[vimeo width=”550″ height=”292″]http://vimeo.com/93434260[/vimeo]
There’s no stopping him now! At just over three weeks of age, little Leon Trotsky has more spunk than most who are ten times his size and he has already beaten the odds not once but twice. Being born a ‘farm’ pig, Leon was destined for the plate, but then an accident caused by his injured mum (which claimed the life of two of his siblings) saw Leon up against it again. With his right hind femur both broken and dislocated, plus an injured hock and ligament damage on the other side, things could not have looked much grimmer for the wee chap. But no one told the plucky little Leon that these obstacles of his world should hold him back. His life was precious, and thankfully this was recognised by a kind hearted soul who sought a better outcome for Leon.
But working with tiny bones and fragile piglets is never easy. Leon proved way too small for the tiniest of carts that would have otherwise taken the pressure off his compromised limbs. However, necessity is the Mother of invention and coupled with Leon’s determination, here’s the result….
If you would like to make a tax deductible donation to our medical fighting fund to help animals like Leon Trotsky have a chance at a life worth living and loving, please click here.
You would be hard pressed to find a happier pig than dear little Miss Piggy. This is doubly amazing when you consider what she has been through. Clearly a pig bred for commercial purposes, either as a breeding sow or the before of a pork roast, Miss Piggy escaped her fate and was found wandering at large. Spending several weeks in the local lock up that was the pound, she then made her way to Edgar’s Mission. And throughout it all, she has remained happy and bright and ever so chatty; a happier pig you would be hard pressed to find.
There can be no doubt that the cute, fuzzy white face of a newborn lamb causes many hearts to melt and many mouths to utter, “Aaaw.” Few are those who can resist the long gangly legs that are not quite yet sure of their purpose, the innocent eyes that search for the warmth and comfort of a familiar face and the milky lips that part ever so slightly to let forth an almighty, “Baa,” the volume of which seemingly defies the miniscule body from which it came. And so, fittingly, everybody loves Raymond, the newest addition to this year’s orphan lamb clan. Sadly, despite many falling in love with him after no more than a mere glance, it is more than just an interfering mother and an over familiar family which ails our dear Raymond. You see, unlike his television namesake, this wee boy was born recently into inhospitable conditions, as icy late Autumn nights and chilly morning frosts have recently begun to take hold in this part of the world. Limp, immobile and no doubt suffering the effects of the cold when he was surrendered into our care late yesterday afternoon, warmth, much- needed sustenance, love and kindness have seen Raymond rally overnight and, while it is still touch and go for this little man, he is now on his feet and exploring his cosy nursery room and all those who enter it.
Despite the fact that ‘Everybody (or, indeed, many people) Loves Raymond’ many would be shocked to discover the sad reality that an estimated 15 million lambs just like him die in Australia within the first 48 hours of life, many due to the effects of hypothermia. And upon seeing the condition in which he entered our care yesterday, we have no doubt that if kindness had not found him, circumstances would have seen our dear Raymond become yet another addition to that statistic last night.
Over and again, we as a society are guilty of playing favourites when it comes to the creatures with whom we share this earth. While those we call ‘friends’ are largely provided with all of the things any animal could ever desire (and in many cases, more), those we farm for food and fibre so often not only fall outside of our circle of compassion, but fall outside of our animal welfare legislation also. And as yet another feed time beckons, it is our great hope that this dear, brave little lamb will one day show that kindness toward all creatures is the only answer, ensuring that ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ forevermore. Continue reading
For those old enough to remember and sharp witted enough to agree, Fawlty Towers was a cleverly crafted British sitcom centred on a hotel and its array of interesting employees, along with the farcical situations they encountered. Each episode would open with the letters of the establishment all humorously swapped around. The series always had viewers in stitches, as do our ducky clan here at Edgar’s Mission. Each day they busily set forth about the farm, fastidiously putting the chickens in their place, stealing tidbits from Hansel the cow and marching purposefully across the yard. Ducks indeed have a sense of humour, and what else would we name their latest ring leader, a handsome white Muscovy fellow who just loves to puff himself up with his own sense of worth, than Basil, of course!
Have you ever wondered why our ducky friends don’t get frostbite on chilly mornings or when out walking on frosty ground? Well it is due to an amazing biological phenomenon called rete mirabile. If you whip off your shoes and take a good look you will see that your feet are nothing like those of a duck. Their feet are pretty much made up of bone, sinew and scales, with few nerves tossed in for good measure. And it is to the lack of a robust nerve supply that prevents our feathered friends from quacking out, “Oh my goodness gracious my feet are freezing!” What happens inside a duck’s foot is quite remarkable indeed as a tapestry of arteries carrying warm blood from the heart is interwoven with veins carrying the cold blood from their feet, thus warming this vital life sustaining fluid. And one thing is for sure, when it comes to loving a duck, one should never have cold feet!
Hailing from a property south of Edgar’s Mission, a young ewe and her flock narrowly escaped death when the Mickleham firestorm engulfed the area earlier this year. Still bearing the hallmarks of this ordeal; singed whiskers and blackened fleece, today she faced another life or death crisis. A hideously broken back leg flapped in the breeze as she hobbled across the paddock. While the farmer raced for his gun his wife pleaded for a second chance.
When our eyes saw the stricken ewe, her injured and mangled leg flopping how a leg never should do, our hearts sank but her bright and kind eyes said she wasn’t ready to go yet. As we bundled her gently into the back of our rescue ambulance ready to make the mercy dash to the vet we were given one more incentive to help the dear sheep pull through as we heard the words “I think she is in lamb too”…
‘Hang in there girl, hang in there’ we cooed as we left our new friend in the hands of our dedicated vet. This dear sheep we have christened Bridget, and yes just like her namesake Bridget (Bardot) she is beautiful!
Meet our most handsome new feathered arrival – Hello Sailor. Dashing, debonair and a real hit with the ladies is he, yet he was surrendered to an outer Melbourne Animal Shelter where his only date would have been one from which he would never have returned had he not caught the eye of a kindly shelter worker. Oh, how our hearts sink each time the phone rings and we hear the word ‘rooster’ for we know what will follow next. Roosters are incredible creatures and far more deserving of the lot our society affords them, discarded and disowned simply for doing what they do best.
Please, please, please consider Hello Sailor and all his dear swashbuckling buddies when you next buy eggs (millions of roosters are killed at only a day old), consider a chicken hatching project at your school or work facility (around 50% of the hatchlings will be male and few are the homes that can accommodate these quirky guys) or breed chickens (unless you are prepared to provide for the resulting roosters). Remember you are their only hope for a kinder world.
While Be Kind To Animals Week is still some way off, running from October 1-7, this post comes with a timely reminder to get your thinking caps on, just as the little people from Kids Resort Child Care Centre in Sanctuary Lakes did recently. The Room 4 group put their collective heads together and came up with informative posters and their busy hands painted the most magnificent and memorable picture of our beloved Hamish Pig. Hamish thinks it looks pretty neat and so do we!!
Remember Be Kind To Animals Week is October 1-7. What will you be doing?
Aril 21st, 2pm – Within moments of his arrival just now we knew all was not well for poor little Leon, a broken pelvis we knew – a result of his injured mother accidently falling on him but we were not prepared for the oozing sore on his side. Lovingly taken in by a kind soul who wished the little guy had but a chance at life however knowing he was going to need more specialist care he was surrendered. At just over a fortnight old Leon is now vet-ward bound for a full assessment, but what we already know is that this little guy is a fighter and he has kindness and all the love we can muster on his side, we pray this will pull him through. Must dash…
More updates after the break… Continue reading
If you are like me, you grew up with the slogan ‘only butter butters!’ This was a clever and catchy marketing ploy by the dairy industry to try and win back consumers as people began shunning butter. While for some it was due to animal welfare concerns, for most it was health reasons that saw them looking for non-dairy alternatives to grace their daily bread. And so, several manufacturers happily met the market – but it was never quite the same. Then more recently, margarine too got the flick and breakfast was once again very bland. Very bland that is, until now! Thanks to the industrious and innovative team of Halfpint Vegan Dairy, we can now have our muffin, jam and butter and eat it too! That’s right, the whizz kids, Sam and Jules have got together and created a taste sensation to rival all others. Not only have they created mouth-watering butter but also to die for ice creams for those of us who have ditched dairy! Seriously, the ice creams are so creamy and AMAZING; they will have your taste buds doing little cart wheels of love!
So when our Halfpint ‘Butter me up’ spread arrived we couldn’t wait to pop a muffin in the toaster, slap on the butter and jam and be reacquainted with the delicious taste sensation of our ignorant youth. And we weren’t disappointed and we can promise you won’t be either! Even Hansel agrees!!!
Buttercup Buttercup dear little Buttercup, how lucky is she? Found by travellers heading home from their Easter break was dear little Buttercup. Stopping for respite at a truck stop the weary travellers spied a tiny little orphan lamb all alone. No farm house in sight, nor bleating mother sheep, the kind souls bundled the wee one up, who surely would have perished had they not. With barely time to offer thanks for their kind hearted deed they were off, as were we to prepare a bottle for the hungry Buttercup.
Companionship is described as the relationship of companions; fellowship. And we see it every day here at Edgar’s Mission. Animals finding new friends or even reacquainting with old, forging bonds of loyalty, trust and yes, love. Alby was rescued by an abattoir worker, a large and proud Black Suffolk sheep who has roamed the pastures of Edgar’s Mission for several years now. However, of late, age has been catching up with the old chap, which sees him in need of a little extra TLC. Melody on the other hand is a recent arrival to the sanctuary, having survived the fiery inferno that claimed so many of her kind in February of this year. But she did not escape unscathed, having become a living fireball, she ran for her life and suffered horrific burns. The dear ewe was delivered to the sanctuary, along with the words, “Please save her.” Together Melody and Alby have spent many hours in our hospital ward, one regaining his strength, the other recovering from her wounds and both, healing their souls.
Today Alby, forever the gentleman, guides Melody about the farm and in doing so opens up an entire new world of kindness for her.
These were the words whispered into the ear of our latest porcine pal upon his arrival at Edgar’s Mission. Having found himself in an outer Melbourne pound after being found wandering the streets, life was looking rather bleak for this cheeky chap, however kindness in the pound workers’ hearts saw them work tirelessly to find a happy outcome for this dear creature. A dapper black and white pig, small in stature but with personality to boot, we promptly christened our new friend Michael Jackson as he ‘moonwalked’ his way to a kinder future after stepping through our farm gates.
Unfortunately, it is not a case of “Black or White” when it comes to mankind’s treatment of animals. Despite possessing many of the same traits as the beloved cats and dogs with whom we share our homes, sadly it is often only outwardly appearances that see creatures like Michael excluded from our society’s circle of compassion. However, it is our great belief here at Edgar’s Mission that it is “Human Nature” for us all to be kind and so, with dear creatures like our Michael Jackson touching hearts aplenty, we are sure that for the sake of his species and our own, we will one day “Heal the World”. Continue reading
‘There’s a somebody I’m longin’ to see
I hope that he, turns out to be
Someone who’ll watch over me
I’m a little lamb who’s lost in the wood
I know I could, always be good
To one who’ll watch over me’
Our dear Rambo, a once wayward, testosterone-charged, bottle reared ram has transformed under the kindness of Edgar’s Mission. Today he lovingly and gently helps guide the once lost and orphaned little Dino lamb. After all, everyone needs someone to watch over them…
“If we could live happy and healthy lives without harming others… why wouldn’t we?” Continue reading
Meet Hi and Ho, two adorable Toggenburg goats. While Toggenburg goats originated in the Toggenburg Valley in Switzerland and made their way to Australia via England in the 1940’s, our new friends made their way to us via an outer Melbourne Animal Shelter. Seen as dairy producing animals, Hi and Ho, both castrated males would have been surplus to the needs of the industry and as such would have been kept as pets but sadly no one was coming forth to claim them despite their typical Toggenburg friendly nature.
Now they might look a little dishevelled having just arrived the two have been drenched, much needed hooves trimmed and feet bathed, weighed and treated for any external parasites; all part of our bio-security program. And while things may not have been too peachy before, life will certainly be coming up roses (and all sorts of other things goats like to eat) from now on in for they are at Edgar’s Mission!
I close my eyes and I see you…
Today marks what would have been the eleventh birthday of the eponymous Edgar Alan Pig. I am not sure if birthdays are celebrated in heaven, or if there even really is a heaven, but what I do know is that Edgar found his heaven on earth with me. And for almost seven years he graced my world, enriching it beyond belief and making my days a patchwork of love and happiness but also of solemn thought. For it was through dear Edgar that I realised the best ambassadors for changing the way people see farm animals are the animals themselves.
The nonchalant way in which Edgar greeted each new day belied a sixth sense that he too knew he had found his true calling, just as did I when our worlds collided. Happy, outgoing, gregarious; he was a rock star of the porcine world as he unwittingly drew people in, encouraging them to dismiss their preconceived ideas of just what a pig’s lot in this world should be.
“A pig on a lead!” people would cry as they saw Edgar out and about for a Sunday cruise with my dear little ET dog trotting along beside. Myth busting and making new friends- that’s what Edgar did best, in the most peaceable way. He did this until he could no longer hold at bay the ravages imposed upon his body by virtue of being a ‘farm pig’ – a pig bred to grow so quickly to suit economic expediency. Whilst I will forever mourn the day Edgar left me, I cherish the fact that I had the honour of knowing him, that I was his special someone and, perhaps most importantly, that he guided me to just where I needed to be.
Edgar my friend, my confidante, my muse, my pig- I miss you more than words can say but I know you will always be with me. All I have to do is close my eyes and I see you…
And to this very day, you are still the one who makes me smile the most.
That is all we having been saying for the hour long trip home from our latest rescue. Having successfully managed to rein in the reluctant little white lop eared rabbit that had long been roaming the busy streets of an outer Melbourne suburb, something told us our work was not done. And with one more sweep of the area we found the reason why. As a tiny baby bunny was pried from its hidey-hole and reunited with its mother a chorus of relief said the words ‘thank god we went back’.
A special commendation of thanks to Debra who alerted us to the plight of the poor mother rabbit, refusing to leave and holding vigil at scene until we could arrive.
Throughout history, horses have enchanted our world, their sense of strength, freedom and nobility captivating our dreams and propelling us toward a lifelong love affair with equines. These majestic creatures ask for nothing, yet they have enriched the lives of humans in so many ways. How tragic it now is that so many have become a means to an end. Racehorses discarded when they cannot run fast enough, cherished ponies sent packing because they grow too old and can no longer be ridden, whilst many others are brought into the world simply because someone thought they could make a buck.
And how saddened our hearts became when recently we learnt of the tragic plight of our four new pint sized pony friends. While their new, happy and quirky names belie a past best forgotten, these names also herald a bright new era for our friends, where they will be valued for who they are, rather than for what can be obtained from them. And just as their names will make you smile, the transformations of these ponies are too sending the corners of our mouths skyward. Whilst all four have good reason for their fear of humans, already each one has shown they are as individual as you or I.
Thankfully for 26 tiny chicks, someone DID see the box they had been thoughtlessly abandoned in at the Victoria Market recently. Crammed into a box with just one air hole, it is a miracle they survived, let alone were found. However, sadly some of the wee ones in the box had already perished prior to their rescue. Whilst we are not sure by what circumstance the young chicks were abandoned, it is evident that a human was involved. How tragic it is that new life is brought into this world simply to be abandoned and left to face an uncertain and bleak future.
As we watch the 26 curious, inquisitive and character-filled little souls busily exploring their world, never standing still for more than just a moment, we cannot help but wonder how on earth mankind can continue to wrong these creatures, to simply discard and disregard them; deeming them ‘worthless’. Already, after knowing them for less than 24 hours, unique personalities are beginning to emerge. There are the brave and the bold, the shy and wary and the downright cheeky, who will jump on your feet and take a ride on your shoelaces, all in the name of fun. Continue reading
Did you catch the total lunar eclipse tonight? The sun, moon and earth came together in perfect alignment, causing the earth’s shadow to fall on the moon. We here at Edgar’s Mission, waited, waited and waited and finally Hansel and Polly got to bask in all the eclipse’s glory!
More pics below: Continue reading
Thank you to our wonderful volunteers who donated their time this Sunday helping to keep our residents’ yards and bedding clean & cosy – mucking out stables, poo patrol, bottle feeding our babies, some weet-bix treats for Timmy & friends as well as tending to Monique’s massage needs – bellies up to you !
‘What’s that I saw?’ uttered the kind hearted worker as they looked out from their factory window. A tiny white form danced about on that blustery cold and wet day on the distant grass verge. Was it a plastic bag or a tiny creature, they mused and in the blink of an eye it was gone. Appearing a short time later, but this time the image was clear, as a white bunny hopped into view. Abandoned in an industrial precinct is no way to treat a rabbit, but that is just what happened to dear Mr Blinky. For three days he scampered about, confused in an inhospitable world of tall grasses, noisy trucks and dangerous predators. Domestic rabbits are prey animals and are highly vulnerable; lacking the street savvy smarts of their wild cousins, setting them loose is a death sentence as they risk succumbing to the elements, predation or the deadly myxomatosis virus. That he had, at some point in time, been a much loved bunny is evident by the way he now inquisitively hops over to inspect you then curls up on your lap and peacefully snoozes. He is a gentle and kind fellow and certainly not deserving of the treatment he was afforded. Perhaps some child’s pet for whom the novelty wore off, or he may well have been a breeding rabbit no longer needed, he may even have hopped away from a none too secure backyard (although this would appear highly unlikely given the distance he would have to have travelled). Yet with no microchip to identify his previous carer, and an entire rabbit at that, the future was looking anything but peachy for poor Mr B.
Bleak that is until someone cared, and it was to the kind hearted worker whose gaze and heart was touched, that Mr Blinky owes his life. In the frantic calls for help that followed, this worker could well have given over to despair, as first it was the local council who advised they did not collect rabbits, next the local animal shelter told their resources were already stretched to the max and could not attend and poor Blinky fell outside of the safety net of wildlife rescue. But to give up at this point would have meant not only a life would have been lost but a heart would begin to harden, and both Mr Blinky and we give thanks they did not. However it would be a race against time to see if the terrified creature would still even be in the vicinity once we were on the scene. Continue reading
Life’s special moments cannot be quantified, they cannot be measured by the gifts we receive nor the medals we wear. No, these moments will be spirited away to the recess our minds, treasured forever in our hearts and turned to whenever we need a reason to smile. And chances are if you have been fortunate enough to know one, they will involve a pig!
Happy fourth birthday Polly Pig!!! You have given us all so many special moments, and we know many more are yet to come. We love you big time!! Mwahhhhhhhhhh Continue reading
Fond are the memories of my school days, peppered with exciting adventures and fuelled by a love of learning that remains with me today. And to the latter I owe a debt of gratitude to my grade five teacher Miss Evans. A feisty spinster was she with a zest for life like no other, she skilfully imbued in her students a thirst for knowledge that was so cleverly and passively delivered that we never knew what hit us. And we even loved doing our homework!! But it was mathematics that became my passion, as boring as it seemed to many, the logic of it all provided great comfort and stability to this bright eyed and impressionable 10 year old. I loved the way that one plus one would always equal two and that once you had grasped the formulas, everything else fell into place. One could then easily tackle the complex equations they had never before encountered simply by remembering the formula. Granted, there were exceptions, but they too came with their own laws of logic. Continue reading
Show Some Bunny You Care
Well, it is that time of year again when colourful, foil-wrapped, egg shaped chocolates and little fluffy bunny toys line the shelves at supermarkets. Easter, originally the Christian celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ is now a holiday celebrated by many, religious or not, with the Easter Bunny, chocolate egg hunts and hot cross buns all taking centre stage. And while Easter is still seen as a celebration of new life, unfortunately it is sometimes to the detriment of the animals in our world. And so, our Campaign Action this month is dedicated to our animal friends as we ask you to Show Some Bunny You Care by: Continue reading
Recently we welcomed Jon Bon Pony into the sanctuary of Edgar’s Mission. After having wound up at an outer Melbourne pound, no longer will this dear boy be “Livin’ on a Prayer” for he has found safety forevermore through our farm gates. Jon will soon be joined by his equally lucky pals, who too have found their happily ever after at our sanctuary. Stay tuned, their story will be coming soon.
Fundamental life lessons are lost when we teach children that animals are disposable commodities, mere teaching aids or creatures devoid of feeling. Yet these very principles come hand in tiny hand with chicken hatching programs and sadly, little Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta have unwittingly become the pawns in this tired old tradition. The innocent young creatures were surrendered to an outer Melbourne animal shelter by parents who were aghast when ‘little Johnny’ proudly came home with the fluffy foursome. Knowing full well that their family lacked the necessary skills and facilities to care for the vulnerable animals and recognising that every life matters, they sought assistance from the animal shelter. But already struggling to cope with the ever-growing number of unwanted cats and dogs, the call went out for a suitable home for the wee ones.
With every possibility the cute chicks could morph into testosterone-charged roosters, loving homes were few and far between. Just as chicks grow, surely it is time for our education system to do likewise and consign chicken hatching projects to the dustbin of history, something that should have occurred long before now. It really is as easy as Alpha, Betta, Gamma and Delta.
It was a pig, a chicken and a sheep possessed with EXPOnentially large personalities who stole the show at the Knox Pet Expo on Sunday. Polly Pig weaved her inimitable charm and good humour, while Little Miss Sunshine chicken set about showing just how smart and ‘personable’ chickens really are, and dear Timmy showed that just being yourself is all you have to do to be loved at Edgar’s Mission. And there can be no doubt that many walked away from the expo with a completely new view of, and perhaps love for, farm animals.
Introducing Angel, the newly self- appointed ‘Edgar’s Mission Breakfast Quality Control Monitor’. Angel has thrown herself into her new role with gusto (quite literally!) not only taste testing the culinary delights served up to our animal residents each morning, but also using her feet to assess all breakfasts for softness and texture. And, our residents can be confident they are up for a feast like no other as anything that doesn’t quite take Angel’s fancy is quickly and deftly sorted and scratched out onto the ground! When Angel first arrived at Edgar’s Mission after being rescued from a battery cage, she was suffering from a badly broken wing. But expert medical care, pain relief and all the TLC a hen could ever ask for have seen Angel make a full recovery. The only sign of her previous injury is now a misshapen wing which in no way hinders her ability to live a full life but only serves to remind us all of just how brave and strong she is. Did you know that an estimated 1 in 6 battery hens live with broken bones? However, they will never be afforded the medical care, pain relief or any amount of TLC to overcome their ailments. But it doesn’t have to be this way…
“If we could live happy and healthy lives without harming others… why wouldn’t we?”
Many will recall the tale of ‘The Snow Goose’, a hauntingly poignant portrayal of friendship, healing and love in the most unlikely of places. Our magnificent new friend, while not technically a snow goose is a goose nonetheless and in an almost parallel life to that of Philip Rhayader, he has lived a solitary existence in the backyard of a vacant house, which had not only become his refuge, but also his world.
Whether he too had been forced into a solitary existence because of his disability we do not know, but what we do know is that geese, like humans, are inherently social animals and a solo goose is a lonely goose indeed. Struck by the tragic beauty of the elegant white bird with one blind eye, a kindly neighbour took to feeding Snow Goose and set about finding a happy outcome for him. But sadly, call after call brought forth no help until the neighbour heard the words ‘Edgar’s Mission’ and alerted us to the dear boy’s plight.
Unlike his fictional namesake, migratory flights and our Snow Goose will never be one (body composition and fat deposits see domestic geese unable to fly like their wild cousins), however what we can promise is a life where he will never be unloved or abandoned again. And, in what seems like a case of life imitating art, another unlikely friendship has blossomed here at the sanctuary, with our Snow Goose having found a friend in Big Chief Crazy Horse, a school hatching project progeny who once found himself with no place to call home, merely for being born male.
Over and over, it is through our response to animals in peril like The Snow Goose that we have the opportunity to soar to the greatest of heights by extending our kindness and mercy to those in need. Continue reading
With our farm gates closed for visitors due to our impending relocation, many structures already dismantled and others partway there, Edgar’s Mission supporters travelling from Sydney were not disappointed. Only too happy were they to drop off 100 boxes of wheetbix treats for their animal friends, taking comfort knowing each buddy will have the words, “With love from the Kingman’s,” whispered in their ear as they contentedly munch away on the golden flakes of deliciousness. Over and over such acts of selfless generosity deeply touch us and remind us that when you give out kindness, you receive it back many times over. We very much look forward to being able to welcome all our loyal supporters to our new forever home, watch this space for when that will be possible.