As we count down to 2016 we thought we would celebrate by reliving some of our cutest moments of 2015!
By golly we’ve actually done it! The heat was on, literally on this 35-degree day, to reach a hefty goal before the clock ticks over into 2016.
We now have 250,000 Facebook friends and counting, thank you so much for sharing our posts and joining us on this journey. Together we’re making the world a kinder place for animals.
All good things come to those who wait – an update on Hopetoun Park.
Whilst we will never know what thoughts traversed Hopetoun Park’s mind during the many months he spent beside the busy Western Freeway just shy of Bacchus Marsh, we suspect that hooking up with his kind was right up there. And we are so pleased to say that in the past few weeks that is just what has happened. Safe to say, dear Hopetoun has been welcomed into our goatey fold with customary “open horns” (goats love to greet new friends and rivals with their famous hind leg “ta da da-da” stance) and he is slowly catching on to the idea that wheetbix are not bad, nor are kindly humans.
Christmas is never a good time for turkeys, especially if they have been purposely bred for the occasion. As synonymous with Christmas as Santa Claus, bon-bons and mistletoe has become roast turkey. The huge difference between all these things is that the latter is very much a real creature who very much wants to live.
Sadly, living was not what the tealeaves and his breeder had in store for a handsome bronze male turkey we have christened Seth Tibbott. But proving there really is a Santa Claus (although he may not always come dressed in a red suit and sport a long white beard), Seth is not going to become the centrepiece of a Christmas feast. Thankfully for him, a kind heart recognised that turkeys are friends and not food and stepped in to save Seth. So while Seth and his new lady friend, Helen of Prahran (an equally impressive bronze turkey hen), will dine on a feast of kindness, melons and grains, thousands upon thousands of other intelligent and inquisitive birds will not be so lucky. For them there is nothing to celebrate. Continue reading
May your Christmas too be kind. From our furred, feathered and fleeced family to yours, wishing you a happy and healthy festive season. We thank you for your love, support, donations and kindness in 2015.
Wednesday 23rd of December was pretty much a chaotically ordinary day here at the Mission, but all of that changed around 7pm when we received a call about a wee kitten who had become precariously wedged (and we do mean wedged) between two metal sheds. We were to learn that the little mite had been trapped there for at least two days with her pitiful cries desperately pleading for help. Our first glimpse of the tri-coloured feline caused our hearts to sink, as all our eyes could glimpse in the narrow space was a clump of lifeless fur. It was even difficult to determine if this was in fact a creature or just a mere scrap of material that had lodged amongst the debris that had collected there over the years. The kind heart who had reached out for our help had already began pulling palings from a fence and removing scathes of ivy before we arrived and watched on anxiously as the situation was assessed. And it did indeed seem hopeless. So narrow was the space between the two sheds that nothing could be passed from either side to push the kitten through or pull the kitten back. The only way she could have gotten into the space was from falling from the roof, and sadly she had fallen so far down that nothing could be passed from the top to retrieve her. Our hearts began to sink, as still the kitty hadn’t made a noise.
Max and his pals at Edgar’s Mission have been dreaming of a joyous Christmas, like many have never known. Where good foods beckon and straw beds welcome, and big bouncy toys don’t pop under hefty weight.
Help make Max’s dreams of frolicking after a substantially stronger ball come true by making a Christmas Donation. You can choose to donate towards delicious dinners, tasty treats or pleasing playthings, in return you’ll receive a cute picture of Santa and the lucky animals benefitting from your generosity. A Christmas Donation also makes a lovely last minute gift, just email or print out the photo and pop it in a card.
“They’re just babies” were the first words we heard that described a group of young kid goats we came to christen the Yuletide Kids. We were warned they were in terrible condition, but nothing could have prepared us for the little, frightened, faeces (theirs and others)-encrusted, lice-infested, malnourished, broken-horned, burr- and grass-seed–ridden babies whose blood-curdling cries pierced our ears and hearts as we gently placed them into our rescue vehicle. One little mite was so tenaciously clinging to life we did not know he would make the trip home, so he rode up front with us in the car as we willed him on and told him a better place lay ahead. Sadly, not long thereafter, he found that better place, but it was not Edgar’s Mission. We christened him Errol and take a small measure of comfort knowing that he got to know love, kindness and pain relief before he went.
The powerless are precious.
Several painstaking hours later, parasites were sent packing from the 13 remaining babies as tweezers and fingers dexterously removed burrs and grass seeds from gums, eyes and necks. Looking at the petrified baby goats all huddled in the corner of their straw-lined stable, the bravest inching forward to nibble at the sweet-smelling hay, more than our heartstrings were pulled, and we endeavoured to piece together their story, which would go something like this. A week or so earlier a large herd of rangeland goats were rounded up, corralled and loaded onto livestock transport vehicles as they commenced their cramped and terrifyingly long journey to slaughter. Along the way, several of the babies became separated from their mothers; their pitiful bleats would have melted into the cacophony of the rattling stock crate and cries from other equally terrified and confused animals. Unable to hold their ground, each of the kids fell to the faeces- and urine-covered floor—being trampled only adding to their pain. With no mother’s milk to comfort them and nothing to graze upon, stress and hunger overcame them, robbing them of any stores of health they may have had.
Conflict is often described as a situation when two or more things “come into collision or disagreement”. Further, it can be something that is “contradictory, at variance, or in opposition”, best explained as a “clash”. And we could think of no other word to describe the state poor little Astrid was in as she sat shivering with fear in our arms not long after we first met. While the sweet warm milk she guzzled down was welcomed, the arms that embraced her were human and they were not. Despite Astrid’s short life to date, it was clear our species had already been placed on her foe list. As we pieced together her past, the most likely scenario was she was yet another victim of the trade in goat meat, which sees wild rangeland goats rounded up and trucked long distances to abattoirs. Here terrified babies are separated from their distressed mothers, proud billy goats are transformed into quivering creatures in fear of their lives and humans become the devil incarnate as they butcher these innocent animals, reducing them to slabs of meat largely for the export market. Continue reading
Is described as a place where one feels especially safe and protected, a refuge, a place of peace, a place of serenity. And we can think of no better place for a rescued animal to give birth. Earlier this year a small herd of Boer goats found themselves in desperate need of sanctuary. To add to their woes, heavy wooden yokes had been wired tight around the necks of many of these hapless animals. As each frightened animal was freed from the yoke, we whispered the words, “You’re safe now, you’re at Edgar’s Mission,” in their furred ear. Little did we know that in the months that would follow, sanctuary would also be offered to a tiny baby who was born here one misty morning. Watching the gentle doe lick life and love into her tiny baby, we are reminded that when it comes to mothers, all cherish their babies just the same.
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Last Friday in the Seymour Magistrates Court, Magistrate Hawkins signed the death warrant of a baby five week old deer affectionately named Rudolph. Rudolph, an abandoned fawn had been found some weeks earlier by a compassionate young man who reached out to help a creature in trouble. Such an act of kindness was shattered when DEDJTR officers came and seized the deer and sought a court order to kill Rudolph.
“Last week I was contacted by the desperate Foot family advising of Rudolph’s plight” said Edgar’s Mission, Founder and Director, Pam Ahern “our assistance was sought in providing a suitable sanctuary for deer Rudolph”. “I found such a sanctuary in Jirrahlinga Koala and Wildlife Sanctuary in Barwon Heads, operated by Senior Australian of the Year, 2004, Tehree Gordon”. Continue reading
You may know her as ‘The Lady in the Hat,’ a champion for animals the world over. Perhaps you recognise her from watching her tireless efforts in our rescue videos or have rejoiced in seeing her smiling face, along with a rooster, piglet or other oft-forgotten farmed animal make headlines in the daily news. You may have been fortunate enough to hear her speak fondly of her eponymous Edgar Alan, aka, ‘The Pig Who Started it All,’ who led her to where she is today as the highly regarded Founder and Director of Edgar’s Mission Farm Sanctuary.
We know her as all of these things and more as Pam Ahern is without a doubt, the most inspirational person we here at Team Edgar have ever met. It is rare to have an idol and a hero live up to your expectations but it is even rarer for that person to exceed them. Pam’s commitment to creating a kinder world for animals goes much further than the eloquent stories she pens and the seemingly impossible rescue missions she undertakes- it is a passion she lives and breathes every single moment of every single day and in doing so, she inspires us all to do the same.
Today, we celebrate Pam and all she brings to this world, for it is her birthday. And Pam, although we know you will not stop, with goaty mouths to feed, piggy demands to be met and a darling little rooster chick riding upon your shoulder, we hope you will at least pause and reflect for a moment on just how fortunate this world is to have a hero like you in it. Happy Birthday Pam, for all you do for animals and for all you have created, we thank you and we wish you the most wonderful day yet. With love, admiration and unending kindness from your Edgar’s Mission Family. Continue reading
Just when we thought we couldn’t love this girl any more, we do. While each day sees Pixie more determined to not let her disability get her down, we fall even more in love with her. And it is not just because of her innocent doe eyes and her adorable bucked teeth, no, it is her sweet sweet nature that has captured our hearts. Never has Pixie protested or been grumpy, not once, not when we have carried out her exercises, put her splints on or taken them off, or even when we have taken her on one of her many trips to the vet. Pixie now has been fitted with plastic slipper-like shoes, designed for foals who suffer similar conditions, and these have greatly assisted in flattening her feet and reminding those muscles and tendons just what they are meant to do.
And while Christmas is still some weeks off, Pixie’s Christmas present came early in the form of an almost mirror image of a young version of her: Mixie. Pixie and Mixie, a young jersey heifer, immediately recognised a friend in the other and have formed a bond we are sure will last a lifetime. Where Pixie is gentle and obliging, Mixie is cheeky and loves pushing boundaries. Yet despite her newfound buddy, Pixie still has plenty of love for her old chum, Vet Nurse Stitch.
On the first day of November and within seconds of giving birth, Roxanne faced her newborn twin lambs and began licking the foetal membranes from them, thus cementing the bond between the gentle ewe and her babies. Dorper sheep such as Roxanne are a relatively new breed to Australia. They are intended for meat consumption and with a self-shedding fleece they have become popular as a low-maintenance animal. Thankfully for Roxanne and her buddies, fate dealt them a sweet hand when they arrived at our sanctuary in July of this year. Roxanne, her then two young lambs Reanne and Roseanne, along with dad Ralph, and Reggie, had all escaped becoming a statistic and someone’s meal. Not only did this rescue mean Roxanne would not have to endure a separation from her then young lambs, but the two lambs she was carrying would never have to know a harsh word or face a grizzly fate. Continue reading
Did little Mixie know the trailer in which she gingerly ping-ponged about was ferrying her to be butchered? Did she know that a little calf desperately needed a friend? Or did she simply dream a better world lay one leap of faith away? Whilst we do not know what thoughts danced around in the young heifer’s mind that fateful day, we do know that little Mixie’s brave decision changed her life for-evermore and we here at Edgar’s Mission know more than most that dreams give us hope when things seem hopeless. One of our dreams we hold dear is for a kinder world for baby calves just like Mixie. One where they are not forcibly taken from their mothers shortly after birth, one where they are not legally trucked off to slaughter at just five days young so their mother’s milk can be harvested for human consumption and never reach the destination nature intended—the baby calf’s stomach. One where once killed, baby calves’ stomachs are not milled up to produce rennet that is used to make cheese for kindly unsuspecting humans who would never dream of being cruel to baby calves and their mothers.
Because of YOU, our wonderful supporters and your daily votes for Edgar’s Mission in the #UpgradeYourWorld Competition, a huge (and we mean HUGE) US $50,000 cheque was hand delivered to the sanctuary by Microsoft yesterday!
Thank you to each and every one of you that voted day in and day out helping Edgar’s Mission be the recipient of this incredible prize – thank you, thank you, thank you!
A huge thanks to Microsoft for their amazing generosity and incredible campaign to change the world!
On Friday November 30, Edgar’s Mission hosted a visit from 30 excited young ladies from Ivanhoe Grammar. Learning lessons of kindness and compassion for all beings, the decision makers of tomorrow happily patted kid goats, squealed (quietly) with delight at meeting a perky pig and rejoiced in meeting orphan baby lambs. “Kindness truly is a lesson best learned by feel” said Edgar’s Mission Founder and Director Pam Ahern, “and through meeting the many rescued animals here at the sanctuary, children learn first hand that regardless of what another looks like, all have the capacity to feel”. With so many positive benefits coming from kindness, not only for those on the receiving end it is easy to understand why the Edgar’s Mission humane education program, “Joining the dots” is being to rounding embraced by educational institutions.
Every month we’ll shine the spotlight on a family who have chosen to bring new faces into their homes and hearts and adopt one or a few rescued animals.
It always warms our hearts to hear how our former residents are settling in to their new abodes and causing their new families to wonder just how life existed before they shared their world with a farm animal. If you’ve never had the honour of spending time with a barnyard friend, you may be surprised by the love, friendship and fun they add to your life.
“My name is Cathy and I live in Greenhill on a small property housing several people, some sheep, their alpaca and, up until a short time ago, one very lonely, 15 year old Shetland mare call Shadey. We’d had Shadey with us for around 5 years, taking her in to help out her elderly owner, and gave her a home here. She initially had 2 other horses for company but one went home and the other passed away. Shadey was left without company and subsequently spent her days moping about the paddock, on an eternal diet, battling arthritis and ongoing laminitis. She was not a happy camper and just seemed to ooze lonliness and lay around a lot. Continue reading
There are so many reasons why we love pigs here at Edgar’s Mission and last Saturday we were once again so eloquently reminded of this when a very large, albeit very skinny, pink pig “nuff, nuffed” at us through the stockcrate that had just ferried him to our sanctuary. Piecing together his past, it is clear that comfort and good food had not frequented his life. With his spine riding high as a huge ridge down his back, shoulder blades so prominent you feel their bony form and a nasty skin condition that pointed the trotter firmly at a most unhygienic environment, this dear boy painted a most forlorn sight that justified the sad, tired look in his eye. But in a single act of kindness, all that was set to change.
Described as a “feisty little hen”, we quickly learned that only two of these three words were correct and yet another rooster had made his way to our sanctuary. For “feisty” and “little” though the young bird was, he most certainly was not a hen. The lone survivor of a fox attack from a backyard flock of “game” birds, Virgil had taken refuge in a suburban backyard. With thunderbird-like agility and hiding more than his vocal cords, he managed to evade capture for several days until council rangers reined him in. Having now landed firmly on his scaly little feet, Virgil now crows “kindness is go” as he quickly settles in with his new lady friends.
He sits on my shoulder, trots alongside me when I go for walks and even rides on my head as I push bike around the farm. He loves scratches under the chin as he drops both his eyelids and his guard, and melts off into blissful oblivion. With equal measure, he loves going for rides in the car as he does pecking at the keyboard as I type away on the computer. He loves inspecting my ears and holds great aspirations of becoming a toothpick and he is my new best friend. His name is Red Baron, and he is a tiny rooster chick.
I can only imagine the terror, confusion and bewilderment that embraces male chicks shortly after their sex has been determined and they are tossed aside, only to be killed, an inconvenient truth of the egg producing industry. They must honestly feel like they haven’t a friend in the world. Gassed, frozen and then sold off as snake food, Biggles and Red Baron somehow managed to navigate the blizzard of cruelty. They were surrendered into our care at just two days old, sadly little Biggles proved not long for this world, the ravages of his ordeal proving just too great. Quickly showing himself to be endearing, trusting and vulnerable, Red Baron was in desperate need of a friend. With no mother’s wing to seek refuge under, an upturned teddy, heat lamp, hot water bottle and a ticking clock proved a poor second. Readily accepting my outstretched hand and kindness, as a spot on my shoulder (or head, whichever takes his fancy) became his perch.
Despite his great difference in form to that of our own we can already see logic in his behaviours. When it is cold Red Baron snuggles under my hair for warmth and security as he cheekily peeps his little head out to announce “I am here” – seeking reassurance he is not alone in much the same way a young child does. When he comes for walks with me around the farm and realises I have moved on, he makes haste, chirps madly and catches up. He takes great pride in his appearance as his fluffy down gives way to quilled feathers, pecking at their itchiness. In short, he feels. Continue reading
Recently the Edgar’s Mission humane education team met with the year 5 & 6 students of Ringwood North Primary School. After a thought provoking presentation and lots and lots of amazing and well-considered questions some of the students got to meet the animals and we do not know who got the most joy. What do you think?
While he already knows his name and enjoys cuddles and scratches under the chin, and even gives a wag of his tag when a cheeky mood takes hold, our nervous new friend is not a puppy. And given time and trust we are sure he will enjoy our company and walks together across grassy fields just like a puppy. While his emotional world and intelligence rivals that of a puppy, as does his longevity (given the chance), Puppy is in fact a goat. This was borne out recently when someone asked why we were going to such an effort to save an abandoned goat with a broken leg: “After all, it’s not a puppy”.