Miles – the one who smiles

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Miles arrived at Edgar’s Mission on this day in back in 2013. At such a young age he had already seen more hardship than one should endure; orphaned, weak and in desperate need of warm and helping hands.

Today Miles is a handsome and gentle fellow, who loves nothing more than the affection of his human carers. Among all the love and care sent his way, Miles is also being treated for Epilepsy – we believe he is the only sheep treated for the condition in Australia.

Miles is part of our Best Friends monthly donor program, if you’re able and would like to sponsor him, you can find him in the Sheep Shack here!

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Neo and Todman, finding their way home …

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Only hours ago, I was making my way home as the rain poured down and the windscreen wipers struggled to do their job. A trailer-load of abattoir-bound pigs headed the other way, grabbing both my gaze and heartstrings, as the words, “And they’re going to get wet” rolled from my lips. The thought haunted me for the rest of the drive home—that in their final hours on this earth, those gentle pigs would not even be afforded the kindness of warmth as their lives were soon to be reduced to pork, ham and bacon. But it also reminded me of the serenity prayer: “God* grant me the courage to change the things I can change, the serenity to accept the things I cannot, and the wisdom to know the difference”.

Every day I work on that prayer; in fact, it is what weaves the threadbare fabric of my world together. While it may come as a surprise to some, there are some days when I’m holding it together better than on other days, and some days when my world threatens to fall apart. Today is one of the latter. Already struggling under the weight of last night’s decision to end the life (and pain) of my beautiful buddy Neo, I arrived home to learn that little Todman’s brain had said, “No more”.

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A most welcome Vollie

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We all know that volunteers make the world go round, right? Without their endless and selfless hours of support, countless not-for-profit organisations, just like ours, would not exist. That is why we here at Edgar’s Mission salute you! And in honour of you all, we have named who could well be the sweetest and most gentle goat we have ever met – Vollie.

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Tiny Calf – a life that mattered

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“It is not the length of life, but the depth of life that matters.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

She came into our lives as the tiniest calf we had ever met, but that was to be the only small thing about Tiny Calf, as her impact on our lives and the lives of all those who knew of her was anything but. Continue reading

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His name is Herb

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Last Friday we shared with you the story of a goat, who, due to no fault of his own, found himself on the wrong side of the law. He had foiled plot after plot to take him down – both by gun wielding police and bow and arrow wielding camouflage-clad would-be hunters, who were no match for the handsome wether. Thankfully, what did hit him was the kindness of a very compassionate marksman. His name is Manfred Zabinskas, from Five Freedoms Animal Rescue. Continue reading

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Our new billboards!

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What the world needs right now is a little more kindness. And who better to promote kindness than a few of our very own animal ambassadors?

Around Australia right now, Panky Calf, Daisy Kid, Brad Lamb and Cookie and Candy are larger than life. Along with their beautiful portraits is our quote, asking onlookers to consider – “If we could live happy and healthy lives without harming others… why wouldn’t we?” Continue reading

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Dance like no one is watching …

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And that is just what Dancing Queen and her beloved, Rudolph Nureyev, were doing, precariously close to a country road. Quickly realising that such a dancefloor was not compatible with a long life, the two homeless goats were ushered into the local pound. And, thankfully for them, they have pirouetted their way into our hearts and not the hands of a keen-eyed entrepreneur, who would have taken advantage of the rising prices for goats en-route to the live export market.

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Tiny Calf

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We could not think of a more fitting name for a sweet little tiny calf who recently came into our care than Tiny Calf – for she is both tiny and a calf! And she is simply beautiful, possessing the longest of eye lashes and the doe-iest of eyes. Although it was those doe-eyes that gave us such a start.

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Half Pint and Jules – lucky to be alive

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Whilst Half Pint is friendly and inquisitive, his buddy Jules is not. Yet despite their dissimilar dispositions, their circumstances were the same and both are lucky to be alive – although only just so by the time we learned of their tragic plight.

Half-Pint and Jules were actually two thirds of a trio, but sadly the state of neglect they endured from a backyard slaughter setup had taken such a terrible toll on the third member that he did not survive their rescue. Now putting on much needed weight and confidence (Half Pint more so than Jules), their fate is sealed, however it is going to take a lot of kindness and patience for these hapless two to realise that an entire new world awaits. A world of peace, tranquillity, lots of sheepy buddies and wheetbix treats – where no one will ever again consider them a meal.

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Pearl – we couldn’t love you any more if we tried

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Our Facebook followers have already fallen in love with Pearl, a fluffy-faced little lamb of around six weeks of age, and we are sure you will, too.

Pearl’s arrival at our sanctuary was heralded by the pungent smell of fly-strike just moments before her severely emaciate body came into view. If you have never smelled fly-strike in a living animal, consider it a blessing. But where was this deadly menace? Once gently laid on our examination table, we could see no obvious wounds. However, as soon as we lifted her tiny right hind leg those flesh-eating maggots could hide no more – although they tried their darnedest to make a hasty retreat inside the hole they had burrowed into poor Pearl’s leg.  Such a terrible oozing wound gave answer to the bloody smear little Pearl had on her nose, no doubt the result of her feeble attempts to rid herself of the wriggling menace that was eating her alive. Yes indeed, a sickening sight and smell.

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Oreo – it takes a community to raise a lamb

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Oreo arrived into our care on the 30th of July, barely hours old. She had been found a short time earlier by a kind-hearted traveller on a stretch of road that sheep had clearly recently passed, as was evidenced by the numerous sheep droppings scattered about. So too it appeared a dear ewe had dropped her lamb, with the wee one being missed by those herding the sheep.

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Do you hear the lambs cry?

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Luckily for Little Acorn, a kindly neighbour did. His heart-wrenching cries rang out as the wee lamb desperately sought the love, comfort and nutrition of his dear mum. But sadly, his mother would not answer his calls as she had passed away some time earlier.

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Geraldine – someone, not something

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Whilst exploiting the natural reproductive cycle of animals is big business to some, it is also a lucrative side-line to others. Regardless of the intent, the consequences to animals are enormous and at the heart of all of this, is a life. In this case it is that of dear little Geraldine, an animal who comes with a lifetime of care and needs unique to her species.

Sadly too, this is a story we learn of all too often as an animal is treated as property and sold without full disclosure to unsuspecting people. Sellers neglecting basic checks to ensure the welfare of the animal, and typically with pigs whether they can even legally be housed by the “purchaser”. They fail to provide information as to the need for desexing, basic animal husbandry requirements and the important “ingredients” of a life truly worth living for the animal.

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Leonard T Lima

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With the normal birth weight of an alpaca ranging between 6 and 9kg, at two months old Leonard T Lima tips the scales at just over 9kg. But sadly, his woes do not end there. We have been told the wee chap was able to get around after his birth, however from there on in things took a turn for the worse and it was thought he had rickets. Rickets is a defect of the bones affecting young mammals, usually due to malnutrition, which can lead to deformities and breakages.

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The first pig…

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There’s a wonderful quote, I’m sure you have all heard of it, that goes: “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”

Like most people, I have had important teachers who have inspired and guided me, offering sage advice at just the right times in my life. However, my most important teachers have not been of the human kind. They have been animals, in all of their glorious shapes, sizes and sounds. But there is one who stands out like no other – the first pig.

The first pig I was ever fortunate enough to meet, and to whom I owe an eternal debt of gratitude for guiding me to just where I needed to be, was Edgar Alan Pig. At the time of our first meeting I was what I thought to be a committed animal advocate, leading what I considered to be a pretty good life. However, Edgar changed all that and so much more, as together we trotted down a path I could never have imagined, him stopping every now and then to smell the roses – something I really have to learn to do. Giving up my full-time paying job along with hanging up the boots of my successful equestrian career and saying farewell to ever having a normal life, it was because of my meeting with this first pig I was to meet many many more pigs. And cows and sheep and goats and chickens and ducks and turkeys, as I foundered Edgar’s Mission Farm Sanctuary, currently located in the picturesque Macedon Ranges, just outside of the tiny township of Lancefield. Continue reading

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Right from the horse’s mouth, it’s your birthday!!

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Did you know August 1, is the official horses’ birthday? Celebrating it in style were the aging matriarchs of the equine herd at Edgar’s Mission, Beryl and Cheryl. With Cheryl around 28 years young and dear Beryl, none too far behind her, these grand dams did not let their age get in the way of their celebratory carrot cake and its pollard topped icing.

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All things grow with love

“Aerodynamically the bumble bee should not be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn’t know that, so she goes on flying anyway”.  Two years ago today, Fanta came into our world and while few would have given her any chance of surviving, no one told Fanta that, so she went on trying anyway. And look at her today. ‘Tis true, all things grow with love, even a wee lamb named Fanta.

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Last week was D-Day for our horses!

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Many people may not realise that grazing the kind pastures here at Edgar’s Mission is our horse herd, comprising of 16 magnificent equines. There’s quite a variety of shapes, sizes and temperaments ranging from a dwarf miniature pony named Snoopy to a very large and handsome warmblood gelding named Gilbert.

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What many people may also not realise is that unlike humans, horse’s teeth continue to grow throughout most of their lives. Their teeth and digestive systems are designed for breaking down the tough cellulose fibres in grasses and grains with a sideways grinding action, constantly wearing down their teeth. However, as their upper jaw is wider than their lower, sharp hooks and ridges can develop, cutting into the sensitive tissue inside their mouths and tongues. This is why regular dental check-ups are a must for our equine friends, and that is just what happened here last week. Continue reading

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Our friends, gone but not forgotten

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And saying goodbye never gets any easier. Although we know the lives of our animal friends will not match the length of our own, their passing is always something we struggle to come to terms with; to know their presence will never grace our lives again. In our grief we think back in regret, if only we could have spent more time with them, they endured so much in their lives, they never had a chance to know kindness, they will not get to see their babies grow up, their time with us was too short, humans should never have done this to them. Thoughts rage through our hearts and minds each time we bid farewell to a much loved fleeced, feathered or furred friend.

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Margery and Malcolm

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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.

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Lambie Gaga

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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.

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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

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The things that unite us

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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.

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Sometimes life doesn’t go as planned …

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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…

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Good things come in small packages!!

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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.

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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

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The warmth of kindness

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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.

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Chicken Independence Day 2015

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!

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Is it a cat? Is it a dog? No, it’s Gerald!!!

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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.

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International Mud Day

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!

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Sometimes life doesn’t go as planned…

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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…

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Beware, Lambie Baa Baa is about to steal your heart.

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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.

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