When pigs sing

Edgars Mission - Barbra Streisand, pig, piglet-8

It was Babe the pig in the movie of the same name who famously “La la laaa-ed” her way into many a heart worldwide. Following in her footsteps is another perky pink piglet with a set of lungs to rival the greatest songstress. Barbra Streisand squealed her way into our hearts this week, telling us in no uncertain terms that “Happy days are here again!”

Whilst her name and her antics may bring smiles to all of our faces, Barbra’s start to life most certainly did not. Winding up at a rural veterinary clinic after being found roadside by a concerned traveller, Barbra’s body tells us her journey to kindness has not been an easy one. With sunburn afflicting her pink skin, her ears severely burned, Barbra’s sensitive young feet too had been scalded, most likely from walking on the hot asphalt road alongside which she was discovered. Cuts and abrasions punctuated her sides and Barbra’s emaciated form told of some time spent struggling for survival. Adding to her woes is a painful case of joint ill, requiring antibiotics and pain relief to reign in.

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46 days of good luck…

It’s a stark contrast from the compounding bad luck Luckini had known before.  He came into our care in the wee hours of 2019 with painfully ulcerated eyes due to embedded grass seeds, fly strike painfully afflicting his head and a fractured elbow severely affecting his ability to walk. Whilst our onsite animal care team was able to immediately address the terrible strike and eye condition, advanced veterinary surgery was required to pin and plate the fracture, all setting Luckini on the road to recovery.

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Thomas Seen Her

Thomas save her. It was a Sunday evening when the call came in. A frightened goat had wound up in an industrial precinct, huddling in an alleyway between two factories, in the Melbourne suburb of Thomastown.

Our hearts fell as our phone pinged, letting us know that photos of the thin grey goat had been received. Putting our best laid plans for a quiet evening aside, we knew we had no option but to render assistance. Continue reading

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Hey Mister Mister!

Edgars Mission - Four Misters, Sheep-4

Did you know sheep have great memories and read facial expressions to determine how their pals are feeling? They do this to us too, preferring happy, smiling human faces over unhappy ones! Did you know sheep make best friends and have displayed problem solving abilities such as working out how to lie down and roll over a ‘hoof proof’ grid to reach greener pastures on the other side?

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Rewriting the future with Voltaire

Edgars Mission - chicken, rooster, voltaire

“I may not agree with what you have to say…
But I will defend to the death your right to say it.” – Voltaire

Seventeenth century philosopher, Voltaire was no stranger to controversy. Renowned for his wit and unique ability to shine a new light on previously recorded events, Voltaire’s perspective caused many to pause and reconsider all they once believed to be true.

Finding himself with almost nowhere to turn recently after crash landing at a mechanic’s workshop was a young rooster by the same name. Fortunately for the avian Voltaire, his public was a little more receptive, ferrying the young bird to a nearby vet after which he was Edgar’s Mission-bound.

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Here and Now

Edgars Mission - here and now, Sheep-2

Reminding us of the vulnerability of domesticated animals was a young lamb recently spotted at a truck stop on a busy highway. Whilst her circumstance was unknown, her fate was almost sealed, had not the goodness of the human heart come to the fore. With phone call after phone call seeking to ensure a safe outcome for the wee one, it was believed one had been secured, and a peaceful night of sleep was had by the kind heart. However, with the rising of sun, so too came a rising anxiety for the sheep, and so off they set just to be sure things had been put right. Heartache upon heartache, our Good Samaritan’s heart sank as they saw the hapless animal still by the roadside—all that time and no help had come.

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Nobody came


If a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

If a goat turns up at a council pound and no one comes forth to claim him, does his life matter?

Whilst the first question may have fuelled many a philosophical debate over the years, to the second we respond with an emphatic and wholehearted, “Yes!” Sadly though this second inquiry is not a mere hypothetical thought experiment but the predicament in which our latest arrival Buckwheat, a most handsome and noble Boer cross goat, found himself through no fault of his own. Continue reading

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His Lucky Day

Edgars Mission - lamb, Luckini, Sheep

Arriving at Edgar’s Mission with ulcerated eyes courtesy of embedded grass seeds and an advanced case of flystrike afflicting his face, it appeared luck was something that had not been on the young wether’s side for some time. To add insult to injury (make that, injury to injury) at some time during his short life, the lamb appeared to have been hit by a vehicle, suffering a fractured olecranon (bony tip of the elbow), rendering him almost immobile.

However, after a fateful encounter with a kind heart, the dear boy’s luck took a turn for the better as he was Edgar’s Mission-bound.

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Shhh… it’s a secret

The secret life of pigs is well and truly in the spotlight with the arrival of our very own Secret Seven.

The porcine family, consisting of two sows with five piglets between them, had been battling to survive for some time after having been abandoned on a property. With their reprieve coming by way of intervention by the local council, the septet were then Edgar’s Mission-bound.

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Look who’s walking!

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It’s been a long road to recovery for Lucille Lamb, yet this brave and determined girl now makes the most of her hard-won mobility, strolling about the sanctuary as a member of ‘The Happy Wanderers’ our free roaming lamb clan who elicit smiles everywhere they go.

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Meet the Duchess of May and her dear Duke – a rose by any other name …

Edgars Mission - Duke, Dutchess, Sheep

Quickly named for her portly proportions that were far more befitting of a Victorian era, the Duchess of May arrived at our sanctuary greatly in need. Although her “bustle-esque” figure was quickly refined thanks to a long, long overdue shearing, we now feel a more fitting name for our new ovine friend could well have been “Mrs Robinson” for her overtly keen interest in her much younger companion, the Duke. Yet knowing full well a rose by any other name would still smell as sweet, the name has stuck, and so too the great bond between the Duchess and her Duke. Continue reading

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New kids on the block – Snowy Kid and Bluey Kid

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Many people are now aware of the plight of the bobby calf: sweet doe-eyed babies taken from their mothers only hours after their birth so the milk nature intended for the calf can be harvested for human consumption. Sadly, many, in a bid to escape complicity with this cruelty, choose goat’s milk as a “humane” alternative, in the misguided belief that goats are “natural” producers of milk who do not have to be pregnant in order to commence the lactation process. Yet mammals are mammals, and in the goat’s milk industry as in the cow’s milk industry, the babies are usually unwanted by-products fated to have short and motherless lives. And so dear little Snowy (a sweet Saanen buck) and the dapper Bluey (a refined British Alpine buck) came into the world, off-shoots of the caprine dairy industry, getting lucky of sorts, finding a home in regional Victoria. But their fortunes turned once again as their cutes became more of an annoyance than a delight, and for their innocent crimes they came within days of having their lives ended.

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Edgars Mission - Hank, Sheep-2

Now, our new buddy Hank may be built like a tank, and he does have an equally tough exterior, but beneath that rough surface lurks a sweet little lamb who, although yet to emerge, is none too far away. With the necessary adherence to our strict “no breeding” policy carried out, we provide the handsome Hank no reason to ever reply “no t’anks” to our offerings of kindness.

Edgars Mission - Hank, Sheep

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You named him what?

Edgars Mission - pig, Pumkpin-2

No we didn’t name him “What”, we named him “Pumpkin”! The reason why sits somewhere between his magnificent orange coat and his love of this sweet vegetable. Quirky in form and most friendly by nature, Pumpkin has been earmarked as a new BFF for little Elvis Pigsley. Currently sharing an adjacent yard to Elvis, the two are getting to know one another, and each evening the dulcet oinks of “I’m not lonesome tonight” can be heard.

Edgars Mission - pig, Pumkpin

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Patchini—a little lamb in big trouble finds her patch of kindness

Edgars Mission - lamb, Patchini-2

With her size in an inverse proportion to her indomitable will to live, a lamb with two adorable and symmetrical black patches over her frightened eyes recently came into our world. On the receiving end of a dog attack that had claimed the life of both her mother and another flock member, Patchini bore the legacy of a short life hard lived. Unable to move her neck due to painful swelling, aggressive bruising and deep-reaching wounds, little did Patchini know that she was about to swap heartache for happiness, although the transition was to prove slow.

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Knowing Harry

Edgars Mission - Harry, Pam, Sheep

“How do you know THAT is Harry?”, a journalist recently asked as I affectionately patted the head of the sheep standing by my side, cordially introducing Harry. “How do I know that’s Harry?”, I perplexedly countered, “How could I not?”. And I quickly added, “By the same reasoning I know that’s Lyn”—pointing to the person we both so readily recognised as Lyn standing only a few feet away.

So how did I know that the sheep before me was in fact Harry and not Sparky (tall, distinguished, curious), Elma (diminutive and shy) or Fifi (cheeky, rotund, loves to wag her tail). Or Fanta (crowd surfer, singularly determined), Rosie (loner, friendly) or Walker (in your face, determined to claim every wheetbix as his own, make sure you wear protective footwear).  Whilst to me it seemed odd that I would be questioned on my ability to recognise my buddy, it is indeed a perfectly natural thought for someone who had just been introduced to 97 sheep. (Indeed, should I be introduced to 97 people I had never met, the chances of me remembering their names would be pretty low!)

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Edgars Mission - gigi, Sheep-3

Already having challenged fate once, with a timely escape from an abattoir sealing her destiny, our brave, yet gentle citrine-eyed beauty Gigi has again battled the odds stacked against her.

Gigi entered our care by way of a rural pound recently and touched our hearts like no other as we set about winning the trust of the terrified Merino ewe. Yet something else was amiss with Gigi and a thorough veterinary examination was called for. With biopsy results confirming our fears, we were advised that Gigi had squamous cell carcinoma (skin cancer) of the vulva, something that was going to prove difficult, if not impossible, to treat. With her shortly docked tail exposing this normally protected area permanently to the sun, we couldn’t help but wonder how many of Gigi’s kind have lived this same tale, albeit with a different, more painful ending.

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Skippy and Joey – friends ever true

Edgars Mission - joey, Sheep, skippy

Meet Skippy and Joey. A sad twist of fate saw this ovine duo’s world turned upside down when their human friend passed away, however kindness intervened and they were soon Edgar’s Mission-bound.

It’s safe to say, the kind heart who set out to seek a safe and happy outcome for Skippy and Joey hadn’t quite anticipated what lay in store. With loving forever homes for sheep few and far between, it was a chance referral to Edgar’s Mission that saw a lifeline thrown the girls’ way. However, Skippy and Joey hadn’t quite got the memo that we were indeed the good guys and it was only after some impressive fence-hurdling antics akin to that of their resident kangaroo friends (hence the names) that Skippy and Joey were eventually aboard our Kindness Van. Continue reading

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Babe – a life undiminished by disability

Edgars Mission - Babe, calf-3

Undiminished by her disability, Babe, a rescued bobby calf inspires us daily that sight is but a state of mind, and that a vision for a kinder world rests within us all.  The very first photo we saw of sweet Babe told of the fondness she had found at the hands and heart of a kindly worker who had ever so gently painted a red heart on the calf’s side. Determined to find a happy outcome for Babe, several phones calls lead to Edgar’s Mission where happily ever after and a life unhindered by prejudice awaited Babe.  Watching the sweet Babe and her belled buddy, Sophie we have pause to thought that the greatest disability held is perhaps by those humans who see animals not for who they are, rather only for what they can produce.

“The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision”.

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Feisty by name, feisty by nature

Edgars Mission - duck, Fiesty-3

“She’s a feisty one,” we cooed as we gently plucked the bemused little Muscovy duck from the back of the ranger’s vehicle. Despite her vocal and wing-flapping protests, we loved her the instant our eyes meet. Found doing unwelcome laps on a householder’s pool, Feisty had flown in from who knows where. Highlighting how poorly protected our feathered friends are, there exist no statutory requirements for holding lost, stray or abandoned birds. Fortunately, in this instance we were able to offer sanctuary to this sweet, albeit forthright duck—her fate is now good, but sadly this does not address the problem so many of her kind face. Feisty did not fall from the sky, she is not the result of native waterbirds breeding; rather, her existence is the result of human intervention. And so to tackle the dire circumstance so often faced by unwanted, lost or abandoned birds, we need to go back to the root, or in this case the nest of the problem, and remind one and all that we are forever responsible for who we have tamed—a feisty problem indeed. Continue reading

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Almost run down by a fast-paced BMW, the terrified kid goat dodged yet another bullet, or more to the blunt point, a fancy car. The previous day it had been chaotic traffic on an overpass that nearly claimed her life and the day before it could well have been a train. Whilst her past remains uncertain it was clear her future would have been both bleak and sealed had she not been seen for the vulnerable little being in urgent need of a kindly hand that she was. With the universe guiding her to the safety of a secure backyard, all kind-hearted council rangers could do was watch and thank their (and her) lucky stars they were at the right place at the right time. Not long thereafter the Lady in the Hat stood peering into the back of the Edgar’s Mission Kindness van cooing the words “I see you, you’re safe now”, and for the first time in a long time ICU was.

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“Good, better, best. Never let it rest. ‘Til your good is better and your better is best.”

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Roaming in a public reserve with many years’ fleece eventually proving too great a burden to carry, this handsome boy found kindness in the nick of time. Named ‘Better’ because that’s exactly what he deserves, a much-needed haircut was promptly scheduled as our work begun to ensure his would be a life worth living from here on in.

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Jack be nimble, Jack be quick

Edgars Mission - Goat, Jack-3

Well we all know how that one goes but this Jack didn’t jump over a candlestick. It was most likely a leap over a fence or gate that saw this young Boer goat holed up in an outer suburb pound recently. Fearful of we humans at first and quick to nimbly flee from our presence, it didn’t take too long for this dear boy’s personality to shine through as he began to nibble on our outstretched hands in anticipation of a treat, slowly learning we were indeed the good guys.

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You never know until you Try

This is Try

Try, an ageing merino ewe, was witnessed recently by a member of the public aboard a livestock transport vehicle, desperately clinging to life as she lie almost motionless on the trailer floor, having endured being trampled beneath the hooves of her terrified companions. Injured, exhausted from her efforts to stand and covered in excrement, it was a miracle the elderly sheep had even made it this far. Some of her companions sadly had not been as fortunate, having succumbed to their injuries having had no way to escape from beneath the sea of hooves upon them.

In a twist of fate, as the livestock truck pulled into a service station, the stricken ewe made eye contact with the occupants of the vehicle beside her and a connection was made between the heart of this dying sheep and the people who saw her. Following the tug of their heartstrings, the kind hearted Samaritans knew what had to be done.

And so, they tried.

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Sophie’s choice – a perfect storm

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It was a dark night when Sophie came into our world, the circumstances those of a perfect storm. Delayed leaving the sanctuary for her rescue, with a tank low on fuel, a phone battery not fully charged, and a vehicle highlighting the simple yet challenging question, “If we could live happy and healthy lives without harming others…why wouldn’t we?”, we bravely ventured into dairy country to rescue a blind bobby calf.

Taking the story back a week or two, we were first alerted to this tiny albeit determined waif by an animal-loving veterinary nurse holidaying in Australia. Drawn by this love, Sophie found herself working on a dairy farm, tending the many calves. “Do you know what happens to the unwanted calves?” her voice trembled. Like Alice, she had stepped into the unknown, but unlike Alice, she had wound up on the other side of the curtain that shields the dairy industry.

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Eulogy to a pig: To the Max- the final chapter.

Edgars Mission - max, pig, rake-2

His life was fortified by our kindness and a straw-filled bed, the latter only the day prior refreshed by an intrepid group of corporate volunteers to whom Max quickly endeared himself. Of course, he did this in his own inimitable and affable way, leaving them walking away with snoutmarks on their hands and in their hearts.

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Hip Hop Bob and the evolution of us

Edgars Mission - Hip Hop Bob, pig

It was a cortege of kindness, respect and the utmost of love that accompanied Hip Hop Bob to her final resting place amongst the trees and piggy friends she loved so much in Piggy Paradise. As the cows solemnly watched on by the fenceline where they had gathered, Tippi let out several long, low and heart-wrenching moos as the tractor set to work to inter the body of our friend.

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The Captain

Edgars Mission - Sheep, The Captain

Captain- defn: A leader. One in command.

And commanding our attention recently was a handsome Wiltshire Horn wether we have christened The Captain. Having arrived at our sanctuary after experiencing an horrific predator attack, The Captain simultaneously reminds us of all that is good in the human heart and all that is wanting in our relationship with the animals we farm for food and fibre.

Suffering severe wounds which see the muscle of his forelimb completely exposed and at risk of infection, The Captain’s condition upon his arrival at our sanctuary caused us to audibly gasp. Whilst The Captain was fortunate to eventually cross paths with a kind heart who brought him into our care, it was evident his injury was not recent but one that had been present for some time. Exactly how someone could allow a living, feeling being to endure such pain was beyond us. Charismatic and welcoming of our attention, our hearts sank even further when we realised The Captain was trusting of mankind, meaning he had most likely held a close relationship with a human in his past. Somehow this made the failure to meet his basic needs all the more upsetting.

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Tiny lamb, big lesson

Edgars Mission - lamb, Latini-2

Losing her mother almost immediately after her arrival into this world, La-tini could have been forgiven for giving up right there and then. In need of immunity-boosting colostrum, life-sustaining formula, warmth and care, her future looked bleak at best.

Upon arriving at our sanctuary and being provided with all of the above and more, it wasn’t long before La-tini had settled into her new routine. Keeping Lucille lamb company in between veterinary appointments, seeking out the closest human to win over with her earnest eyes and faux milk moustache and joining ‘her girls’ (our staff) on their daily morning tea break, La-tini’s easy acceptance of the world around her taught us so much more than she will ever know. Continue reading

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“Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing.” – Camille Pissarro

Edgars Mission - gigi, Sheep

Driving along behind a stock transport vehicle, stacked high with sheep, we could not help but think, “That could have been her.”

Spared from making the short walk across the road separating the shire pound from the abattoir recently was a gentle lone merino ewe. “She’s so beautiful,” were our first words as we came face to face with the dear girl and saw up close the velvety wrinkle of her nose, those long lashes covering piercing citrine eyes and a presence that truly stopped us in our tracks, striking us at our very core. Continue reading

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