February News

February was not a nice month. Sometimes four seasons in one day, waterproofs on, waterproofs off, shake mud off wellies, empty water out of wellies, next day needing a crowbar to break the ice on water troughs, next day lugging hundreds of gallons around to provide just short of 600 animals with water, next day down to T-shirts because the sun has come out. Just a normal few days down on the farm.
You have to be mad to work here, I think we would all agree with that?
What keeps everyone going above and beyond the call of duty during the harshest of conditions are the animals themselves. Bringing in such a mixture of animals is more than wanting to do a good deed for an animal in need, it’s about what we can do for them and help them to get their story out and how we can change things for them in the future.
Animals who come to live with us all have a story to tell, abandoned, left to die because they weren’t worth a vets visit, physically ill treated, calves killed shortly after birth as they were surplus to requirements, also worried owners unable to continue with the care of their precious animals, for whatever reason, animals who had also been rescued.

I’ll mention just one animal who didn’t fit into any of these categories, the lovely Rameses the sheep. Previously kept as an only sheep we were told he’d been a bit of a lad, a bit of play butting, a bit of chasing people out of the field, a bit of post ramming etc. We were confident that once he was out with a flock of sheep he’d forget his bad habits, he’d have friends to play with and 50 acres to roam in.
We’ve lost count of the number of times he’s chased people out of the fields and the barns, and how many gates, fence posts and even a field shelter he’s demolished. It was the previous owners who needed to be rescued, not Rameses. He’s here now and we manage his bad habits. It’s a good job he’s handsome.

Rameses

In a previous life I worked as an investigative journalist specialising in animal welfare issues.
I started by visiting Livestock markets. The first animal I bought was an elderly ewe, so weak she had to lean against the wall to stay upright. She cost me £1. I carried her out to the car being jeered by an audience of farmers and dealers who thought it funny that I wouldn’t even be able to find one chop on her. They thought there was something wrong with me, they’d sell me a good one for a fiver, she’d be dead before I got her home etc etc. The best £1 I’ve ever spent.
She lived for a further seven years, a sweet little ewe we named Erica, she put on weight, grew a lovely fleece and became friendly and trusting.
More and more unfit animals were brought out of Markets, the Charity was founded after seeing first-hand how inhumanely these animals were treated, in public, not even hidden behind closed doors. Why did they deserve anything better, they were going to be eaten anyway?
It became a bit of a mission to be here for these very undervalued animals, to show as many people as possible what could go on behind the scenes and to hope that more and more people would see them for what they are, sentient beings who just want to get on with their lives without causing harm.
As it’s been a relatively quiet month, we thought we’d like to introduce a few of these rescued animals, past and present.
Erica was one of the first to prove that where there’s life there’s hope, clearly she didn’t want to die, she just needed help to go on living.

Erica

Phoenix and Fergus
Clearly visible from the road, I could see two sheep lying still on their sides in a pool of water. Up close I could see they were both covered with live maggots and covered in fly eggs. The owner appeared, after a noisy argument, Louise and I carried them out of the boggy field, drove them back to the sanctuary and called a Vet. Phoenix, as we’d called him died within a short time, we were too late for him.
Fergus survived, one third of his body was covered with dead, infected skin, there were holes in his flesh big enough to put a fist into. We tried but failed to have the owner prosecuted?

Phoenix and Fergus

Kanga
Kanga was brought to us with seven other lambs, only one of them was able to stand. They all had a painful infection called Joint Ill which hadn’t been treated. All of them had swollen joints and were dirty and wet from lying on a filthy floor, but all of them would look you in the face with hope in their eyes. They found themselves in clean, deep beds and were given pain relief, for the first time in their lives.
Kanga was the last one to be able to sit up, then she knelt, then she stood on her own, and finally wobbled off with her friends, always smiling. She’s still smiling.

Kanga

George
George was donated from a local farm, because of deformities in his front legs he’d been taken from his mum and bottle fed. His owner was hoping that in time Georges’ legs would take on a more normal shape. They didn’t, George was due to be shot until we heard about him and offered to take him. He was X-rayed and put in bandages and splints, nothing made a difference, he would always have dwarf like front legs. It doesn’t bother George, he’s able to run and bounce around with the best of them, looks don’t matter!

Gorgeous George

Larry, our gorgeous Larry
He was found in a snowdrift when he was about two weeks old, no sign of his mum. He was almost frozen solid and very dehydrated, he couldn’t have survived in those conditions for very much longer. He was taken home by his finders, wrapped in blankets, given a bottle, and slept in front of the fire with his foster mum, until eventually, although they loved him, they realised that Larry would be better off with his own kind.
Although he’s a very happy chappie he always looks as though he has the weight of the world on his shoulders, we put it down to him being Welsh.

Larry

Freedom
She was born with a mobility problem, she was only able to use her front legs, she got around by dragging her back legs behind her. As she didn’t improve with time, like George, she was going to be shot. When she came to us her poor backend was quite raw and dirty, she was still determined to get herself around by whatever means.
A clean bed, painkillers, antibiotics, physiotherapy and Bowen treatment and her own tough spirit eventually paid off, she found her feet and has never looked back.
These are just a tiny handful of animals who we’ve been lucky enough to help, all animals have a strong sense of survival, farm animals are no different.

Freedom

In next month’s news page we will have more survival stories, Freda the pig, Hope the ewe, Pandora the lamb and many more.
We appreciate all the support everyone has shown us. At this time of the year, it’s always a struggle, this year more than ever with Covid 19 affecting just about everybody. Our supporters have still shown us so much support.
With all the animals now in the barns our feed bills have gone through the roof, our vet now visits us weekly, mainly to keep an eye on our older residents who might have dental treatments, blood checks, whatever they might need. Prevention is better than cure. After seeing Annie, the sheep with the shattered leg, come out of surgery in a few hours after the accident minus the damaged limb, then moving about as normal a few days later, vets are worth every penny.
Please stay with us, with your great support we can continue to give animals the life they deserve.

Thank You,

Jan.