For he’s a jolly good fellow!!

Timmy Birthday

Meet Timmy, one of the jolliest and most personable sheep around. And he has every reason to be so for today he greets his seventh birthday party (something so few of his kind rarely get the chance to do) and for every one of the last seven years Timmy has called Edgar’s Mission home sweet home. Whilst the 31st of August is not Timmy’s actual birth date, that date is one for which we do not know as Timmy was an orphan found by a kind heart and brought to the Edgar’s Mission, this date marks his ‘re-birth’ date into a world of kindness, love and tender care (oh and lots of yummy treats!). For the past seven years Timmy has been a sterling ambassador for sheep everywhere, debunking the myth that his ovine species are dim witted, boring and one of a kind. And for those who have had the chance to know Timmy we are sure you will be pleased to know that he was recently voted the most huggable sheep in the world!!

And so say all of us!!

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Jerome the Gentleman

Jerome

Gentleman: noun – a chivalrous, courteous, or honourable man

And this is exactly what our Jerome is, chivalrous, courteous and honourable; a gentleman to a tee. Our latest rooster arrival Jerome is also a ‘broiler’ rooster, a chicken born and bred specifically for his flesh. Upon watching Jerome as he merrily goes about his day, scratching in the soil, calling over his new lady friends when a source of food is found and spending many an hour stretched out beneath the warm winter sun, one can’t help but smile. This dear boy truly loves life and he is one of the most gentle roosters we have had the joy of knowing. However Jerome’s happiness is as poignant as it is bittersweet, for we know that no matter how much we love and care for this dear boy, his cross to bear will always be the body into which he was born. You see, over the last fifty years or so, we humans  have selectively bred broiler chickens to grow at three times the rate nature intended. This means that these gentle and inquisitive creatures reach their ‘slaughter weight’ at around just 5 to 7 weeks of age, when they still have baby blue eyes. This occurs without the use of hormones, in intensive farming situations and free range systems, with over half a billion young chickens succumbing to this fate each year in Australia alone. And while we here at Edgar’s Mission will provide Jerome with all of the love, care and attention a rooster could ever dream of for the remainder of his natural life, we sadly cannot take away the burden our kind has already placed upon him in the name of profit and production.

Chivalrous, courteous and honourable. That is our Jerome, ever the gentleman and a joy to know. And perhaps his kind would be far better off if our own species were to follow his lead. Continue reading

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It’s been a hard days night-meet Beatle.

Beatle

It is clear from the pitiful condition of our most recent arrival, little Beatle, that the few nights (and days) he has had on this earth have certainly been hard ones indeed. Huge manure encrusted balls grip tight on his little hocks, suns-scorched and scabby ears hang lifelessly from his sweet head and his lifeless eyes plead for no more pain. There can be no doubt that for this pathetically thin little merino wether his time too has not been spent in the company of his mother, her warm milk or kindness.

Just hours into our care and life sustaining fluids have been administered, pain relief given and life saving drugs now on board, we are in a tug of war battle with the grim reaper to save our new friend.

Beatle

It is moments like these when we sit with hapless innocent creatures like dear Beatle that we try and quell our rage and focus on the life before us. And while we can never understand how anyone could allow a creature for whom they are responible to reach such a pitiful state all our energies are with Beatle to ensure he stays on the right side of living. It’s going to be a hard days night…. Continue reading

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An environment of kindness

Environment Group

What happens when a group of University students passionate about the world in which they live get together in Burwood?  The Deakin Enviro Club is born, that’s what.  In addition to getting hands on experience with nature the group works to create awareness and change both on an individual and campus level as well.  And they also host really cool speakers!!!

If you would like to have Edgar’s Mission Founder and Director, Pam Ahern  deliver a thought provoking presentation to your school, work place or community group please email pam@edgasrmission.org.au or ring 0408 397 301

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International Dog Day

International Dog day

Today is International Dog Day and Ruby, E.T., Odee and Rory are proud to present their top 5 ways to celebrate:

  1. Give your dog a massage or holistic spa treatment
  2. Assist an ill or elderly neighbour by walking their dog
  3. Take your dog for a special adventure eg to the beach
  4. Get active for dogs by calling for a ban on puppy farms
  5. Volunteer at your local shelter and offer to walk a dog or play with a dog, clean cages or anything else they need help with.

And remember that if you are going to welcome a dog into your world there are thousands at shelters all around the country looking for loving homes so please adopt and do not shop! 

Please click on the image for a larger file.

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Hello Timmy

Wallan Market

Ambassadors come in all shapes and sizes and indeed species, as was found at the ever popular Lancefield Farmers Market on Saturday. Flying the flag for farm animals was the ever-popular Timmy Sheep from Edgar’s Mission Farm Sanctuary. And he was on hand or rather hoof to happily greet his many friends, both old and new.

Wallan Market

“Not only was it a beautiful day at the market and Timmy received lots of cuddles and scratches” said Timmy’s guardian and Edgar’s Mission Founder and Director, Pam Ahern, “But we were overwhelmed with the level of support from the local community for our relocation to the picturesque Lancefield” Continue reading

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A day to remember

A day to remember

On a day when we were able to give eight little bobby calves a second chance at life, we learn that today also marks another important event. On this day, the 24th of August in 1759, William Wilberforce, English politician, philanthropist and champion of social justice was born. Wilberforce’s social conscience was not limited to humans as he was also one of forefathers of the world’s first dedicated animal protection organisations, the RSPCA.

If you are moved by the passion and sense of social justice shown by William Wilberforce let his legacy be this; that each and every one of us can make the world a kinder place for all (including bobby calves*).

“You may choose to look the other way but you can never again say you didn’t know.” -William Wilberforce

A day to remember

*A bobby calf is a baby calf taken from his/her mother so the mother’s milk can be harvested for human consumption.

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‘Til the one day when the lady met this fellow…

Mike Brady
You may recall our story some months back of a lovely lady, who was bringing up three very lovely girls… That’s right, our affable, adorable and oh so cheeky Brady Bunch goats sent many a heart aflutter with their endearing nature and loveable appearance. However, you may also recall that there was one notable exception from our blended goatie family and that was the absence from a Mike Brady goat. Whether he existed or not we did not know but we, and beautiful dear Carol, were prepared to wait until he found us….

Carol

And today we are happy to announce that Mike Brady goat has found his sweetheart Carol. Having found himself alone in a rural pound, Mike’s lot was not looking good. However, someone told him about a beautiful lady goat who called Edgar’s Mission home and with that, along with a little human kindness, the rest is history!

Mike

Our love story now complete, the Brady Bunch will happily live out the remainder of their days, knowing that compassion and kindness (as well as perhaps just a little sibling rivalry) will be bestowed upon them for the remainder of their days.
And that’s the way they all became the Brady Bunch!

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Bilby, it’s game on!

Bilby

You may recall our recent rescue of Bilby, the almost out of luck alpaca who was found by a kind hearted real estate agent whilst on a property inspection.  Sadly, the pitiful sight of the almost moribund beige alpaca with the hideously overgrown teeth was not the worst this kind heart would see on this day. That title tragically goes to the grizzly finding of Bilby’s two already deceased alpaca buddies.

How we treat animals will always stand as one of humanity’s greatest tests and thankfully for our Bilby, the real estate agent came up trumps.  With the call to Edgar’s Mission made and surrender secured, our rescue team was dispatched.  However even we were sickened to the stomach at the sight of the critically ill Bilby, clearly he and good animal husbandry had not been on the same page for some time. Continue reading

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Teaching kind…

school

Mount Scopus Memorial College recently held their social justice conference and flying the flag for farmed animals were Derrick Rooster, Angel Chicken and Pam Ahern (Founder and Director of Edgar’s Mission).  Weaving through man’s first domestication of animals to today’s current treatment of them, Pam along with her feathered cohort eloquently and passionately made the case that society’s current treatment of animals is anything but just.  Thought provoking questions and interaction with Derrick and Angel will no doubt ensure that these decision makers of tomorrow will be well on the way to making a kinder world for all.

 school

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Little Miss Sunshine’s Guide to Ditching Eggs

On behalf of hens and roosters everywhere, your kindness will make a world of difference for them. Please click on the image below for a larger picture.

Egg Cheat Sheet

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Look over there it’s Humphrey Bear!

Humphrey

He has best friends everywhere! And now, so too does our latest pal, Humphrey L. Lamb, making friends aplenty in the Edgar’s Mission nursery and beyond. A darling little merino cross lamb, Humphrey’s petite, teddy bear-like appearance belies the bravery and determination this little mite possesses. Found clinging to his dead mother, Humphrey was taken in by kind and caring hearts in order to give him a chance at life. However, despite being less than two weeks of age, Humphrey had already begun taking his survival into his own hands. Upon his surrender into our care, it soon became clear that this dear little man had been, in the absence of his mother’s milk, gaining his nutrition through his determined grazing. Although not enough to provide Humphrey with the portly appearance of some of his more well off pals, Humphrey’s intuition and perhaps his mother’s earlier guidance had been enough to allow him to struggle on through this trying time.

Having lost his suckling reflex, Humphrey has now learned that the sweet taste of his nutritious formula can be found at the end of our feeding syringe. And although still determined to be largely self-sufficient (and with us mindful not to overfeed and hinder the development of his rumen), brave Humphrey has begun to show his own brand of slightly reserved excitement when feed time comes.

Humphrey

It has been quite some time since we have met a lamb like Humphrey. While his nursery pals all eagerly call out and race for their bottles come breakfast time, Humphrey will casually stroll on out to the nearest patch of grass and graze away until we offer his feeding syringe, at which point he will toss his head in his own version of understated excitement and trot on over. By far the quietest in our nursery, barely a peep have we heard from Humphrey, only stopping to call out ever so quietly on the odd occasion when a bout of focussed grazing has taken him out of sight of his buddies. It is as if this dear little man, wise beyond his years, doesn’t wish to cause any hassle and we can almost imagine him saying, “Don’t mind me, I’ll just look after myself until you’re ready. I don’t want to be any trouble”. And if it is possible, this makes us love dear Humphrey all the more as we scoop him up and cover his fuzzy little lambie head with kisses aplenty. Continue reading

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Where’s Wally?

Wheres Wally

Here he is! In the Edgar’s Mission special duck yard with his good pal Manuel the Muscovy. Now you may remember dear Manuel, who arrived earlier this year with a badly broken leg, which saw us create a special rehabilitation pool just for him. We are happy to announce that the combination of flotation therapy and physio has seen Manuel regain almost full use of his injured leg and foot and now he is busy telling Wally that we really are the good guys. You see, Wally came to us from the same outer suburban pound as Manuel and sadly, an old injury has left him blind in one eye. An incredibly nervous duck when he arrived, no doubt partially due to his altered vision, Wally is becoming braver by the day and with Manuel by his side, is starting to learn that life at Edgar’s Mission means days of endless swimming, snacking on yummy lettuce and watermelon and playing in the sunshine with friends. Where’s Wally? In ducky paradise of course!

Wally Continue reading

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I’ll catch you later.

Ill catch ya later

Nigel has always been a challenge. For him there were only two ways of doing things – his way and the highway. But it is to him that I owe a debt of gratitude. Nigel- my teacher, my friend, my horse. From the first moment my eyes caught his gaze, I was enraptured by his embodiment of strength, nobility and freedom. From the little wide-eyed horse-loving girl with the ponytail I once was, Nigel was everything I had ever dreamed of and more, although I could well have done without his wicked ways! But then that is what made him special. A failed racehorse, a headstrong mount and soon to be a lifelong companion was Nigel.

I remember well the daily ritual Nigel would put me through, as I would attempt to catch him. He would walk toward me in the paddock, then just as I was about to quietly slip his headstall around his magnificent neck he would slowly and nonchalantly turn away, his walk would quicken into a trot and he was off. This game of cat and mouse would continue until I would say, “Ok, I’m off now, I’ll catch you later.” Then it became my turn to walk away only to soon feel Nigel’s sweet breath and hairy nostrils caress the back of my neck. Game over.

Continue reading

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Will you be there?

20 Goats

Just when we were about to launch our latest kindness initiative for animals, ‘Will you be there?’ we learnt of the plight of 20 goats who were languishing in a rural pound and in desperate need of kindness. Knowing these hapless creatures, who had already been through so much, had fast run out of options, our actions were as swift as they were welcomed by the goats and kind hearted rangers.

All 20 are now safe and secure at our sanctuary and have undergone preliminary health checks along with much needed hoof trimming and parasite treatment. In undertaking such a large-scale rescue of animals, we are again reminded of the importance of our ‘Will you be there?’ initiative. The aim of this campaign is to increase our base of ever-ready kind individuals who are prepared to open their hearts and homes to rescued farmed animals, providing them with much love, care, knowledge and kindness for the rest of their days.

20 Goats

And so without further ado we launch, ‘Will you be there?’ To find out more information read on, as 20 beautiful goats need you. Continue reading

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Walk Right In, Sit Right Down…

Walker

Baby let your hair hang down! Well, he does have wool rather than hair, however our latest lambie arrival, Walker is one relaxed little guy indeed!  And he now has every reason to be so, finding himself currently curled up warm and safe in the Edgar’s Mission nursery. However, warm and safe was not always little Walker’s lot, having been found a walkin’ and a wanderin’ by walkers out in Walkerville (true story!) with not another sheep in sight. Following the kindness in their hearts, the walkers did what any caring person would do and bundled the lost little waif up before ferrying him to a far warmer and safer place.

Walker

Indeed in a nation where ‘lamb’ features on many a household and restaurant menu, Walker is most certainly one of the lucky ones. In fact, in June alone, the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that 1.8 million hapless young lambs like our dear Walker (with not all that much more life experience than he) were slaughtered in our country’s abattoirs for human consumption. Upon seeing these statistics, the mind absolutely boggles as to how our appetite could warrant the loss of so many young lives, many at just five to eight months of age. Full of an exuberance and a joy seemingly reserved for the most innocent young creatures, anyone who spends even a moment in Walker’s presence, as he merrily ‘jump jumps’ around with his friends and playfully nibbles on our hair, would be hard pressed to deny the simple fact that he truly celebrates life.

Walker

But Walker may soon have good reason to continue being the relaxed little man that he is because ‘everybody’s talking ‘bout a new way of walking’. And our Walker is talking ‘bout a new way of loving (lambs). By keeping them close to your heart and off of your plate! Continue reading

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Gloria-I will survive!!!

Gloria

On the 23rd of October 1978 Gloria Gaynor belted out her chart topping hit “I Will Survive” and it quickly became the theme song of the downtrodden everywhere. On around the 11th of July 2014 a tiny baby goat, aimlessly stumbled amidst the rubbish of an outer Melbourne tip. Having been savagely attacked by a fox, dog or large cat some days earlier, the little kid was left bloodied, bruised and barely alive. Her horrifically swollen face, belying the petite beauty it held, was a mass of blood, puncture marks and now pus. But it was her little pitiful bleats of “I will survive” that pierced the ears and heart of a Good Samaritan who found Gloria that day. Bundling the little one up to take her home, it was soon obvious that the care needed to pull this little one through was beyond the scope of this brave heart. And so, Gloria’s life was in the capable hands of the local veterinarian, who stomach tubed the wee kid for several days as the crushing injuries to Gloria’s face prevented her from drinking.

Once stabilised, Gloria was then ferried to Edgar’s Mission, where with loving words and a kiss to her forehead the fragile creature was entrusted into our care. A thorough examination of her wounds saw the ongoing need for medication as several bone fragments were removed from her facial wounds. In the days that followed, Gloria’s spirits rose and her facial swelling began to subside. Not long thereafter she was able to suckle on her own but the sight of milk spilling fourth through the holes that had been gouged in the sides of her face and through nostrils was heart wrenching to see. However, this never stopped Gloria for more than a moment as clear and determined were this little ones thoughts, “I will survive”.Gloria

Whilst Gloria may well be out of the rubbish dump she is not yet out of the woods, however she is certainly a much healthier and happier little girl than the one tenaciously clinging to life we met a fortnight ago. Mister Have a chat is her firm buddy and the two make merry about the house, using everything they can as either a piece of gymnasium equipment or fodder! The sad legacy of this ordeal though will be Gloria’s ‘boxers’ nose, but then again it kind of gives her a very cute little pout and it will always serve as a poignant reminder that she did indeed survive.
Continue reading

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The Leggy Eleven

The Leggy 11

What fate do eleven young (possibly rooster) chicks face when they wind up at a council pound? Well, in this case the Leggy Eleven (named thus as the awkward growth phase they were in upon their arrival gave them all the appearance of walking on stilts) found themselves Edgar’s Mission bound. But sadly that is not always the case. You see, for all their character, personality and endearing qualities, chickens are far too often viewed as no more than mere egg producing machines, as a creature who must ‘earn their keep’ otherwise face the harshest of penalties. This means that should a chick hatched out in a suburban backyard morph into a rooster, he may well find himself with nowhere to turn. Sadly this is a case we are hearing all too often here at Edgar’s Mission. And so, when the Leggy Eleven found themselves at a suburban pound their future was looking bleak. As responsible custodians of the animals, the pound workers could not let the chicks go to homes who were looking for ‘good layers’ for what would become of them should they begin to cockadoodledoo? And so, roosters or hens, we will lovingly care for the Leggy Eleven and provide them with a life worth living for the reminder of their days. And you know what, from them we expect absolutely nothing in return.

The Leggy 11 Continue reading

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Things Change

Things Change

Rambo Sheep first stamped his hoof at Edgar’s Mission several years ago now- a once cute orphan little lamb who had been lovingly, albeit naively, bottle reared by a young  family.  But a wee cute little lamb he was no more, having morphed into a testosterone-charged pubescent young ram, complete with all the trappings.  However with the family’s change in circumstance, read divorce, neither party wished to retain ‘custody’ of now wayward Rambo, who had been reduced to a life on a tether to rein in his rambunctious and ‘ram’ like behaviour.  That the family did love Rambo was not in question, it was however his behaviour they did not.  Ask anyone ‘off the land’ and they will quickly and gruffly tell you that there are few more dangerous animals on a farm than a bottle reared ram.  And there is good reason for this.

Despite the family’s kind intentions to not cause pain to their beloved lamb, he was never castrated. However in doing so, Rambo was consigned to a far worse fate and human safety was put in jeopardy.  Young lambs, like all avian and mammalian newborns, are pre-programmed to imprint on their ‘mother’.   Imprinting occurs post birth and provides the animals with their identity, along with survival skills but moreover it shapes their future breeding activities. Whilst humans can and often do perform the role of surrogate mother quite admirably, in the case of uncastrated males, they will come to see humans as their co-equivalents and once they reach sexual maturity this is fraught  with disaster.  Rambo’s situation is a case in point, with his classic display of misdirected attraction along with his bouts of aggression towards humans.

Whilst Rambo’s previous family’s concern for his welfare was well founded in that the traditional method of castration for a ‘farm’ animal is by way of a tight rubber ring around the animal’s testicles. And yes, this would have no doubt have caused great pain to their beloved little lamb. Yet a change in their way of thinking, from ‘farm animal’ to ‘family pet’, could have provided a much kinder, less stressful and relatively pain free method of castration, not dissimilar to that afforded domestic cats and dogs.  This is the method for which we insist for all the castrations here at Edgar’s Mission and indeed for all farm animals.  In fact, a change in the way many people view sheep will see these once considered dim witted animals as anything but.

Keith Kendrick, professor of cognitive and behavioural neuroscience at the Babraham Institute near Cambridge, UK found that sheep have the same specialised parts of the brain as humans to help them recognise and remember faces.  In fact sheep are able to recognise and remember the faces of at least 50 of their buddies even after a period of two years.  And sheep are able to read and react to facial expressions of both humans and other sheep.  In separate studies by scientists at the University of Cambridge, sheep have performed at levels similar to monkeys and even humans.

And it seems sheep have been shown to problem solve as was displayed by a group of sheep in West Yorkshire, UK, where in order to reach greener pastures that were steeled away on the other side of a cattle grid, the intrepid sheep rolled onto their backs and propelled themselves across the grid.  Not only this, sheep have been shown to self-medicate by selecting which plants to each to overcome their ills.

Whilst I am always loathe to use intelligence as a measure of cause for compassion (as if this were the case, a lot of we humans could well be in trouble) I truly believe that if anyone spent time, one on one with a sheep, divorced of any of society’s preconceived ideas of them, they would certainly walk away with a different point of view. They too would find sheep are more like us than previously thought, as found by Professor John Webster of the University of Bristol. Through Professor Webster’s studies, it was validated that sheep experience and visibly express emotions. And we here at Edgar’s Mission can confirm that sheep are intelligent, sensitive and gentle animals, who learn and respond to their names and form strong bonds with their buddies.

And what of dear Rambo today?  Surprisingly he too has had a change of heart.  Upon arrival at the sanctuary, dear Rambo did not take long to remind us of the dangers of bottle reared rams as he would take several paces in reverse, crane his neck back, stamp his foot and ‘ta da da da’ charge.  Alas, for the safety of humans (and to spare Rambo being placed on the register of naughty sheep) he was consigned to the back paddock were human activity was restricted.  But the February fires changed all this and more.  As part of our fire survival ‘stay and defend’ plan Rambo, along with our entire flock of sheep, cows, alpacas and pigs was herded into our prepared fire shelter paddock alongside the house. For several smoky days and long sleepless nights, this Noah’s Ark of animals stayed, slept and were fed. Having to learn to get along and cope with the inhospitable conditions life had dealt was their lot.  Once the danger had passed, the animals were ushered back to their homes and life returned slowly to some semblance of normal. But something changed for Rambo, he never made it back to his ‘time out paddock’ as he decided instead to wander the farm at his leisure.  Over the ensuing days, each member of our team was to comment, “Have you noticed Rambo?”  At first we couldn’t quite put our finger on it but as the weeks rolled on, the angry and recalcitrant sheep who was once Rambo had gone and in his place was a friendly big almost goofy like guy who just liked to hang out with us for a pat and wheetbix treat.  Whatever caused this personality changing transformation we do not know but we are certainly most pleased with the loveable Rambo we see today.

So I guess the take home message of this story is that things change, so do sheep, along with our perception of them (given the chance).

Rambo

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Down the Rabbit Hole

Rabbit Babies

Found late one cold, dark and stormy night, in the middle of a busy outer Melbourne arterial, perilously close to speeding cars, where one wrong move forward or backward would have spelled her fate was one of our latest arrivals, a dear, affectionate large white rabbit. Had the next car to drive over the rise toward her not been driven by a kind hearted person, who stepped in to whisk this dear bunny to safety, that day could well have been her last. And although ‘the wild’ is no place for a domestic rabbit (they lack the camouflage, survival instincts and wherewithal of their wild cousins), one could only begin to wonder why on earth, with grassy embankments and far quieter places to explore but a hop skip and a jump away, this dear girl had placed herself in such a predicament. We didn’t have to wait long for our answer.

Rabbit Babies

As if her mere survival alone wasn’t enough of a surprise, exactly two days after coming into our care, this seemingly reckless rabbit surprised us yet again – with a litter of nine precious, perfect and healthy babies! Just what would have become of them if our Good Samaritan had not come to the dear girl’s aid we would hate to consider. You see, although rabbits are by nature doting and loving mothers, domestic rabbits are born without fur, with their eyes and ears shut, making them easy prey, no matter how brave and protective their mother may be. And so, suddenly this brave girl’s middle of the road antics began to make sense. We realised she was not carelessly hopping about on one of outer Melbourne’s busiest roads, she was in fact there with purpose, hoping indeed that her watch was not two days late. What else could we christen our new friend but The White Rabbit and in doing so, we can just imagine her tapping her pocket watch and singing, “I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date.” We are beyond relieved that she made it to us in time.

Rabbit Babies

Warm and safe in their new home, The White Rabbit and her babies have certainly travelled down the rabbit hole into their very own wonderland. Never again will this doting mother have to worry for her young for they, and she, will be loved and cared for for the remainder of their natural lives. And to the kind heart who stopped in their travels to help save a life, our unending thanks go your way, for you in fact saved ten. Continue reading

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Bruiser by name, Bruiser by nature!

Bruiser

Now you may think ‘Bruiser’ if far too tough a name for an innocent looking little lamb, however the bruises on our shins from where little hooves have attempted to scale our legs tell us otherwise! Found wandering at large, showing telltale signs of having been raised by humans, Bruiser then found himself in an outer suburbs pound. After having served the required time and with no one forthcoming to claim him, we receive the called and Bruiser was Edgar’s Mission bound. Now Bruiser is what one may call a little ‘full on’ at feeding time and he is most certainly not backward in coming forward. However, rather than see this as a problem, we choose to see his exuberant nature as a zest for life and a celebration that in a nation where 15 million lambs die each year within 48 hours of birth, he is indeed one of the lucky ones. Indeed, as Bruiser settles into life at the sanctuary, his behaviour too is settling, perhaps he knows that he need not leap to gain our attention and that our kindness is always forthcoming. However, we are certain that he will always have that little bit of spunk and get up and go and this just makes us love him even more. So, it is Bruiser by name and bruiser by nature and a little arnica ointment for our shins please!

Bruiser

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Meet Tuppence!

Tuppence

There can be no doubt that the feisty and determined ageing ewe we met earlier today has seen more hardship and sorrow than any creature deserves. But her will to live has not been dampened by these tragic experiences. Having recently been found prone with a stillborn lamb beside her, a kind heart stepped in to replace adversity with kindness. With a veterinarian quickly on hand, another dead lamb was removed from the womb of the terrified ewe. However in the days that followed it was shown that this was only the start of the gentle ewe’s woes as from her abdomen hung a large mass, the cause of which remained unknown, and it began to swell and swell and swell.

With our assistance sought, we knew before us we witnessed a veterinary crisis and dear Tuppence was raced to the operating room of our dedicated vet. Her assessment was as swift as it was backed with years of knowledge and compassion. A rapidly enlarging hernia with peritonitis set in saw four litres of fluid drained as Tuppence faced the battle of her life. Surgery for ruminants is never easy, and more so for a flock sheep like Tuppence but to not do so at this point would have sealed Tuppence’s fate.

Tuppence

As skilled hands worked and our hearts prayed, Tuppence’s anatomy was returned to its rightful place. Albeit weakened muscles will need be encouraged to kick back into gear in the coming days, and for this purpose Tuppence has been fashioned her very own girdle. For now the dear girl rests comfortably in our recovery ward, safe, warm and on the road to what we hope will be a speedy recovery. She will be monitored throughout the night and coming days and when ready be introduced our flock of equally lucky ovines.

In a nation where sheep outnumber humans more than three to one, many people consider them a dime a dozen. But that is certainly not the case here at Edgar’s Mission, where the life of every animal is seen as so much more than just small change. Welcome Tuppence, welcome. Continue reading

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Stand and Deliver

Ned Kelly

The landscape of Australian history has been dotted with many well-known outlaws, the infamous bushrangers whose stories are retold time and again around many a campfire across our wide brown land. Perhaps the most iconic of our nation’s bushrangers, either lauded or loathed, depending on who you speak to, is Ned Kelly, whose famous Last Stand took place none too far from Edgar’s Mission as the crow flies. Whether it was his undeniable defiance of the law or his many outlandish escapades, there can be no doubt that there was no other like him. And we are certain that there too is no other like our own Ned Kelly, the latest arrival through our farm gates here at Edgar’s Mission.

Ned Kelly

And it is not just Ned’s overgrown fleece that is of concern as his past too is woolly at best. Having been ‘inherited’ by a property purchaser over two years ago, Ned has spent the last portion of his life on the run between this farming property and the adjoining bush. So often claimed to be ‘dull’ or ‘brainless’ creatures, sheep are anything but and Ned has most certainly confirmed this fact, having avoided capture with his evasiveness and knowledge of the land over this time. And while this handsome boy was indeed on the run, perhaps it is not he who should be declared an outlaw but indeed our own kind. You see, in stark contrast to his wild ancestor, the domestic sheep as we know him today relies solely upon his human carers in order to lead a healthy life. Through our selective breeding over many years, we have created a creature who grows wool, rather than hair and who must be shorn regularly to avoid welfare issues. Comparing today’s sheep alongside his wild ancestor, it is easy to see that we have indeed ‘created’ a brand new creature for whom we are wholly responsible. And sadly, far too often we fail him. With years upon years of fleece adorning his body, it appears that Ned has been forgotten for some time and his ability to survive despite the odds, with flystrike and plain exhaustion very real dangers, is incredible.

Ned Kelly

But beneath Ned Kelly’s layer of armour lies gentle old soul, of that we are certain. Although, at this early stage his armour, that which can be seen and that which cannot, seems almost impenetrable to our kindness. A magnificent merino ram, Ned’s armour has no doubt protected him during his life on the run; his trust in humans is non-existent and his flight or fight instinct is strong, with the latter often taking charge, quite literally. However, persist we will in winning his trust, just as we will persist in slowly and gently trimming Ned’s overgrown fleece, in order to make him comfortable and avoid sending him into shock in the midst of this chilly winter.

And it is with this same form of kindness that our species may one day overcome the crimes committed against voiceless creatures like our Ned Kelly. Will you be a part of that ‘gang’? The time is nigh, it is time for us to stand and deliver.

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