where he ought to be. But this is where Little Boy Blue’s luck turned from bad to bright, as he was taken home and a call hastily made to Edgar’s Mission. With the wound still fresh, several stiches were needed to close the gaping hole in the little guy’s head. Now all he needed to make his life complete was a warm bottle and snazzy jacket (resigning ourselves to the fact that, sadly, Little Boy Blue would never see his dear mum again). But with determination in our stride, compassion in our hearts and teddy bears at the ready, we have promised our new friend that we will be the best mum for him we can ever be.
Dear little Anne of Green Gables, and her ever-present smile on her sweet face, reminds us daily of the vulnerability of her kind. And also, the goodness of the human heart. From the vantage point of her country home, the feeble cries of an abandoned and newborn lamb saw our hero swing into action as night time was quickly descending and wily foxes were no doubt surveying their quarry—awaiting their time to pounce. This was most definitely a case of finding the right place at just the right time for little Anne of Green Gables.