Dreaming of a kinder world? Our Kind Critter Care Conference may be for you.
If you are reading this you no doubt care deeply about animals. And more than likely are looking to see how best you can advocate on their behalf. The next most frequently asked question we receive after, “Can you take my rooster?” is, “How can I start a sanctuary for farmed animals?” The answer to this latter question is as complex as it is challenging and is most certainly something that cannot be answered in a 5-minute telephone conversation or a quick FAQ response. It is for this reason we here at Edgar’s Mission will be hosting our popular Kind Critter Care Conference on Sunday 3rd of September 2017. Read more and see photos from our 2016 conference here and our 2015 conference here. Continue reading
Many people may not realise that grazing the kind pastures here at Edgar’s Mission is our horse herd, comprising of 16 magnificent equines. There’s quite a variety of shapes, sizes and temperaments ranging from a dwarf miniature pony named Snoopy to a very large and handsome warmblood gelding named Gilbert.
What many people may also not realise is that unlike humans, horse’s teeth continue to grow throughout most of their lives. Their teeth and digestive systems are designed for breaking down the tough cellulose fibres in grasses and grains with a sideways grinding action, constantly wearing down their teeth. However, as their upper jaw is wider than their lower, sharp hooks and ridges can develop, cutting into the sensitive tissue inside their mouths and tongues. This is why regular dental check-ups are a must for our equine friends, and that is just what happened here last week. Continue reading
And saying goodbye never gets any easier. Although we know the lives of our animal friends will not match the length of our own, their passing is always something we struggle to come to terms with; to know their presence will never grace our lives again. In our grief we think back in regret, if only we could have spent more time with them, they endured so much in their lives, they never had a chance to know kindness, they will not get to see their babies grow up, their time with us was too short, humans should never have done this to them. Thoughts rage through our hearts and minds each time we bid farewell to a much loved fleeced, feathered or furred friend.
Every month we 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. Read on to see how Dominic, Benjamin and Princess Leia are going in their new forever home.
Margery, a saintly and elderly ewe, recently gave birth to her lamb in a country pound. Sadly, overnight a fox claimed the life of this precious baby. She was distraught when she arrived at our sanctuary not long thereafter. She desperately wanted to be a mother. Meanwhile, Malcolm, a two-day-old lamb, had watched on as his mother slipped from this world. Although losing the one he cherished most, he did not lose his will to live. He desperately needed a mother.
It’s a story we hear all too often here at Edgar’s Mission—a kind-hearted neighbour witnessing the tragedy of ewe in trouble on a neighbouring property. A closer inspection reveals she has recently given birth. Contacting the landholder concerned, who unfortunately in this instance (as in many others) is an absentee farmer, the kind heart is informed, “I’ll deal with it in a couple of days, you can have the lamb, otherwise I will hit it on the head when I get there”. Sadly, the ewe passed away shortly thereafter, but the lamb did not. Taken in and offered warmth, sweet formula and kindness, the little one had just been thrown the lifeline she needed to thrive. But how many are not so fortunate? The Australian newspaper reported in 2012 this figure was 15 million lambs dying within the first 48 hours of life, with most newborns succumbing to exposure to the cold weather.
Such a daunting statistic casts a question mark on the oft-touted remark that sheep are “supremely designed for the Australian environment”—clearly this is not true of our harsh climate. Continue reading
As the scissors began to surrender to the dense felt that was now the fleece of the gentle Angora doe we had hastily named Julie, we doggedly battled on. Why hastily? Let me explain. Julie was one of 27 of the large herd of Angora goats recently surrendered into our care reaching a crisis point in their welfare. These gentle goats were burdened by more than four years’ worth of fleece (that’s missing over 8 shearings, as Angoras need to be shorn twice a year) and countless parasites (both internal and external), and crippled by overgrown hooves.
Some days don’t go as planned. The 27th of June was one of them, as that day we had hoped beyond hope that little ‘Ello would turn the corner we all had been willing this sweet little lamb to turn, but her little body said no more. Up against it from the start, she tried, oh boy did she try, and so too did we. And as we struggled to make some sense of it all, we were left with the reminder that all life is precious, all want to live a life free from harm, enjoy the sunshine and the company of their buddies, and to gambol across the hills till their heart is content. ‘Ello can now do all of those things, although on another plane, in a body more robust to accommodate the gaiety and glee of a sweet little lamb. Honouring her wish, her passing was aided, surrounded by love, teddy bears, and tears. Her life mattered; she was loved, and she will be cherished in our hearts forever. Sometimes life doesn’t go as planned…
Now we all know that good things come in small packages, right? But did you know that lifesaving things come in small packages covered with fur? Proof positive is a petite little Guinea Pig named Ms Truffles. Ms Truffles came into our care recently after the passing of one of our guinea pigs, Montezuma, whose passing left her partner broken-hearted and lonely. Seeing the forlorn look on little Hernando Cortez’s face each day and hearing his high-pitched little “wees” saw us seeking to find a guinea pig in need of a home. Answering our prayers were the good folk at Coldstream Animal Aid, who had recently taken in a very pretty little Abyssinian guinea pig they had named Ms Truffles. In navigating her way through our guinea pig enclosure, Ms Truffles also managed to navigate her way into Hernando Cortez’s heart.
While guinea pigs are truly special little guys and gals, please do your research before taking them into your world, as sadly all too often, the novelty of their cuteness wears off long before the responsibility of their care and welfare does. Continue reading
In the middle of winter, the warmth of kindness continues to shine brightly. Yesterday, Liam and his mother Camille paid us a visit, well actually, they paid Saturday a visit. Watch the heart-warming video of their meeting below.
Thinking of Elysia and Miranda, who both recently turned 12, the words of the Dalai Lama come to mind: “[i]t is vital that when educating our children’s brains that we do not neglect to educate their hearts.” For their combined birthday party, rather than gifts they asked if guests could bring a donation to Edgar’s Mission – raising an amazing $510!
Whether they learnt such thoughtful generosity from their parents, teachers or from their own kind hearts, Elysia and Miranda have proven beyond any doubt that teaching kindness and compassion is priceless. Thank you to Elysia, Miranda and your guests, your donations will go a long to helping so many animals now and into the future.
While many may recognize July 4th as America’s famous Independence Day from now on in we will recognize it as Independence Day for Chickens, as history will record it as the first day of Australia’s largest farmed animal rescue. Almost 1,500 laying hens destined for slaughter received a last minute reprieve when a battery hen farmer had a change of heart. Pledging the cages would never again hold a chicken the farmer nervously sought assistance to rehome the hens to safe and loving homes. At first we thought it was some kind of a joke, but meeting with the farmer at a secret location we believed him to be genuine and so on July 4th 2012 Australia’s largest farmed animal rescue began.
Five years on, and while we still celebrate Chicken Independence Day here at Edgar’s Mission, we also strive and wish for the day that no chicken will need rescuing; a day when all hens will be free. To scratch in the soil, to stretch your wings, to bathe in the dust and to feel the sun’s warm rays upon your back – these are some of the most important moments in the life of a chicken, yet they are denied to over 11 million battery hens in our country alone. Take a moment this Chicken Independence Day to join millions of people worldwide in enjoying our beautiful, heartwarming video, Normal and Natural and ask yourself, “Shouldn’t it be Normal and Natural for humans to be kind?”
Happy Chicken Independence Day from all of us here at Edgar’s Mission!
As June wrapped up, so too did our $120,000 Kindness Challenge. We’re so thankful for all the support we received – we ended up with an amazing $128,000!
Now, it’s time to get to work. Yesterday we held our tree planting day – over 30 people came along to help us plant 40 trees. Apples, pears, peaches and figs were among the saplings lovingly bedded into their new abodes – and the roosters were only too happy to lend a helping foot.
But it wasn’t all work and no play, the team were taken on a tour and then little Acorn made an appearance to meet everyone. We loved having each and every one of you here to help plant the seeds of kindness, and wish those who live too far to join us take stock in what you have helped us achieve.
Spied by the side of the road by a kind-hearted motorist, the quizzically moving creature was at first thought to be a tiny tri-coloured kitten. But they were wrong. The hapless lost critter was a pint-sized piggy soon to be christened Gerald. With species no barrier to the motorist’s kindness, and fearing the worst for Gerald (after all, the side of a busy road late at night is no place for a tiny baby), he was quickly bundled up and taken to an emergency veterinary clinic where a chain of lost/abandoned animal procedures and red tape saw him ultimately surrendered to Edgar’s Mission. If only animals could talk, we are sure Gerald would have one tale to tell—if only he stopped nuzzling the ground long enough.