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
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
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.
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
‘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
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.
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 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 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?
While two frightened goats huddled in a drain beneath the lonely country road that had become their home, they may not have had too many kindnesses in the world, but they did have the one thing that mattered most: each other. Although traditional thought places a divider between the emotions of animals and humans, daily the veil is being lifted. Charles Darwin was one of the first to give it a gentle tug when he said, “The difference in mind between man and the higher animals, great as it is, certainly is one of degree and not of kind”. And just as each and every human is unique in the way each of us hangs off the same tapestry of life, so too are animals—similar yet different. Continue reading
Being presented with three barely-clinging-to-life, day-old goats was just another challenge sent our way. Recently separated from their mothers, who had been sent to slaughter, the tiny, confused and bewildered babes tried to make sense of the world. As did we. But there was little time for judgment calls as the most urgent need was tending the three orphans before us.
Named after the Australian singer, actor and activist* is our Ms Reddy. Although species apart, they are united by their determination, free spirit and desire for emancipation of their kind. So, naturally enough, our Ms Reddy meets the world on her terms daily. She is kind, yet forthright, knows her friends, and views each new human she meets with a suspicion justly deserved by her species. As with so many of our rescues, we never quite know the exact circumstances that have caused their fear of humans. However, there is a shortlist of things to remedy this—kindness, Weet-Bix treats and no threats of harm being right up there. And that is just what Ms Reddy will find for the rest of her days, and that indeed is something worth “baaing about”.
13th March 2017
“They are both full of lice, but soon they are going to be full of love.”
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We didn’t quite know what to expect when we arrived to collect the ailing ewe who had been unable to feed her little lamb. But we knew it would not be good. Surrendered into our care along with her struggling little bub, we held grave fears for them both as we pondered just what had gone so awry to prevent this loving mother from feeding her offspring. So weak had Sophie become that she could not stand, and so lethargic was her baby that he showed little interest in life. All too soon the mystery was solved as a lone maggot fell from Sophie’s rear end and a putrid smell led us to a moistened patch of wool. The culprit, or rather culprits could remain invisible no more. There lurking beneath this tell-tale sign, slithered and squirmed an orgy of obese and blood engorged maggots feasting on the hapless Sophie’s flesh.
What does pure relief look like? Homa’s expression says it all.
Once a stud merino ram, Homa had since aged beyond his usefulness and became homeless. Finding himself at a rural pound with greatly overgrown fleece, Homa was to be given a second chance and an eccentric but essential new haircut – removing the hundreds of grass seeds forging their way through his skin.
Homa has found his way home and his welfare will never again depend upon his “usefulness” – from here on out, this dear gent’s only task is the pursuit of happiness.
Read Homa’s full story and see more photos here.
When Garry Frost, of the Australian band, Moving Pictures, watched an autistic child being constantly overlooked at his local shop in the Sydney suburb of Asquith, he was spurred on to write the lyrics for the hit song “What about me?”. The song, when released in 1982, was an instant success and quickly became an anthem for the downtrodden. Thirty-five years on, its poignant meaning touched our hearts as we watched a lonely ewe pitifully call out from the pound to the passing livestock transport vehicles carrying her kind to the abattoir. In an ironic twist, it was the fact that this sheep had been forgotten that was to ensure she was seen by the very people who could save her. Several days later, Flee-cia safely arrived at Edgar’s Mission with two lucky goats, Brave Heart and Twin Stripe, who happened to be at the wrong place at the right time.
“So where have you been Mrs Bee?” we asked of a plucky little ISA brown hen who was found nonchalantly grazing the front lawn of a suburban house recently. Luckily for Mrs Bee she picked the right house, for the kindly folks, whilst unable to find her humans did find a happy outcome for this intrepid hen. Sadly, many councils have no provision for lost or abandoned poultry, who often fall not only off transport vehicles but through the gaps in our animal protection legislation. But one thing is for sure, Mrs Bee will never be forgotten again!
Today we are giddy with delight as Lambert came home. But it was not a noisy, cramped, open aired livestock carrier that made this possible. Rather our straw filled transport vehicle, carefully navigating each turn to ensure Lambert was as comfortable as possible and never put off his feet, that did.
If you missed Lambert’s arrival, he came into our care in the dying hours of Tuesday just gone. Found by a kind heart who witnessed his brutal handling as he was tossed from a livestock carrier to land in an almost unmoving lump next to his dead companion. As more nervous sheep were unloaded, this courageous passer-by knew just what she had do. Securing Lambert’s release as the words “yeah, you can have it. We’re only going to knock it on the head when we’re finished” were uttered and Lambert’s life was set to be rewritten. Continue reading
Our Buffalo Bill, not to be confused with William Frederick “Buffalo Bill” Cody of the American Wild West fame, who killed over 4000 bison, is a gentle soul who never claimed a scalp, although he did have a bounty of sorts on his head. You see, our Buffalo Bill takes his name from the mountain range upon which he and his two buddies had roamed for many a year. Indeed, the picturesque mountain range of Mt Buffalo and her glorious falls and mountain ranges could be argued to be an idyllic home for a goat.
Alas, treacherous winding roads and close encounters with humans were one way or another going to claim the life of Bill, as it had done his small herd some time earlier. Corralled for death, Bill managed somehow to escape and literally took for the hills and high country, eventually settling on the car park area of Rollasons Falls. Over time, the timid and lonely Bill became a little too confident with food-bearing humans and displaying his annoyance at those without food. And so, Buffalo Bill’s notoriety began to soar as high as the mountain range he had come to love. With notices placed warning of his “dangerous” nature, Bill’s days seemed to be numbered. But here’s where luck and a kind heart pedalled in. Having witnessed Bill’s gentle side and learning of the “mysterious” disappearance of other goats from the area, our Good Samaritan put the wheels in motion for a rescue plan for Bill.
It wasn’t always the case that Homa was homeless. Indeed, the aged fellow had at one time been a stud merino ram, siring many offspring and earning his keep. However, with his use-by date reached, there appeared no home for the dear boy and, judging by his excessively overgrown fleece, it had been this way for some time. Now, some may be thinking that ending up in a rural country pound, just a stone’s throw from the local abattoir, was to be the worst day of the dear boy’s life, but it was to turn out to be the best. Striking the heart and telephone of a kindly pound worker, the call went out for a reprieve for dear Homa. While there are not too many keen to take on an ageing sheep, let alone a ram, it is these golden oldies to whom we are so strongly drawn. The wisdom in his one good eye coupled with scaring of his other eye (a legacy of a long gone injury), pulled at our heartstrings like no other as we set out to fulfil our pledge of a life truly worth living for Homa.
And kindness has never been so cute.
Princess Leia is proof that a little bit of kindness makes the whole world of difference.
Feeling blue? We have just the cure – cute piglets having breakfast. Bye bye Monday Blues!
Simone is up for the fight of her life and we are right there beside her, willing, loving and guiding her all of the way. Footnote, this clip was made yesterday however due to technical difficulties we are only able to post it for you now.
On a day when we could not have been any busier our attention and gaze was taken by the arrival of three fragile and weak, newborn baby goats. Whilst the road ahead will be rocky to beat their terrible start in life it will indeed be paved with sweet formula, teddy bears and kindness. Their story coming shortly, until then it’s bottle time! Continue reading