“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 carpark 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.
Determination is described as willpower and strength of mind. Those who have it are said to possess a firmness of purpose, and we can think of no other animal who fits the bill better than little Petal. Arriving at our sanctuary just over a month ago she had little sensation in her hind limbs, unable to even move them, let alone stand.
While the truck driver who so callously removed the body of a newborn lamb and placed her in long grass at a wayside stop considered this tiny baby worthless, the kind-hearted human who witnessed the scene thought otherwise. And so too do we here at Edgar’s Mission.
Although in livestock transporting, heavily pregnant ewes are described as ‘unfit to load’, numerous are the instances of them being so. Herded up narrow ramps and crammed into tiered livestock trucks, many of these hapless animals are sent on the last road trip of their lives—straight to slaughterhouses. Sadly, many a terrified ewe has given birth in such inhospitable circumstances, never able to nurture her baby, and many a baby has been trampled to death. And with abattoirs unwelcoming of newborns, the situation described above is not the first of this kind. Continue reading
While the song “How much is that doggie in the window?” may have been a chart-topping song in the 50s, made famous by singer Patti Page, its message today speaks of a more sinister side of human nature—that of breeding animals for commercial gain. More than 60 years on, and to mark the start of Puppy Mill Action Week in 2008, the Humane Society of the United States teamed up with Patti to change the tune of this ever-popular song. Shining her brilliant voice and compassion for animals, Patti now championed the plight of homeless cats and dogs, urging one and all to heed the important message that animals come with a lifetime of commitment, care and kindness, and it is they who so often end up paying an enormous price.
Most of us are familiar with the expression “tone it down” – meaning to do less of something. But when it comes to caring for animals there is little we should tone down; instead, first and foremost, we need more kindness. Continue reading
Taking their lead from the American heavy metal band, a recently arrived mixed bag of ovines have managed to reinvent themselves. Although unlike their namesake Tommy Lee, Samantha Maloney and Nikki Sixx are not known for their excessive brashness, wild parties or their impact on the world stage. Rather their transformation has seen them morph from nameless animals one hoof step away from death to named and much loved family members.
Samantha Maloney, a fine wool merino, Tommy Lee, a cheeky dorper wether and Nikki Sixx a crossbred little ewe, form this most unlikely trio. But all are deeply bonded to one another. We are so grateful to the kind heart who so readily opened their farmgate to adopt these buddies, welcoming the fact they recognise Samantha, Tommy Lee and Nikki as someones not somethings.
Climbing into the murky darkness that was the understorey of a house, we spied the pig who council had alerted us to. The tale went like this: a medium-sized black and white boar had been taking refuge in the area for several weeks, at first masquerading as a wombat and sending the household dogs into a frenzy. By what circumstance Alfie had found himself alone in a foreign world we do not know, but what we did know was that we were his last hope.
“In the nick of time” is an idiom that describes a situation where something comes at the vital moment, usually at the last possible opportunity. And we could think of no better description for the rescue of two tiny young ex-school chicken-hatching project chicks. Amidst school bags and books, the hapless two had made their way home one day to a most distressed parent, who had absolutely no idea of their impending arrival. Compounding the situation was that she received no information on how to care for the chicks or what the dietary needs are of such young and vulnerable animals. Charged now with the responsibility of two young lives, this kind-hearted mother became frantic, not only for the animals themselves but also for the poor lessons her children would learn about caring for others.
“Is he still with us?” someone nervously asked as the blanket was peeled back to reveal an almost frozen and lifeless newborn lamb. With his feeble body still covered in amniotic fluid and his wet and bloody umbilical telling us he was only hours old, little Connor rolled his head ever so slightly and gave us both an answer and hope. Working to warm his moribund form, our every being was set to fulfil the promise mother nature had offered—a life truly worth living. Warming the lamb was our first and foremost task as frozen colostrum was thawed. With a lamb as weak as this and unable to suckle, our only option to introduce life-enhancing nutrition was by direct stomach tube, something we have sadly had cause to do a zillion times before. And then we waited.
Two of the most recent additions to our lamb clan are these adorable girls with their oh so fitting names. Little Red Riding Hood (so named because of her first jacket being red) is diminutive, sweet and shy, while Virginia Wolfe is forthright, courageous and loves to take the lead. Over and over it is through our experiences with animals that we have the unique opportunity to bear witness to what is so often written – animals each come with their own individual stories and personalities, shaped by both their experience and environment. And while no two are ever the same their plea for human mercy, kindness and justice is. Continue reading
Found by wildlife carers entwined in a wire fence was a tiny little lamb, barely hours old. The wire showed no remorse for wee lamb’s pristine white hind limb; mercilessly it gouged and wrapped itself 360 degrees around, and our race against time began to see if not only Tania’s leg but also her life could be saved. Freeing Tania from not only the fence but also farmlife by way of surrender, the wee baby was thrown the greatest lifeline she ever could as she was ferried to Edgar’s Mission.
As a terrified and injured goat raced about a busy road, cars swerved and mayhem was caused. But two things became clear: first, that animals flee from danger for the very same reasons we humans do—they wish to protect their life; and second, that humans are programmed to care, as Roger’s saviour saw a creature in trouble and knew just what he had to do. Tracking down the trembling animal, he was soon able to hand Roger over to local animal control officers, who ferried the fearful goat to a local vet clinic for assessment. Whilst Roger gave no hints as to how he had found himself in such a bizarre circumstance, some old bite wounds on his hind legs told of a nasty encounter with a dog.
Whilst the racing industry might not care that tiny babies like little Custard will only ever know a few days with their birth mother, these lives matter to us here at Edgar’s Mission, and so too to our friends at Horse Shepherd Equine Sanctuary – Horse Rescue. Late last week we learned of the plight of little Custard, who was shortly to be separated from her mother so her mother could rear one ‘more highly prized’ in the industry’s eyes—a foal whose mother had sadly passed away. Seeing the tiny baby taken away from her mother and the frantic whinnies of Custard will haunt us forever, and spur us on to help create a kinder world for animals. Continue reading
Returning home today after presenting at Warrnambool’s prestigious Culture, Creativity and Place II conference (some fours hours from Edgar’s Mission) it was an act of synchronicity that saw us in the best place to save these two sweet little lambs, Snuggle Pot and Cuddle Pie. While both have crippling disabilities, and a journey of a thousand wonky hoof steps lays ahead, they are in the best place they can be. It is both an honour and privilege to serve these innocent babies. We believe that when we extend our kindness and mercy to the most voiceless and vulnerable amongst us, we are truly finding our way home.