2017 Year in Review

Farewell 2017, what a year you’ve been. We’ll never let go of the idea that a kinder world for all animals truly is possible—heading into this new year, we have so much to feel hopeful about.

If this is what we could achieve for animals in 2017, imagine what we can do in 2018…

If you’re able, please consider making a tax-deductible donation. As ever, we’re humbled by the love and support we’re shown—we can’t thank you enough.

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10 lucky turkeys: the greatest gift

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Whilst not quite the Christmas gift I had imagined, the early morning call to advise that our Christmas presents were at the front gate set me off with a spring in my step, excited anticipation in my heart and a whisper of sleep in my eye. With the sun still thinking about making her ascent, and through the fading moonlight, two very large boxes greeted me. As I stared quizzically at them, my attention was diverted by the sound of tyres crunching gravel as a car sped off down the road and ten glorious, chirping baby turkeys came into my world.

Soon each one of them was lifted from the box, weighed, feet soaked in disinfectant, bodies sprayed for parasites and a kiss bestowed on each of their fuzzy, sweet heads—and I was yet again reminded of just how much I love turkeys. While their warm bodies with their soft feathers warmed my heart, the sight of the crippled stumps of their feet that once held their toes made me want to weep. How could we? How could our society allow for such a painful disfigurement of baby animals, which only added to the woes, their tiny beaks having been seared off when they were just days old.

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Westy – the rooster who didn’t “go west”!

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The expression “go west” takes its roots from the direction the sun sets, symbolising the end of the day. Figuratively it has come to mean the demise or disappearance of someone or something. Despite that scenario being high in the tea leaves for our new feathered friend, Westy, it is not the reason for his name.

Spied on the Western Highway, actually smack bang in the middle of the Western Highway, was Westy. The terrified young rooster tried to take in his dire circumstance as he looked from left to right, not knowing which way to run. It soon got even more dire when he was literally run over by a fast-moving truck. By some stroke of good fortune, or the smarts of this wily rooster, he was dead centre of the vehicle, which meant he was not to end up dead in the middle of the road, although he was left extremely ruffled and a lot the worse for wear.

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Kind Christmas

Look who came to spread some joy to the residents this Christmas—Santa and a merry band of helpers. ❤️💚❤️

Thank you to everyone who supported Edgar’s Mission​ in 2017, your belief in our work ensured that every day for our many residents felt like Christmas 🎄

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One year ago, this happened…

Christmas time is meant to be a time of joy, but for so many pigs it’s anything but. On this day last year, with the festive season well and truly upon us, one story of hope touched the hearts of people all over the world. The story of Carol and her cheeky tornado of a trio: Cookie, Candy and Kris Kringle. We also wanted to share their arrival video with you again, because who doesn’t want to see the moment a mummy pig is reunited with her beautiful babies?

A Christmas Carol to dream of

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Baa baa black sheep, have you any wool?

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Well, actually yes, indeed she does, and probably more than three bags full! Her name is Renee and she is a sweet-faced Black Suffolk ewe.

Renee, we were to learn, had been left behind after she had done a “runner” when her flock was rounded up and trucked off to slaughter some years prior. Sheep are flock animals, who take great comfort and security in their own kind. And whilst Renee had escaped imminent death, she certainly had perils of her own to contend with, not the least of which was the growing burden of her fleece.

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Turkeys are for lovin’….

The story of ten lucky turkeys will warm your heart and show you that they are so much more than a meal.  Oh, and they love watermelon!

To find out more about how turkeys are farmed in Australia click here and here.

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 Hey Jude (and Jasmine)

“When it is all finished you will discover it was never random.”

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There I was in Bendigo presenting at, of all things, the Food & Fibre Future Directions Conference. The location of this event was the TAFE College whose hallowed halls I had trod as a student almost 40 years before. The irony of change, on both fronts, was not lost on me as I nervously delivered my presentation, hitting the final note to a rousing round of applause. And I breathed.

But before heading home, I lingered just that little bit longer in one of my favourite cities, only to take a call from the folk back at Edgar’s Mission. I was soon to learn about a kind-hearted truck driver who had come across two wee lambs in Western Victoria (hours away from my location) aimlessly hiking down a busy country highway, no sheep or farm house in sight. “I couldn’t just leave them there or even tip them over the nearest fence, for they surely would have died,” he was later to tell me.

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Little Carmichael – the power of kindness

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“Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for kindness” – Lucius Annaeus Seneca

And never were these words truer than when little Carmichael, a lamb who at the time did not have a name or a promising future, was spied by a kind heart. Seeing the feeble young one limping along, struggling to keep up with his flock, this kind heart made attempt after determined attempt over a period of weeks to secure some assistance for the ailing animal. But sadly, her kindness was not mirrored in others, from the human responsible for his care to the various authorities charged with overseeing the welfare of farmed animals. And so, in a world where one can be just about anything, our kind heart chose to be just that—kind. Despite being several hours from Edgar’s Mission and with a young family of her own to tend to, this caller listened intently to our instructions, and, following them to a “T”, was able to negotiate the safe release of Carmichael, delivering the wee one to our care that evening.

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Yes, I will …

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“Sixty-Four, is a name, not a number,” were the words I would offer to the many quizzical glances I was to receive when introducing folk to a gentle and handsome blind merino wether. Sixty-Four took his name from the Beatles classic, When I’m 64, a song written by a very young Paul McCartney, questioning whether he would still be loved when he reached the ripe old age of 64.

“Yes, I will,” were the very words I uttered when I learned of Sixty-Four’s plight and in response to the question of whether we would be prepared to take him (and the challenges of caring for a blind wether) on. You see, Sixty-Four had been found wandering aimlessly about the side of a rural country road when he was reported to animal control officers and taken to the local pound. Generally, sheep found in such circumstance would have been sent to the saleyards. Seeing Sixty-Four’s blindness matched by his ability to survive in a world of such obstacles, the officer determined the stoic old gent deserved a change of fortune.

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Hey there Georgie Girl

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The call came in late one night, as a member of the public relayed having only moments earlier come across a sheep in the middle of the road. Believing the hopelessly crippled animal had been hit by a car, they desperately sought our assist. Heading off into the dark of night, armed only with a flashlight and kindness, we nervously drove, turning down country road after country road. Just when we were starting to question our sanity, we spied the hapless animal, head peeping up amongst the long grass on the verge of the road. Indeed, her leg was a mess and in no way would it assist the freshly shorn ewe to flee. With little light to assist, it was into the van with Georgie Girl and back to the sanctuary for a more thorough assessment. Continue reading

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Update on Hamlet

Today, December 5th is International Volunteer Day, and what better way to celebrate it than with one of our amazing volunteers, Ruth. To all of our amazing volunteers who selflessly help out at Edgar’s Mission and to volunteers everywhere we celebrate your kind and diligent contributions to make the world a better place. We dedicate today’s update on Hamlet to you. Continue reading

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A Journey to Kindness

Meet Hamlet, a pig who will truly steal your heart. He was under attack from dogs trained to hunt pigs when a kind and caring neighbour stepped in to rescue the gentle boy. Hamlet is now safe and will be off to the vet shortly to have his ear assessed, you can follow his updates here.

Please note this video does contain footage that may upset sensitive viewers.

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Kanga: some get lucky

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Have you ever wondered why some animals get lucky and others do not? It’s something we regularly toss about in our hearts and minds each day here at Edgar’s Mission. And the story of Kanga speaks poignantly of this.

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Muffy and Duffy: sometimes it seems the world just doesn’t care

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There are few things in life that so remind us of the vulnerability of animals than those who arrive in our care in severe states of neglect. And few have arrived in a worse state than Muffy and her lamb, Duffy. That Muffy adored her baby was so evident—she had put every ounce of her being into her baby, even at the expense of her own health. Blood tests soon revealed that this courageous and loyal mother was not long for this world, as she was in the final stages of liver failure. And little Duffy … in all our years of rescue we have not seen a live lamb more emaciated than he.

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Let me tell you about Tilly

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Actually, there are two tales about Tilly; the first is the human Tilly. We recently met the young Tilly when she toured Edgar’s Mission in the company of her proud mum and sister. The tour came not long after Tilly’s birthday, where, rather than receiving presents as most young girls do on their birthdays, the kind-hearted Tilly requested, instead, donations to her favourite animal charity: Edgar’s Mission. She brought the donations to our team on the day of her tour.

And so to the tale of the second Tilly. As the universe would have it, on this very day, a little lamb in desperate need of a hand and kindness came into our care. We could think of no better name for such a sweet being than “Tilly”—they are both linked by kindness, one as the deliverer of kindness and one the recipient.

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To understand…

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The word “understand” is a verb, and according to my grade five English teacher that means it is a “doing” word. It is best described as “to perceive the intended meaning of (words, a language, or a speaker)”, to “interpret or view (something) in a particular way”.

To have, at the very least, some understanding of the world around us is fundamental to our being. Understanding gives us something solid on which we can lean; a means of acceptance and guidance in a life; and a way to navigate through the river full of possibilities, turbulence, beauty, serenity, indifference, birth and death the world has to offer.

The first time I saw Muffy and her baby lamb Duffy, I understood three things. The first was that the pitiful state into which both of them had been cast did not bode well for them; the second was the incredible bond between the two; and the third was that what I chose to do next would determine their future. With my second understanding firmly in my heart, I chose to do my darnedest to save them, although I knew my ability to do so would be significantly impacted by my understanding of the first. Continue reading

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On this day

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On this day back in 2015, nine lucky chicks found themselves on the road to kindness. Shrouded in mystery, inspired by compassion and heralded by the words “Friends not food, please save us”—we just had to share their arrival story again with you. Coming tonight…

The phone rang, Pam answered, “hello, Edgar’s Mission.” Then something out of the ordinary happened.

Watch Betany, Babette, Bree, Brady, Beth, Bronwyn, Bryonie, Bess and Bobby Sue’s arrival video to see how the mystery unfolded.

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Hear it’s your birthday!

Today, October 18, we celebrate the birthday of Saturday Lamb.  She rolled into our world almost three years ago and crash landed into our hearts.  Although her congenital spasticity has robbed her of the proper functioning of her back legs it has not robbed her of her zest for life.  Daily, aided by her custom-built wheel chair, Saturday wheels about the sanctuary and rolls into the hearts of all she meets.  Her plucky resolve to take each day as it comes it truly inspirational for all she meets. Celebrating her third birthday in style, she did so with her best friends Steddie Eddie and her human folk who wait on her hand and hoof.  Tucking into her wheetbix cake, garnished with lucerne and topped with three carrots, Saturday’s verdict was “the day was not baaaad, not baaaad at all”.

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Spice has a new lease of life!

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All alone, Spice had taken refuge in a nature reserve bordered by a housing estate, walking track and its adjacent busy major arterial highway, and a noisy train line. Whilst life may have seemed okay for the handsome young buck, sadly it was only a matter of time before it would not. And yet again we give thanks to Manfred Zabinskas of Five Free Freedoms Animal Rescue for ensuring this dear, albeit terrified of humans, goat received just the right shot of kindness to rein him in. By just what circumstance Spice was where he was, we will never be entirely sure, but with some of Melbourne’s major abattoirs none too far away, we feel a likely suspect is found.

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Tickle me Elmo!!

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Whilst every day little Elmo tickles our chins, seeking the delicious taste and scents of his formula, it wasn’t always so. In fact, upon his arrival, this very young kid goat, who was found abandoned in a forest, refused point blank to feed. We have never in all of our collective lives met a tiny orphan so determined not to feed. We knew the little guy was hungry, as he would cry out, even nibbling on our trouser legs, fingers and chins, but there was absolutely no way on this earth he was going to suckle from that bottle. Absolutely NO WAY! We tried different teats, different methods and different prayers and incantations, but nothing would work. So tube feeding it was, until the day little Elmo said, “Okay, I’ll have my bottle please,” and he has never looked back!!

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World Animal Day

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Today, October 4th, is World Animal Day!!

“As the Australian Ambassador for World Animal Day I implore every one, where ever you are, who ever you may be, to remember this, animals lives matter. Even if they do not matter to you they most certainly matter to the holder of that life. Their life is just as precious to them as yours is to you – and it’s their world too. Happy World Animal Day” Pam Ahern

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Saving Bonnie and Clyde – it’s a long shot

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Message: Hi there, don’t know if you folks can help him or not, but a poor sad looking sheep has been in the pound for a couple of weeks. This morning tore my heart out as I drove past on my way to work, he stood and watched the fully laden truck with hundreds of sheep skins leave the meat works. I had to pull over on the side of the road as I was sobbing so much I couldn’t see to drive. I guess it’s a long shot, but maybe you folks can help him in some way. It was heart wrenching.  Continue reading

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A chicken on the table – a moving feast

Some thoughts on World Animal Day 2017

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Last night I dined on a feast at my mother’s house: a banquet prepared as only a doting mother can, peppered with love, one’s favourite gastronomic delights, and, in my case, the odd cat hair. And at the centre of it all was a chicken.

Now, a chicken as a centrepiece on the dinner table is hardly surprising or new. In fact, for me, Sunday roasts were once never complete without a roast chicken bathed in gravy, nestled by baked potatoes and vegetables. Last night however, the chicken on the table was very much alive. This handsome devil, my feathered friend, even has a name: ‘Red Baron’.

Red Baron loves dinner at my mum’s house because it is a feast for him too; in a ‘win–win’ situation, he gets treats and we get treated to his quirky and endearing antics, whether it is sneaking a drink from my glass of water, tucking into a bit of spaghetti, squatting down to peer at the TV or taking a snooze on my shoulder. I cannot now imagine seeing chickens as anything other than friends. And I know I am not alone in this thought: many people, through the simple act of noticing chickens, are observing that chickens’ lives are full of possibilities, if only they are given the chance.

Red Baron came to me at only a few days old, a real miracle indeed. He was hatched at an egg production facility (you couldn’t really call it a farm) and, being male (as around 50% of the hatchlings are), he was destined to be killed. But somehow he survived, beating many apparently insurmountable odds; thus overcoming the worst in his life, he was set to enjoy the best, as he found himself on the doorstep of my house and heart and quickly chirped his way into both. My hair became his surrogate mother hen’s wing as he would happily bounce around on my shoulder each day. Going for bike rides, working on the computer and watching over me as I brushed my teeth, Red Baron’s life was rich and full. And so was mine.

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Tiny Lamb

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Dwarfed by the horses who surrounded him, things were not looking good for the day-old tiny lamb. Adding to the wee chap’s woes were severely contracted tendons in his front legs, which caused him to buckle over and fall. By what circumstance this little lamb arrived in such a dire situation, we will never know, but what we do know is that it is to the good heart of a wildlife carer that he owes his life. Alerted to the plight of the orphan amidst the equines, she swung into gear—a phone call later and the aptly named Tiny Lamb was hoofing his way to Edgar’s Mission.

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Once a jolly Swagman…

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While little Swagman may well have once been a jolly little lamb as he gambolled beside his dear mum, he was certainly anything but the first time we met him.  And it was not only a broken leg that was ailing him, but two mercilessly placed rubber rings.  One on his tail and the other on his scrotum, so thoughtlessly and no doubt hurriedly placed the latter had too taken prisoner one of Swagman’s nipples.  The sum total of this painful assault on such a vulnerable and immune compromised baby was almost too much for little Swagman to bear. With his pain levels running into overdrive his interest in life and his bottle had started to wan. Wrapping little Swagman in both a blanket and our love we whispered in his little lambie ear, “you’re safe now, you’re going to Edgar’s Mission”.

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Columbia

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“I’m not sure she is going to make it,” were the first words we heard as little Columbia came into our world. Found barely clinging to life on a property with a very poor track record for caring for lambs, a kindly neighbour was able to secure the lifeline little Columbia needed to give her a chance at life—but had help come too late? Fears were heightened as the thermometer gave us little incentive for hope, but a shot of glucose, warmth and love most certainly did, for not long thereafter Columbia stood and baaed out, “What’s all the fuss about folks?” and the little mite hasn’t looked back since!

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Finding Dakota

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Whilst on the outside he may have seemed a tough blokey bloke, on the inside he had a heart of gold. And that was all little Dakota lamb needed to wrest her to the right side of living and sadly away from the side of her long-dead mum. Spied by a passing motorist, the wee lamb was desperately trying to feed from her mother, who would never again be able to fulfil her role. Sadly, such a tragic event occurs all too often in sheep paddocks across the country; devoid of meaningful animal protection legislation and human care to save them, so many little lambs, and indeed their mothers, just like Dakota’s, slip from this world without even being noticed. But on this day, that did not happen, and to the blokey bloke who stepped in we give our thanks, not only for saving Dakota’s life but also for reminding us that sometimes in life, finding a little lamb is also about discovering the goodness of the human heart.

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Our greatest glory

A sweet, mop-topped little lamb came into our care on the 27th of September in 2016. Because she had this wonderful old-world charm about her, we could think of no better name for her than “Petal”. As beautiful and cheeky as she was (like any other lamb), Petal was unable to express all the exuberance expected of a lamb, because she couldn’t walk.

Her back legs were pretty much useless and unable to bear weight, and with little to no sensation in them things were not looking too good for Petal – and our hearts sank.. The original vet who saw Petal thought she was suffering from “joint-ill”, a bacterial infection whose most likely entry point was a wound on the stump of what had been her tail. But that didn’t quite sit well with us, so off to another vet went Petal for more extensive tests and diagnostics. And this time we got an answer, but sadly not one so readily addressed. Petal had suffered a terrible trauma to her spine, fracturing a vertebra at the junction between her spine and tail bone. From there, a most laboursome rehabilitation program began.

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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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