Last Saturday saw the Edgar’s Mission crew hit the Lancefield Farmers Market. Ably assisted by Timmy, our task of championing the cause of farmed animals was made so much easier. Curiously watching passersby, obligingly posing for photographs and being the recipient of many back scratches, Timmy amicably showed that when it comes to having an emotional world sheep are right up there with the best of them. A well-earned wheetbix or two capped off a wonderful day for Timmy as he remarked the day was not baaaa-d at all! Continue reading
Sometimes the things that we think are sent to destroy us are the very ones that save us.
Everyone needs a little Charity in their life. Here’s the story of ours.
Who is having more fun? Pam, Poppy or Puppy (Ruby)? Let us know by commenting below
When bringing animals into our lives, just some of the questions we should ask ourselves are:
- “Will I be able to provide the animal with a happy and fulfilling life?”
- “Do I have the knowledge and ability to keep this animal in good health?”
- “Do I have the time and resources to ensure both of the above?”, as well as
- “Will I still have space for this animal in my life if my circumstances change?”
And sadly, there are many moments in which we wish we could turn back the hands of time and encourage many a former animal carer to consider the above before embarking on a journey that ends in the surrender of yet another hapless creature. Such is the case with our latest arrivals, the Forgotten Friends. You see these dear little hens whom we christened Fifi, Freya, Francine and Faye were surrendered recently when their former carer was relocating and could no longer provide for them. Whilst we acknowledge that circumstances can and often do change without warning, it was the condition in which these sweet girls arrived that was most upsetting. Inflicted with one of the worst lice infestations we have ever seen, underweight, lethargic and unwell, it was clear that chicken care was perhaps a foreign concept in their former home. And this is something we are seeing and hearing of more often as the ’backyard layer’ becomes more common. Many who take on the responsibility of caring for hens do so with the kindest of intentions, however they are not a creature who can simply be left to fend for herself. A balanced and nutritious diet is essential for good health, as is shellgrit or other suitable substances to aid digestion. Lice and worming treatments are critical to the wellbeing of hens and we can only begin to imagine how long these poor girls had been suffering the discomfort of having lice crawling over almost every inch of their available skin. Furthermore, a hen is not a creature who is exempt from pain and suffering and, should she be ailing, it would be unfair to deny her access to veterinary treatment. In addition to this, chickens require safe, fox proof enclosures, access to the outdoors and sunshine, as well as protection from the elements. And in no way is this list exhaustive, the type of care and knowledge required to provide an animal with a good life is essential information that should be thoroughly researched and considered before bringing that animal into your home.
And this is what our Forgotten Friends are here to remind us today – that in bringing animals into our world, we take full responsibility for a creature who cannot speak up for herself and it is up to us to ensure their life is one that is worth living. For ‘many have forgotten this truth. But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.'”
Meet Shelly, Sheila, Sharen, Shy and Sheyenne. It was meant to be a trip to the pound to collect three sheep, but somehow the trio morphed into a quintet with the discovery of an extra two sheep. Clearly non-pet sheep were these girls as their flight zone was quite large. Flight zones in reference to sheep and cattle refers to the distance one can approach an animal or group of animals before the animal moves off. For a tame or hand raised animal who is very used to human company the flight zone will be zero. Leading is the most effective way to move these very tame animals, whilst for animals less habituated to humans, ‘driving’ from behind works best.
Whilst moving the sheep to the small holding yard two things about young Shy became apparent. The first, she stuck very closely to the older Sheyenne (having had the chance to observe these two longer we strongly suspect Sheyenne to be her mother) and the second was the fact she had great difficultly getting about as she could not bear weight on one of her hind legs. Moving closer to the young ewe, a grisly bloody stump where her right hind hoof was meant to be proved to be the reason. On closer inspection, it would appear the poor Shy has been the unwittingly victim of something akin to a carelessly placed illegal steel-jaw metal trap. Continue reading
Like around 16 million male chicks born to the egg laying industry, Roger was never going to produce eggs. It is a simple fact of biology. But some how for Roger he slipped through a crack and ended up in a small backyard flock of laying hens. When it was found that Roger very noisily wasn’t all he was cracked up to be, he was walking on more than just eggshells. Handed to a neighbor, along with the words, “He no lay eggs,” his fate was almost sealed. Whilst we have been able to open our barn door to dear Roger, there simply is not enough at our Inn of Kindness to accommodate all the cast-offs from egg production, commercial, backyard or hobbyist chicken keepers. While Roger got lucky, millions upon millions of male chicks are killed each year simply because they are the wrong gender. Can you imagine this ever being acceptable if we were talking about puppies or kittens?
Eunice is a biblical name meaning good victory. And it is to a good victory that the little ageing white goat with a delightful long beard came to us. Abandoned by her previous human carers, Eunice trumped the odds and found sanctuary through our farm gates. Continue reading
Do you remember the adorable, very large sow who made her way through our farm gates earlier this year? We christened her Piggy Sue. We were so pleased to find a wonderful loving home for the one time farmed pig. She even made fast friends with the lone pig who lived there named Shy. Shy’s previous piggy pal recently passed away and her human carers quickly saw their remaining pig become more depressed, withdrawn and lonely. It seemed a match made in heaven when Piggy Sue trotted through their farm gates. But is was not the happy union that surprised her new carers but the arrival of tiny pink piglets not long thereafter that did. The piglets, now ready to leave the nest, have arrived back here at Edgar’s Mission where our next mission is to find them equally loving homes.
If you think you have what it takes to give these inquisitive little balls of fun lives truly worth living, please do let us know. Here are some things to keep in mind- The piglets may look very cute and small now but they are going to grow very big in size, as well as taking up a huge space in your heart. Lone pigs are very sad and whilst your company is great, no one quite gets down and dirty in a wallow like another pig (or two). Pigs can live for up to twelve years and council approval must be obtained before taking a pig into your world. Good fencing, warm shelter and plenty of room on at least an interesting acre of land are essential (rotation of paddocks is a good idea). Oh and you must have a sense of humour! Does that sound like you? Please let us know.
For over one hundred years, Girl Guides have provided women and girls with amazing opportunities for growth and personal development. Encouraging confidence, self-reliance and leadership skills individuals are inspired to be the best they can be. Recently a perky pig named Polly trotted on into the Lancefield chapter encouraging one and all to include kindness for all animals in their charter. Just a stone’s throw away from the venue is Polly’s, home, Edgar’s Mission, a not for profit haven for rescued farmed animals. Edgar’s Mission too shares the vision of a better, brighter world for all and reminds us that the choices we make in this world contribute to this noble goal.
If you would like Pam and Polly to make a presentation to your Guide or Scouting group, please contact Pam for availability [email protected]
Many have forgotten this truth, but you must never forget it. You remain responsible forever for what you’ve tamed.”
— Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
Introducing two dear little ponies, the handsome Prince and dashing Billy Neigh Cyrus. Sadly though, their soft eyes and kindly stance belies their incredibly fearful nature, we sincerely doubt we have ever seen more frightened ponies in all our collective years of working with animals.
We first heard of their plight by way of a call from a council ranger. Whilst horses are not strictly our charter, with several very good and reputable dedicated equine rescue organizations in our state, it seemed we were indeed their last hope as time was quickly running out. Having proved too resourceful for the fences that once contained them, too difficult to catch to be removed to safer pastures and too much trouble for their human carer, their next option was a fate we refused to contemplate but one that was threatened to be carried out. A threat we believed to be most real.
Not even 24 hours had passed since the arrival of 16 Boer goats to our sanctuary than we realised we had actually saved 17 lives. Homer, the lead male goat, his harem of ladies and young kid goats, had become the unwitting pawns in a change of family circumstance and were looking at a one way ticket to a place goats never willingly go. The cheeky goats had been making merry of poor fencing so wooden yokes had been placed around the necks of several of them. But these too proved no challenge to the deft agility of this clan. With a bleak future on the horizon, it is to a kind heart who desperately pleaded their case that they owe their lives. And so it was with open arms and full paddocks we welcomed the dear gregarious goatee gang.
A testament to their calm breed, all the goats have quickly settled and they are proving curious, inquisitive and friendly, with a fondness for wheetbix (the universal language of love here at EM) coming to the fore. The challenges of running a sanctuary such as ours are many and whilst we are pleased we have been able to throw these beautiful animals the lifeline they so desperately needed, it is a forever home that we now seek for them- a home and heart with plenty of love and tender understanding, a commitment to a lifetime of care and a keen sense of humour to match that of these fun loving creatures. And it goes without saying, (but we will), they are for lovin’ not the oven (or breeding, on selling etc etc).
Like to help Homer and his harem?
- Leave these words off your menu- chevon (meat from adult goats), and cabrito, capretto (meat from young kid goats)
Desire – noun.
A strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen.
On the 23rd of January 2015 we opened our hearts and farm gates to Snoopy, an adorable little palomino miniature horse. Unfortunately for Snoopy, she suffers from all that is wrong with selective breeding for a single trait, in her case this is being small. With a limited gene pool dwarfism is not that uncommon in the miniature pony breed. As renowned author and Professor of Animal Science, Temple Grandin states, “If you over-select for a single trait, you are going to cause problems in the animal.”
While Snoopy’s big bug eyes, knock-knees and large forehead make her look rather cute, sadly these conditions will herald health issues and make her frail beyond her years. Despite these things, it was our desire to give little Snoopy the best and safest life possible. Not quite wrapping her in cotton wool, we kept her close by the barn so we could watch her every move, walking her to a luxurious straw filled stable each night so no harm could befall her. Continue reading
Little John, Curly, Betsy, Barbara and Betty would have to be amongst the luckiest goats alive. Although born at an abattoir only hours before their mothers were slaughtered a kindly heart rescued them only moments before they would have had their skulls brutally smashed. Sadly some of their buddies had already met this fate and it was the screams of these young kid goats that alerted the tradesmen working nearby to the plight of Little John and his friends. Over and over we see the goodness of the human heart shine through. Sadly though, for millions upon millions of farmed animals, their pleas for mercy go unheard and their harsh treatment unseen. But it doesn’t have to be this way for if you listen very quietly you will hear your heart telling you it is time to do so.
‘I’ll shoot him, but not with a bullet’ was the lifeline that Alby Mangels Goat so desperately needed. Holed up in an outer Melbourne factory where he has been chased, bids were being offered for his flesh, as council workers and police worked desperately to ensure the young buck could not escape onto the nearby busy arterial road right on peak hour. One can only imagine the terror of poor Alby, as the world was quickly closing in and his options for escape closing fast. As gruff voices yelled, aim was taken and a tranquilising dart pierced his side. Groggy, but adrenalized he swayed, defiantly he didn’t want to give in, as blanket brought darkness upon him and the words “You’re safe now buddy, you’re going to Edgar’s Mission” were spoken.
Yet again we give thanks to the sharp shooting and kindness of Manfred Zabinskas of Five Freedoms Animal Rescue. For now Alby Mangels rests up in our recovery ward, health check given, hooves trimmed, parasite treatment administered and an entire new world of kindness awaits.
Robert O’Hara Burke and William John Wills, were two ill-fated early explorers who set out in 1860 to cross Australia, from Melbourne in the south to the Gulf of Carpentaria in the north and return. But with bad luck, poor leadership and harsh conditions on their side, they perished on the return journey in mid 1861.
In a similar vein, albeit with a much more favorable outcome are our latest sheepy arrivals Burke and Wills. These two intrepid explorers were found wandering at large in desperate need of food and shelter. Thankfully, kind council workers stepped in to ensure never again would the two sheep be at the mercy of the elements. So for now, the wily two boys are well rested and have full bellies, and they have found their way to an entire new world of kindness at every turn. Sadly though, when it comes to so many of our farmed animal friends it is not they who have lost their way but we humans. Continue reading
We’re all heard the saying ‘a wolf in sheep’s clothing’, well how about a lamb in tiger’s clothing? Keeping our new buddy snug as a, well lamb in tigers clothing is very important for the survival of little Tiger. Orphaned lambs face a lowered immune system due to the separation from their mother placing them more at risk of disease and hypothermia. Found with his head precariously stuck in a fence in the middle of nowhere, grave were the fears he would go the way of his recently departed wee friend. But a kind heart quickly stepped in and brokered his rescue. Little Tiger has quickly emerged as a very low fuss little guy, silently following his new human friends about as he helps them with their chores (well at least he thinks he is helping), then retiring for a rest until his next round of action.
So with good nourishment set to flow, loving hands at the ready and a warm little jacket fitted, all we wait for now is to hear little Tiger baa. Continue reading
Despite his rocky start in life little Rocky was fighter. Never before have we seen a creature more determined to live, yet right from the start the odds were against that happening. Little Rocky was born into a noisy childcare facility -an artificial environment that was a far chirp from what nature would have intended. With no knowledgeable carers on hand, the task of saving Rocky fell to a kind hearted worker who could not bear to see the little one struggle. But with no veterinary budget to assist and despair setting in, it seemed two hearts would be broken. Continue reading
Little Dora was up against it right from the start. Found by woodcutters amongst a pile of branches just yesterday. It is not known how the little waif got there, nor for how long she had languished. Delivered not long thereafter to our sanctuary, our hearts sank at her pitiful tiny frame. Her roached back and dull, lifeless face told she had all but given up. But the sweet smell and feel of milk formula spurred the little one on. Warmth, tender kindness and medication followed, however in the early hours of this morning, at 3.24am precisely life left little Dora and all that remained was her body, sleeping peacefully in her basket.
Last year it was reported that 15 million (that’s almost 3/4 of the population of Australia) lambs perished in their first 48 hours of life. Each one a unique individual and one who so desperately wanted to live. But Dora did not die alone, cold and unloved. She was surrounded by people and animals who cared about her deeply. She got to sit on the couch and catch a bit of TV, she had her own little jacket and warm basket to sleep in- she was a some one. Our hearts break each time a life is lost, it most certainly never gets any easier. And while we wonder that in the scheme of things does it make any difference that often our best efforts are sometimes in vein, we take comfort for if the universe is listening the collective good of our actions and intentions means it certainly does. Continue reading
WOOHOOO!!! Thanks to the amazing support of our wonderful Edgar’s Mission fans and your belief in our work, Project Piggy Paradise can become a reality!!
Leon Trotsky and all of us at Edgar’s Mission are ecstatic to announce that $132,031 was raised to make Perfect Piggy Paradise a reality! Thank you thank you thank you!!
We have been waiting to share with you the latest update from dear little Saturday Lamb, but we haven’t been able to get her to stand still long enough for a photo. The reason you ask? Because she has a fantastic new set of wheels courtesy of Aquapaws Canine Rehabilitation Centre that’s why.
The sweet little faced black Suffolk ewe arrived at our sanctuary some months ago. At first it was thought she had succumbed to a toxin that had robbed her of the proper functioning of her hind limbs. However the passage of time and veterinary assessment has proved this is not the case. Sadly it has become evident that little Saturday is besieged with congenial spasticity. This translates into Saturday’s hind limbs not working in sync with the messages sent from her brain. While she can stand and bare weight, once she decides to move off things go kind of pear shaped. Without the assistance from our many volunteers or a cool set of wheels, Saturday’s life would see her confined to a stable with little quality of life.
But thankfully Saturday has people who love and care for her very much. Although her condition still challenges veterinary wisdom (conventional farming would have seen Saturday killed shortly after birth) we will not give up the battle to ensure that each and every day for our little friend is a day worth living. We sincerely thank Aquapaws for their kind assistance in helping us achieve this goal.