This is a hard one
Every day we dedicate our lives to the rescue of animals. We love helping the voiceless and, of course, love animals. Rescue can be rewarding and can fill our lives with joy but there is an opposite end to the spectrum that isn't so nice, both for us and the animals.
We can see some terrible cases. Animals dumped, neglected and sometimes severely abused. The work that goes into "repairing" such damaged souls is long and hard. We have had our share. Both physically and psychologically scarred by various backgrounds and callous people. We have had some fantastic results. From a pig that was so beaten and torn that he would not go within 200 meters of anything but now loving, docile and accepting of cuddles to a sheep depraved of interaction and saved from the knife that now will not let you rake his enclosure because he wants you to physically stop, kneel and embrace him in hug.
Then there are the cases that no matter how hard you try, and what method you employ success just can not be achieved and, in some cases, death beats your every attempt. This is particularly upsetting and heartbreaking when it happens to the young. Those only a few weeks or months that have not had the chance to yet experience the joy of life or to form relationships with their own kind.
Lambs are a common theme in the above mentioned. So widely possessed by both industry and individual alike they are more often than most a species to bear the brunt of neglect and cruelty. They are one of the most common of infants to lose a mother at birth or shortly after. They are one of the most fragile and breakable of young.
Today we had such an experience. A young lamb, Timmy, that came to us, and was with us for a week, succumbed to the poor treatment and inexperienced handling he received prior. When Timmy arrived he was painfully thin and already had the signs of, what would later grow to be full blown, bronchial infection. Such a nasty illness in a lamb as the chances of it turning to pneumonia are usually great. We began immediately treating Timmy and conveying with our wonderful vet team and throughout his short stay here he began to turn a corner. He began to feed and appeared to put on weight, his bronchial infection disappeared. If it's one thing we have learned over time it is not to turn a blind eye when a lamb appears to improve, do not ever take your eye off the situation.
As fast as Timmy had improved he suddenly began to deteriorate. Lambs are animals of prey thus they have a natural "protection" mode. They will hide illness, discomfort and pain well to fool the predators within the wild. It is this that often fools you into a false sense of security. Suddenly they can crash and this is what happened to Timmy.
We rushed him to our vets but it breaks our heart to say that Timmy took his peaceful but final breath whilst being examined. Attempts to revive him were unsuccessful.
We are devastated when any animal in our care does not make it. All animals with us are immediately considered part of the Furever Farm family and love is instant. It is occurrences like this that crush us, that riddle us with guilt and we take days to recover from losing one of our loved ones. In Timmy's case he will never be forgotten. He is buried in his own marked grave within the farm amongst the other unfortunate animals that have not made it. He will be remembered by us as a natural loving boy so docile and with such wide beautiful eyes. He will receive the respect deserved in death as he did in life. RIP Timmy, you have touched our hearts.
We must finish by saying that when in possession of or caring for and animal do not ever let pride get in the way of animal welfare. Best intentions are great but at the end of the day it's the life of an animal that matters. If you are caring for an animal and things aren't working, you aren't sure if what you are doing is right or you aren't equipped to continue with the task please, please hand over to someone who has the knowledge and skills to take over. This is quite often the decision between life and death and the life of an animal is so precious. Take no risks, they depend on our good decisions.
Darren, Hayley & all the Furever Farm team.