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.
A couple of weeks back, on a cold and bitter day, an abandoned ewe, who had been inhabiting the grassy verge of a train line, gave birth to not one but two tiny lambs on the train tracks. The terrified and confused mother, quickly fleeing, urging her babies to do so also. Yet young and weak, they could not. On seeing this happen, our brave heart knew that with the busy morning express train shortly to hurtle down that very line as it did at the same time every day, the wee lambs would surely be killed. Thinking swiftly with his feet and his heart, his single act of kindness spared the two baby lambs. With their condition critical and no colostrum in their system, time was of the essence if there was to be any chance of saving the lambs. Not long thereafter, the baby lambs were in our care as we set about a plan to return the next day and, aided by daylight and a deft team of kind crusaders, attempt to catch the terrified ewe. Although, to be honest, we doubted our chances, as we pondered whatever had happened to her to cause such fear in her heart.
When Saturday was born she looked just as any little lamb should, but when she tried to move things went decidedly pear-shaped. The sweet little Suffolk ewe could barely manage more than a few steps before falling down, making her human carers question how they could provide her with a good life. As determined as Saturday was to live, so too were they driven to find her a place where she could get the care she needed – and that’s when they found Edgar’s Mission. Continue reading
On this Mother’s Day we celebrate mothers, in all their glorious shapes and species, and thank them for making the world a kinder and safer place for those they love.
We’d like to dedicate Meghan’s uplifting rescue story to mothers everywhere, may your babies stay safe and sound.
A journey of a thousand kindnesses begins with a single pig…
Right about this time on the 10th of May in 2003, I grabbed my car keys and in the company of my best little buddy, ET Good Doggie, we set off on a journey to collect a pig. A journey that has certainly been one hell of a ride. Please sit back and watch this clip that has seen me reach the destination of somewhere.
Right now, Animal Health Australia (AHA) is managing the development of a new set of national standards for Australian poultry industries. This is massive – it’s a rare opportunity to have our voices heard as we speak up for millions of chickens.
But we’ve already learned of reports that the process is heavily weighted to industry interests over those of the animals. This is where you come in. AHA assert the standards will create “a suitable industry position that meets community expectations.” We know that the tide is fast turning against cage egg production and concern for the immense suffering of broiler chickens is growing. Laying hens suffer a range of health issues from the unnatural egg production, genetics has imposed upon them greatly reducing the quality and quantity of their lives.
R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what is means to me.
They are the closest living relative of the tyrannosaurus-rex and they outnumber humans more than 6 to 1, yet for the 43 billion chickens on this planet so few are rarely seen, let alone respected. But all that changed today, May 4th, as lovers of these feathered wonders around the globe celebrated chickens in all of their glorious forms on International Respect for Chickens Day. Continue reading
Timmy’s life could have been so different if not for the goodness of heart of the human who saw him first, all those years ago on a cold winter’s day in August of 2007. Spying the bewildered little orphan on an open stretch of the road, where no orphan little lamb should have been, Timmy was bundled up with a blanket and love and was soon on his way to Edgar’s Mission. Perhaps Timmy knew, in some way, that it would only be fitting that he repay the kindness and that his life would see him go on to touch the hearts and minds of people around the world—showing them that our impact in life should never be restricted by the form one has taken, and that our goal in life should be to make the world a kinder place for all. Timmy achieved both of these things and more as he unwittingly became an ambassador for sheep, and indeed all farmed animals. Diplomatic to the core, yet never wavering from his mission, and all he did was act naturally.
Each and every day, in so many ways we give thanks to those who believe in the work of Edgar’s Mission. Whether it be your kind and generous financial donations or goods in kind, or even heartfelt words of support – we could not do what we do without you, you make it all possible as you buoy our spirits and help us ensure that the animals in our care will never be forgotten again and that they will want for nothing to make their worlds complete. Most recently we have been touched by the kindness of our friends at The Animal Rescue Appeals and visitors to our sanctuary. Your thoughtful gifts are a true testament to the statement “kindness begets kindness”, and for that, from the bottom of our hearts we thank you.
When the good people at Goodwill source new wines, they take to independent wineries across Australia. Not only do they promise quality boutique bottles of wine or your money back, they donate over 50% of profits to charity.
We were lucky enough to have the kind heart behind this wonderful initiative, David and his daughter Betty, pay us a visit earlier in the week. Continue reading
If red makes cars go faster, can it make tails go faster too? Little Boy Blue would have you believe this fable is fact, but it’s not the red coat that fuels that waggling tail, it’s something deeper.
Little Boy Blue lost his mother and almost his life, but he’s still here and his love for life is plain for all to see. You can see it in the way he melts into cuddles, in the way he lays in the sun with his buddy Little Girl Pink and in the way he blissfully shakes his tail while drinking in that sweet, warm milk.
He came into our lives in the winter of 2007, and now in the winter of his life, he has left. Timmy Lamb, as he was fondly known, became one of the most recognisable members of our extended Edgar’s Mission family. His illness today was as rapid in its onset as was the love for sheep he evoked in all whom he met.
With over 450 animals in our care and a gracefully growing old population, we are never too far away from farewelling one of our flock. Sadly, it never gets any easier to bare or fairer to understand. Timmy’s passing has hit us hard and although the sun will rise tomorrow and our dear Timmy will not, our resolve to speak up for his kind will rise to even greater heights – a fitting legacy to the most affable chap we were truly fortunate enough to share the last ten years of our lives with. If ever there was to be a Noble Peace Prize granted to an animal, we could think of no worthier recipient.
Timmy, a sheep, our friend, and inspiration. Forever in our hearts, you shall remain.
Today we celebrate the Four year anniversary of Charity arriving at Edgar’s Mission! Watch her story below!
Last week was a busy, busy week for us here at Edgar’s Mission. At the heart of our “cacophony of kindness”, always, is our commitment to offering the very best care for our many residents. This saw many frequent flyer points earned with trips to our consulting veterinarians, each offering specialist expertise. Following are some brief insights into our week.
Alicia underwent a light sedation in order to determine just what has been causing her to drool. Many of our sheep present unique challenges, in that they all get to do something sheep rarely do, and that is to reach a ripe old age. So, until veterinary science catches up with the specific tools for each species, we need to borrow from those animals who have traditionally held centre stage in people’s hearts and vet bills. For Alicia, this meant using a horse gag to investigate the inside of her mouth and in particular those tricky and hard-to-reach back molars. Whilst the jury is still out on the root of her problem, a light has most certainly been shone where it never has before. Continue reading
Society’s treatment of animals has been described as the next great social justice movement, and one we here at Edgar’s Mission are proud to be a part of. Late last year the Victorian Government called for submissions to its Animal Action Plan – a commitment to “effective and proactive action in animal welfare over the next five years”. We’re heartened to see our leaders and decision makers taking the lives and treatment of animals seriously.
For many April 20th is just another page to be flipped in the diary, however, for me, it is so much more. For on this day in 2010, I kissed for the last time his hairy ear, and rubbed for the last time his portly belly, as I whispered the words, “I’ll love you forevermore and one day longer” and Edgar Alan Pig closed his magnificent eyes for the last time. And I knew that there was something I had to do, and that was complete his mission of kindness for all animals.
It gives me great heart knowing that today Edgar still watches over me from the vantage point of a beautiful gum tree at the entrance to the sanctuary. A poignant reminder that finding one’s way to an entire new world of kindness can be guided by a gentle pig.
After his terrible head injury, we knew it was only right to provide Little Boy Blue with the best veterinary treatment available. So, we booked him in for a CAT scan. The results came back immediately: Little Boy Blue and Makamae are unequivocally adorable.
It seems nothing can faze Little Boy Blue, cool as a cucumber even as a curious cat cuddles. And the future has never looked brighter for this affable chap. Continue reading
Wow, pow, look who’s a big girl now!! On this day, this special lady squealed into the world and what an impact her trotter step has made. Happy Birdy Two Ewe, Miss Polly. Seven glorious fun filled and life changing years.
See how we celebrated Polly’s Fourth Birthday here.
When one divorces themselves of any preconceptions they have about animals and looks into their eyes, looking back at them they will see a curious and intelligent, living, breathing being who very much wants to live.
We were blessed with the most beautiful of rainbows after a downpour of rain yesterday. We hope you enjoy the photos below.
We don’t know if Norma Jean had a name before we bestowed one upon her, but we did know her future was bleak at best. On the run for over 24 hours, which spanned many a busy outer Melbourne road, Norma Jean literally ran for her life. She stopped momentarily to survey her situation and allow onlookers to catch a Facebook moment of a terrified and trembling animal. “I’ve never seen an animal shake so much,” one person relayed, but it was to another that Norma Jean owes her life: the one who made call after fruitless call, each one greatly increasing the likelihood of the young goat being shot, until a call was made to an emergency veterinary clinic. This was the one call needed to cause our rescue team to swing into action. As we uttered the words to the caring vet nurse, “Please tell them, don’t shoot, we are on the way,” we were indeed on the way, and so too was our dear friend, Manfred Zabinskas of Five Freedoms Animal Rescue.
Can you see where Norma Jean is hiding?
Last month we were lucky enough to show celebrated photojournalist Jo-Anne McArthur around the sanctuary. She took some photos and we hope she took home some special memories.
We will never know when or how, but this brave and gentle old sheep had become blind and was abandoned on a property. With no place in this world to belong, he made his way to the refuge of Edgar’s Mission, where he will live out the rest of his golden years. Once given the clean bill of health, we then had to put on our thinking caps, how the Dickins were we to give him the happy life he deserved? Queue Joe Cocker: “I get by with a little help from my friends”. Continue reading
When Hansel first arrived at Edgar’s Mission, he was only a little cherub-faced sprite with knobbly knees. A bobby calf and considered no use to the dairy industry into which he was born, Hansel is truly one in millions. Now he’s flourished into a magnificent boy with a magnificent tongue. Watch as he puts it to good use capturing those delicious Wheetbix treats.
You can learn more about Hansel and sign up to be his Best Buddy here.
“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” Dr Seuss
It is with the heaviest of hearts that we say goodbye to the adored Little Miss Sunshine. Words cannot convey the impact she has had on the world and on the lives of countless chickens. Through her too short but eventful life, from the darkness of a battery cage to a shining light touching the lives of so many, Little Miss Sunshine has been an ambassador for her kind – a role she took on with grace and charisma.
Right to the end she bravely took to the spotlight, waiting for her audience to assemble before embarking on one last walk into the sunshine. Little Miss Sunshine will be buried at Edgar’s Mission, in a place streaked by the morning rays. Our deepest and heartfelt condolences go out to the person who loved her the most, Paula Broadstock.
Lambert came into our world on a day synonymous with flowers, Valentine’s Day (you can read his story here) and today we again celebrate his arrival to our barn with, you guessed it, flowers. You see Lambert has just returned from yet another critical surgery to repair the horrific break in his leg. Sadly, a break he sustained some days, or even weeks before he came into our care. Continue reading
We know, it can be difficult to get going in the morning. Well Doctor Edgar’s has just the right dose of cuteness to cure that morning drag. Recently orphaned Benjamin, Princess Leia and Dominic found refuge and the care they desperately needed at Edgar’s Mission – and they also found warm bottles to guzzle with gusto. Take a look at these three tail-wagging cuties and call us in the morning.