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
We will never know what stroke of fate caused little Agnes to be standing stock still in the middle of a major highway just shy of the township of St Arnaud. And whilst it could well be argued that such a place was not a compatible arrangement for long and happy life for a wee lamb, we do know that it was the best place she could have been, for what came next certainly changed her life for the better. Found, thankfully by a kind heart and not a fast-moving semi-trailer, the tiny orphan was bundled up and taken to a local veterinary clinic. With no means of identifying an owner, options for Agnes were few, but she really only needed one to save her. And that she got, as she was soon Edgar’s Mission-bound.
Don’t adopt these adorable young goats, unless you are prepared to give them a lifetime of love, care and a safe, secure and well sheltered home. Bill and Bob, by the narrowest of margins are alive today, and whilst they are still very scared and uncertain about the world, they most certainly want to live. Our task now is to find the brightest of futures possible for them. Please follow the link if you can help make this happen or make a tax deductible donation towards their veterinary costs if you can.
Cold, alone and in a barren place a bewildered sow gave birth to seven tiny piglets. In such an inhospitable of circumstance, it would be a miracle if any would survive and by daybreak only three had. As our rescue team set off a straw filled stable was readied for their arrival. Gentle yet scared, the new mum anxiously followed the crate into which we had placed her surviving babies. Safely ensconced in our float, we were Edgar’s Mission bound but not before the not-so-fortunate ones too were gathered up for burial at the sanctuary, it was the only kindness we could now offer them. Continue reading
As the calendar rolled over to November we learnt of the tragic fate of a herd of domestic goats. With around a dozen of the goats already corralled and trucked off to slaughter, three recently trapped goats were awaiting a similar fate. But with news of their plight hitting our ears we knew just what we had to do, downing our tools and grabbing the car keys our rescue team swung into top gear.
The greatest threat to any prey animal is a predator, who can come in many skins. And for the hapless Luigi, that is just what he faced, and more. With numerous reports flooding in of two goats traipsing a busy outer Melbourne arterial highway, taking refuge every now and then in the treacherous centre divide, it was only a matter of time before the predator won out. And, sadly, for Luigi’s buddy, that appears to have been the case. One day he was there, the next he was not. One can only image the terror and adrenaline that raced through the now-lone young goat’s veins as he desperately tried to find sanctuary in a world that was anything but safe. Continue reading
With the heat of summer approaching, we began to pack away our thermals and gloves, kissing goodbye to winter 2016 and the incredibly busy orphan lamb season she had imposed upon us. And while we may curse the stifling heat that summer will impose upon us, there can be no lamb alive who welcomed the heat of those pre-summer days more than our (almost certainly) last rescued little orphan lamb of the season: Madeline Merino. For it was to those days’ sweltering heat that she owes her life. With it being determined simply too hot to dig a hole to bury the crippled lamb, the plan to end her life was halted. With the ensuing passage of day into night and day again came the realisation there was indeed another option: the lamb could live and she could receive the life-saving veterinary treatment she so desperately needed.
His eyes were the saddest eyes we have ever seen. Looking out into the world through a lens of fear and trepidation, we wanted nothing more than to hug this dear boy and tell him all would be well. But his quickly stiffened body, arched back, lowered head and ready to flee gaze told us now was not the time to do so. Christening him Waffle, we do not know what circumstance had justified a look of such forlorn sadness. Perhaps it was during his month-long time wandering the streets of a small country town that he had met with the unkindest of experiences, or perhaps it was his prior life from which he had fled that saw we humans declared his public enemy number one. But what we do know is that we were his absolute last chance, with an abattoir beckoning just down the road from the pound that he currently called home. Put simply, Waffle had run out of options, but not kindness. And with the knowledge that pigs are both resilient and smart and that we humans can indeed be kind, we offered our outstretched hand and soft words of calm as our awaiting straw-lined float was at the ready to take him to our promised land. Continue reading
The timeless charm of May Gibbs’ classic characters Snugglepot and Cuddlepie has not been lost on generations who have come to love these Gumnut Babies and all their adorable antics. And we could think of no better names for two adorable little waifs of lambieness who recently arrived at Edgar’s Mission.
Despite their crippling disabilities, Snugglepot, with her cute overshot jaw and deformed front legs, and Cuddlepie, with her fused left hind fetlock joint, took no time in marching on in to our barn and our hearts. Although wary of humans these two little merino babies, with their velvety soft wool, will over the coming months need countless interactions with our kind to overcome their challenges. Continue reading
Sitting at 519 metres above sea level the view from Magnet Hill, just north of the township of Gisborne, is quite majestic. So too were her two woolly inhabitants who had gazed out from this point for many a year, but it was only a matter of time before their luck ran out. With at least three years’ worth of wool coupled with recent rains and summer’s impending heat, it was a perfect storm for flystrike. And more dangers lurked around the corner as the hectic and unforgiving major highway would give no second chances to wandering sheep. Snow Ball and his trusty best buddy, Cream Puff, were in dire need of a lifeline.