“I don’t suppose you would be interested in a little goat?” came the nervous voice down the phone line. “It’s his last days here at the pound and he is just so frightened. We fully understand if you cannot take him on. We can hardly get near him, no one wants the poor little boy.” But those words were not entirely true, for the kindly pound worker had already showed little Shadow that in her he had found the very friend he needed. Seeing in this frightened goat as a creature who very much wanted and deserved to live is something that each and every one of us too would see if only we had the courage.
Goats like little Shadow are herd animals. They not only want but also need the company of their own kind. If you are a prey animal, it pays dividends to have a buddy to not only keep you company but to keep an eye out for you as well. Sadly, we all too often hear people who keep a lone goat bemoan the goat as being ‘destructive’, but this is generally not the case. Rather the poor creature is merely trying to find members of his own kind to hang out with, destroying all and sundry to do so. But for Shadow it would seem the ‘Gods of Kindness’ were looking out for him, as it was not long before another goat entered the pound and quickly became his solemn friend. Today, both Shadow and his larger white Boer cross counterpart, Me, have safely made their way through our farm gates and into our hearts. And they are never too far apart, happily grazing the grassy green pastures of Edgar’s Mission.
Do you know what a group of goats is called? Whilst the common answer is a flock or a herd, a group of goats is also known as a tribe or trip! Oh, and if they live at Edgar’s Mission they are called very lucky!!! Continue reading
Before dear little Robyn had time to natter into her siblings fluffy little ear “Holy strawberries Batman! We’re in a jam!” the call had gone out for help and our Kindness Van sped into gear. Rescuing the quirky twosome from an outer Melbourne Pound relieved them from their tightest jam. Now safely tucked away in our Kindness Cave the little kid goats are set for a life of kindness crusading on behalf of their not so fortunate kind.
But seriously folks you do not have to be a capped crusader to save animals all you need to do is think before you eat! Continue reading
We need your help!!!
Edgar’s Mission is proud to be a finalist in the Animal Lovers category for the 2014 Bupa Blog Awards but we need your help to secure the People Choice Award! Please help raise awareness for farm animals by voting for Edgar’s Mission here.
A regular feature now of the monthly Farmers’ Market in Lancefield will be local not for profit haven for rescued farmed animals, Edgar’s Mission. Please make the most of this opportunity to come on down and say ‘hi’ to the team, catch a cuddle with Timmy Sheep and pick up some cool Edgar’s Mission merchandise. Lancefield Farmers’ Market is the 3rd Saturday of the month, 9.00am -1.00pm. Lancefield is located approximately one hour north of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Affectionately christened out goat/sheep is dear Dagmar. You see, when the call came to collect a goat from an outer Melbourne Pound our expectation was just that – Capra aegagrus hircus (the scientific name for a domestic goat). But to our surprise, a very timid young Damara ewe blinked curiously back at us and she displayed all the hallmarks of her breed, alert, lively and long legged. Damaras are a particularly hardy breed of sheep, who until recently had never trod hoof on Australian soil. However, in 1996 the first of these haired sheep hit our shores from South Africa and sadly they too reached our plates as they are bred for their meat and also the live export market.
And while some may struggle to tell the difference between a goat and a sheep, nothing should differentiate our kindness toward all creatures, regardless of the shape they come in or our familiarity with them. Welcome Dagmar, welcome!
Chickens are, without a doubt, one of the most maligned creatures in today’s modern world. Outnumbering humans 6 to 1, the majority of the 43 billion gallus gallus domesticus on our planet today live unnaturally shortened lives of abject misery. And why is this the case?
Well, most certainly because our own kind continues to purchase the products of such suffering but there is also a more basic, yet deeply ingrained reason as to why our poultry pals are afforded such little consideration. With many blown away by studies that show chickens to understand that an object, when taken away still exists and that chickens in some ways possess cognitive skills to rival a human child, we can begin to see the reasons behind their ongoing and in many ways accepted mass suffering. Add to this the words, “I never knew chickens had brains!” which we so often hear in the classroom and beyond as our Ambassador hen Little Miss Sunshine performs her impressive repertoire of tricks in an attempt to prove what the term ‘Bird Brain’ really means and it becomes blatantly clear why the suffering of the chicken is so widespread. The simple fact is, the majority of those who determine the kind of lives chickens will live will never even meet a laying hen, a broiler rooster or the progeny of a school hatching project. And the sad reality is that so many of these same people mistakenly view these wonderful creatures as ‘brainless’, unable to think, feel or comprehend the world around them. Continue reading
And we swear you will fall head over hooves in love with this little guy, just as we did. Don’t let his diminutive size fool you, this wee lamb, like his namesake, is truly larger than life and has an incredible set of lungs that he just loves to exercise at meal times. But unlike his human alter ego his utterings are never intended to offend, rather plead for the mother he will sadly never see again. You see dear little Gordon Lambsay was born on a livestock transport vehicle that was ferrying his mother and her flock to an abattoir. Having spent only a short time with his mum was enough to ensure the maternal bond that started long before Gordon was born was sealed. Mourning the separation of her precious baby Gordon’s terrified mother left this world.
But a kind heart stepped in saving dear Gordon and cursing his terrible circumstance no doubt. Providing special formula and trying desperately to placate his pitiful cries was almost too much for these dear angels which then saw them make the mercy dash of some four hours to Edgar’s Mission. Nurturing dear Gordon was made somewhat easier for us with the assistance of several other little orphans who quickly whispered in Gordon Lambsay’s ear, “You’re safe now, you’re at Edgar’s Mission.”
Sheepy fact- Sheep are precocial, which means they are highly independent from birth as opposed to altricial – creatures which are incapable of moving about on their own post birth. And female sheep, (ewes) are very caring mothers who form deep bonds with their babies. They can even recognise them by their bleats and vice versa. Continue reading
Thankfully it was a kind hearted council worker who stepped in to help five bunnies who had sadly found themselves on the wrong side of love in a terrible situation. Their lot saw the two females and three males homeless and humanless, despite being oh so friendly indeed. We give great thanks to the kind-hearted soul who very generously ensured the girls were desexed prior to their arrival at our sanctuary. The boys too have visited ‘Doctor Snip’ to ensure that these bunnies will never breed like the proverbial rabbit. Along with thorough health checks, the friendly guys and gals have had their much needed ‘shots’ and have been microchipped. You see, so much more goes into providing rabbits with a life worth living than a piece of lettuce and a carrot.
We here at Edgar’ Mission are chicken fanatics, poultry lovers and friends to the feathered ones. It warms our hearts to meet others who share our adoration of these clever, inquisitive and endearing creatures and many an hour do we spend singing their praises to all and sundry. However of late, more and more often, we have felt like the ‘scrooges’ of the avian world as we ask yet another well-meaning carer of young chicks, “But what will become of all the roosters?”
Sadly, the lot of roosters in our society is not a pleasant one. With more and more poultry fanciers welcoming young chicks into their suburban backyards, with school hatching projects still a blight on the educational landscape and with over 16 million egg laying hens in Australia at any one time, one can begin to understand the reasons for our question. You see, with nature dictating that around 50% of eggs will hatch out as male, and with suburban councils, as well as the egg industry, unable to accommodate roosters (they will never lay eggs and grow too slowly to be ‘commercially viable’ meat birds) their futures, through no fault of their own, are bleak at best. Roosters born into the egg industry will not even live to see out their first day of life, whilst far too many of their suburban cousins are euthanased at a young age, once their gender becomes apparent. Continue reading
No, we haven’t gone barking mad, just greeting our new little friend Woof- who is now busy greeting other equally lucky other little kids. Founds only days ago by a kind heart as he sheltered beside the body of his dead buddy, little Woof is showing a determination to beat the odds like no other. After exchanging pleasantries with Gloria and Mister Have-a-chat, Woof is now being introduced to their favorite game, aptly name jumpsy jumpsy. The essence of this game sees a quirky kid goat jump into the feed bin, and jumpsy out again! Here is to many more days of fun, sun and friendship!
Gently placing a baby blue collar around the tiny goats neck a reassuring voice whispered in his trembling hear, “you’re safe now little one”. Little did they know that the sparkling diamanté letters of W O O F, would seal the dealfor the name of this fortunate kid goat. Only hours before the sickly Woof stood bewildered by his dead buddy, a third goat who had been sighted with the trio in the preceding days was nowhere to be found. How the young juvenile goats came to be forgotten on this lonely stretch of parklands is anyone’s guess but one thing of which we are certain, had the kind heart not rescued dear Woof when they did the he would not be with us now. Feeble from severe emaciation, covered in blood sucking obese lice and afflicted by debilitating diarrhea, Woof’s lot was not good. And we pray we are not too late as we work feverishly to save the young kids life.
In a true testament to the goodness of the human heart little Woof is alone no more. Already free from the ‘vampiric’ parasites that were fast draining him of any zest for life, medications administered to address his diarrhea, internal drenching given, tonics for a general pick me doing their job and our special brand of kindness working on overload, Woof is now fast on his way to feeling a new goat. Indeed we have seen more signs for encouragement already.
Over and over we are reminded that we share far more with animals like Woof than this earthly coil on which we tread; all feel pain and suffering, all welcome love and kindness and all deserve a chance at life. And that’s just what we are going to do, but we need your help. Please support our medical fighting fund so gentle creatures like Woof can truly have a life worth living.
Okay, so now we have your attention. We can now confirm that little Bandit has returned home from his recent heist at an outer Melbourne Veterinary Clinic, holding them captive to his lamby charms for several hours. Only releasing them long enough for x-rays to be taken of his tiny limbs and new splints to be cast. The wee chap, looks more than ever like Clint Eastwood in Pale Rider, with his six gun poised for action -ready to take aim as he bleats out, “Stand and deliver your kindness.”
Between both his front legs Bandit has sustained a very nasty break, ligament damage and torn tendons. But with age on his side and a posse of care givers at the ready, we trust it will not be too long before this little guy can get back in the saddle or rather out in the paddock.
If you would like to support our medical fighting fund to ensure little lambs like Bandit can receive the best veterinary attention possible please make your tax-deductible donation today.
Meet Yellow, a dear boy with an incredible tale. You see, Yellow is what the industry refers to as a ‘prime lamb’, a young lamb under 12 months of age who has been raised for meat. But no one told Yellow this and he certainly would not have a bar (or is that baa?) of it. So much so, that determined young Yellow jumped out of the abattoir-bound stock crate in which he was travelling. Miraculously emerging shaken but unscathed, the poor chap’s woes were not over as he was rounded up and taken to the nearby pound. With identification checks tracing his owner, Yellow’s future hung in the balance. However the verdict was he was too much trouble and it was from here that the plucky boy’s luck took a turn decidedly north as the call was made to Edgar’s Mission.
Yellow today has made firm friends with dear Kevin the goat, as the two can be seen grazing side by side on the lush green pastures of his new home. And each new day the happy fellow is greeted by the words “Hello Yellow!” Continue reading
We are struggling to remember exactly what our lives were like PM – that is, Pre Morgan, such an integral part of our world he has become. With his zest for life, his happy dances in the sun and his wide eyed, open mouthed enthusiasm for all his world has to offer, one could be forgiven for thinking that challenge and hardship had never come by this dear young fellow. However, sadly this is not the case, for shortly after his arrival into this world, Morgan’s mother passed away, leaving the innocent and defenceless young waif to struggle on without the one he needed the most.
Luckily for Morgan, kindness was on his side as he was bundled up by his care-givers and offered a life of sanctuary at Edgar’s Mission. Much smaller and in need of more specialised care than the remainder of our lamb clan, a cot was soon brought into the house to become Morgan’s night bed, which suited the young Suffolk lamb just perfectly, as his human carers were always on call to fill his hungry belly.
With a case of Joint Navel Ill slowing the dear little man slightly, we indeed hoped that our efforts to provide Morgan with as much immune boosting colostrum as we could, along with essential medication would be enough to ensure this dear little man had a bright future ahead of him. Joint Navel Ill is a disease that is seen in very young lambs, calves and kid goats and results from an infection entering the body via the umbilical cord soon after birth. This infection travels through the blood stream and settles in the joints, the point at which the body is least able to fight the infection. If left untreated, Joint Navel Ill causes immense pain and can ultimately prove fatal. However, with Morgan’s case being spotted upon his arrival at our sanctuary, with his daily medication and care, his prognosis was good and he began to overcome his ailments in literal leaps and bounds.
Meet Bandit, a very ‘lucky to be alive’ little Dorper lamb. Despite his mother’s difficult birth, Bandit has a determination to live like no other. Stealing the heart of the kindly farmer was his first heist as she too was taken prisoner to Bandit’s charms. With a veterinarian confirming the soft bones in both front legs were indeed broken the chase was on to find a good outcome for Bandit. Now safely tucked away in a way stable, pain relief administered along with sweet smelling and delicious formula given and the company of other equally lucky little lambs, Bandit sleeps. A date with our veterinarian set for tomorrow to plan the little guys rehabilitation.
While some things in life are black and white, some things are not. And when it comes to kindness for all animals there truly are no grey areas. Aint that so Bandit! Continue reading
Just over 130 years since the foundation stone was laid at St Paul’s Cathedral in Melbourne, a gentle sheep accompanied by two perky piglets ambled down the isle of this majestic house of worship. As the Children’s Celebration and Blessing of the Animals service began the sheep caste his wise gaze across the assembly while the curious piglets politely sat and smelt the air.
Forever the ambassador was Timmy Sheep from Edgar’s Mission and trotting along in his formidable hoof prints were young Leon Trotsky and his little pal, Thumbelina. While dogs wagged their tails, occasionally offering a bark they could no longer contain, the tactful trio displayed all the reverence of seasoned parishioners. As the service drew to a close the message of kindness touched all the congregation, and palpable was the thought that a peaceable kingdom for all is possible. And isn’t it time to make this so.
Over and over we are touched by the mystical experiences of life. Gertrude’s story is all of this and more. But we cannot tell Gertrude’s story without telling the story of her true saviour, a lady we shall call Claire (although not her real name). Claire, a kindly soul had a dying wish and that was to save dear Gertrude, a gentle black and white dairy goat she came to know and love in the wake of the devastating Black Saturday Bushfires of 2009. Perhaps it was the common bond the two shared, both having stoically survived this firey inferno that was to change and char the lives of so many, perhaps Claire just loved goats, we do not know.
We were to learn that while Claire had taken refuge in an already burnt out paddock on that fateful day five years ago, a blanket providing her only protection from the unforgiving flames that would claim the lives and hopes of many including a herd of milking goats on a neighbouring property, a lone goat would flee for her life. As the ashes cooled and those who survived returned to assess the damage, the lone goat, who was to be christened Gertrude, no doubt frantically and desperately sought out the friends and buddies she would never see again. Confused and alone over the ensuing months, Gertrude eked out an existence in the burnt out forest, wandering aimlessly and alone. And no doubt she would repeatedly return to her one time home range, only to be confronted by rubble and the blackened remains of her herd.
A lifetime of experience with animals tells us they are aware of their surrounds and that they possess the ability to feel in ways comparable to we humans. And Claire knew this too. Seeing the trembling goat coming in closer each day to graze by the side of a pair of aging equines, Claire took great comfort in knowing that dear Gertrude was not alone. But sadly in the aftermath of the fire, the ravages of cancer had taken hold of Claire’s body, and while it threatened her life, it could not erode her love for Gertrude. Knowing that her own end was near, Claire made her final plans, all things in place except for one – Gertrude. And this is where we came in. Continue reading
The Order of the Little Sisters of the Poor was founded in 1846 at Rennes by French nun Jeanne Jugan, known as Sister Mary of the Cross. Her mission was to care for the elderly and the infirm and in 1885 their Melbourne chapter was opened on a property known as Kinsella’s farm in St George’s Road, Northcote.
Today Little Sisters of the Poor are renowned for their dedicated love and exemplary care for the elderly in our community and on the 3rd of September, united in kindness, several animal ambassadors from Edgar’s Mission visited the residents. Throughout the ages the benefits of the animal-human bond have been researched, documented and celebrated and on this day those present were fortunate to witness first hand how gloriously the touch of a gentle sheep and the pat of a perky pig, enriched lives, revived old memories and brought smiles to all.
“But what are you going to do with a blind cow?” This is the question that has been posed time and again since dear little Delilah calf came into our care. And sure, the question has its merits, for the safety and wellbeing of any vision impaired creature, as well as of those working closely with her will need to be carefully considered and planned as this few week old calf continues to grow. However, the real question here is not what we will do with Delilah but rather, “What will Delilah do with her life?” Sure, Delilah is blind, a condition our vet has advised appears to have been present since birth, but she is so many other things too. Delilah is gentle and beautiful. She is precious and she is aware. Right now, she is as vulnerable as any creature could ever be and we work each and every moment to ensure her incredible trust in us is validated. Delilah’s highly attuned senses allow her to enjoy her world; her ears flick back and forth to take in and consider every noise, her keen sense of smell sees her drink in the fresh spring air, the aroma of her formula or the familiar scent of her favourite human’s cheek. She adores a scratch just behind her shoulder and leans into our gentle touch, never wanting it to end. Although Delilah’s steps are cautious, she enjoys playing with her pals, and she has already learned the boundary of her day paddock after a gentle walk around its perimeter. Delilah is clever and inquisitive and she is just as deserving of a life worth living as is each and every creature who passes through our sanctuary gates.
With her carefully considered step and her hesitation to venture too far from those she knows, one can only imagine how dear little Delilah came to be found by the side of the road some weeks ago, before being picked up by the local animal control authority. Born into this world as a ‘beef’ cow, little Delilah’s disability may very well have proven to be her saving grace and thankful are we to have been given the opportunity to provide her with a life that is filled with joy, kindness and happiness.
And while it may have been Delilah who was lost all those weeks ago, perhaps it is our own kind who have truly travelled off course as we continue to view these emotional, sensitive and intelligent creatures as a mere sum of their parts. However, Delilah’s plight and her journey have seen her already touch many hearts in her short time on this earth and with a long happy life ahead of her, we know she will continue to do so for many years to come. Delilah may well be blind but it is through her that we see a better future for us all. Continue reading
While Timmy Sheep and 2014 Be Kind To Animals Week ambassador, Leon Trotsky, bask in the glory of their many new adoring fans, we take great heart knowing their efforts will cause many to be just that little bit more kind. Here’s just a snip of the media frenzy these two intrepid crusaders of kindness trotted out:
Bendigo Advertiser, Herald Sun Leader, The Ballarat Courier, Shepparton News, Midland Express, Herald Sun, 3AW.
From you special buddy Jodie. How cool is that!! Ruby loves her special blanket and has promised to share her treats with her trusty side-kick ET and we you just blown away with your kindness, thank you dear Jodie, thank you.
To find out more about our Best Buddy program please click here.
There are so many ways one can be kind to animals; from choosing cruelty free cosmetics and household products , adopting only shelter/ rescue pets, protecting native animals and their habitats, volunteering at your local nursing home or helping out your neighbour (remember we too are a part of the animal kingdom), supporting only ethical tourism or leaving animals off your plate. And what better way to end BKTAW than delivering a presentation at RMIT’s Real Brain Food evening complete with cooking demonstration, group meditation and inspirational speakers. ‘Tis true, when one feeds the brain a pure plant based diet one feeds the soul kindness, leading to a happy and healthier world for everyone!
Ambassador – an official envoy; especially : a diplomatic agent of the highest rank accredited to a foreign government or sovereign as the resident representative of his or her own government or sovereign or appointed for a special and often temporary diplomatic assignment, or a sheep named Timmy!
And what a mighty fine ambassador Timmy Sheep was as he kissed small children, offered a hoof shake to senior citizens and brought smiles to everyone in the Bridge Street Mall today as part of Be Kind To Animals Week. Timmy, you rock big time!
For as long as I can remember animals have shaped my world – from Blackie, Tiny and Laddie, my family’s first pets to the hundreds of rescued farmed animals that share my world. As I caress their soft fur and fleece, rejoice in watching their joyous leaps and bounds and am captivated by their antics, I am assured that species other than ours have rich emotional worlds. With this in mind I am incredibly proud to be the Australian World Animal Day ambassador.
World Animal Day commenced in 1931 at a convention of ecologists in Florence as a way of highlighting the plight of endangered species. October 4 was chosen as World Animal Day as it is the Feast Day of St Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals.
Since then, World Animal Day has become a day for remembering and paying tribute to all animals and the people who love and respect them. It’s celebrated in different ways in every country, with no regard to nationality, religion, faith or political ideology.
I encourage you all to make this October 4th something to remember, Happy World Animal Day!
Pam Ahern, Australian World Animal Day Ambassador.
Be Kind to Animals Week day three saw a sheep in Shep. That’s right the woolly wonder, Timmy Sheep and that perky porcine and 2014 Be Kind To Animals Week ambassador, Leon Trotsky wasted no time in taking many prisoners to their inimitable charms in the Maude Street Mall today in Shepparton.
Did you know that sheep can remember the faces of their flock mates even after a period of time? So next time you see a sheep looking of into the distance, don’t be fooled into thinking he has just succumbed to sheep stupor. He could well be thinking about his buddies, just like you do!! And always remember be kind!
Day 2 Be Kind to Animals Week trots into the Bendigo Mall and into the hearts of many. Timmy Sheep and his trusty sidekick, 2014 Be Kind to Animals Week Ambassador, Leon Trotsky could well be the consummate politicians with their uncanny ability to win people over but their message is simple, vote 1 – kindness!
Day 1 of Be Kind to Animals Week saw Timmy Sheep and Miss Chief Goat spreading the kindness with the help of Councillor John Connor and Deputy Mayor Graham Hackett in Kyneton!