In the SASHA Farm truck with livestock trailer attached, co-founder Monte Jackson left yesterday to drive 14 hours to Durbin, ND to pick up a steer. The steer was on its way to a slaughterhouse when he got loose and had quite an adventure wandering through the town of Casselton.
The steer was finally tranquilized by a local vet and taken back to the farmer in Durbin, ND. It would be a few days before the tranquilizer would be out of the steer’s system and he could be sent back to slaughter. The story caught the local news as well as a news station in Chicago. A concerned man, Duane Thamm called the farmer to see if he’d let the steer live if a sanctuary was willing to take him. The farmer agreed.
Duane contacted SASHA Farm and we have agreed to take the steer. SASHA Farm feels the steer deserves his freedom and is making the trip to go pick him up. Monte will be back in Michigan with the steer sometime Sunday morning. Duane’s sister, Brenda Korim will help with some of the cost of getting the steer to Michigan but there may be other veterinary costs once he arrives as well as the need for more hay.
“He will be joining several other runaway animals. Our Sanctuary will now have three steers, one cow, two sheep, a pig, and two emus who escaped the slaughter house. Sometimes I think we should call ourselves Runaway Farm” says SASHA Farm Director, Dorothy Davies. The steer has not been named yet but we have an idea in mind and will decide tomorrow when he arrives.
Yesterday we began our typical morning chores. It seemed like it would be just like any other day. One of our cows, Apple was pregnant so we check in on her as frequently as we can. Everything was fine in the barn. Less than an hour later our volunteer John walked back into the barn and there he was. Our new little calf was up and standing. Apple had given birth in that short period of time we were not in the barn. We made sure to get him dried off in this chilly temperature and in no time he was nursing from mom. We were relieved mom and baby were doing fine. The bond between Apple and her calf was pretty immediate. Apple has the natural instinct to protect her calf. While we’d love to snap pictures all day of baby and mom we do give them plenty of time to rest. We have named the calf Billy Ray in memory of a volunteer’s late father who staunchly opposed the veal industry. To see this little calf nurse from his mom leaves such an impression and reminder that cows produce milk for their babies. In the dairy industry calves are generally taken from their mothers within a day or two of being born. After the calves are taken the mother cows begin their sad fate of being hooked up to milking machines several times a day. If the calf is a female she will be raised to face the same disturbing cycle of life as a commodity to produce milk for human consumption. If the calf is a male he will be sent off to a veal crate or raised to become beef. In Billy Ray and Apple’s case this will not happen. They will never be separated and he will continue to nurse from his mother just as all babies should. This mom and baby are lucky to be safe in their forever home at SASHA Farm. We are sad that not all cows will be so lucky. Billy Ray gives us hope that someday hopefully more calves will stay with their mothers. If you would like to sponsor Apple and Billy Ray you can do that here: https://secure.acceptiva.com/?cst=f59388
2013 held our largest annual record for the number of animals we have rescued. We weren’t out for a Guinness Book record it was just a year of so many animals in need. Farm animals that had no place to go and faced possible death in most cases relied on us this year. We were glad to play a role in giving them a safe haven and forever home. Our supporters played a huge part in our ability to do that. We thank you all and are so very grateful. Now that these animals have found safety with us things do not end there. We are committed to their food, shelter and vet care needs for the rest of their lives. We hope you will consider a year end tax-deductible donation to help us rescue more in 2014 and continue the lifelong care of the animals we have. There are so many dog and cat rescues that do good work but very few places that take farm animals. We are glad to be a place they can turn to and we hope to continue that far into the foreseeable future. Happy New Year and Thank You from all the rescued animals at SASHA Farm.
If you asked us about what it’s like to run a sanctuary like SASHA Farm we’d tell you how rewarding it is. We’d explain that it gives us purpose and we all look forward to being there everyday. What is familiar for us but not easy to talk about are the tough days at SASHA Farm. The days we lose an animal who is also a friend and also a part of our SASHA family. You see, we take in the abused, the neglected and the unwanted who usually are also the sick and old animals. We welcome them with open arms and do our best to provide the care they need for the rest of their lives. We commit to making them healthy and comfortable. The hard part comes when we cannot reverse their illness and we cannot turn back the clock on old age. We lost two very special goats in the last 3 days. It is with great grief in our hearts that we say goodbye to Buddy and Oreo. They each had sweet personalities. The goats at SASHA Farm are a lot like dogs, very social and outgoing. They always come over and greet you when you are in the barn. It’s hard to get through the day without having been greeted by at least a goat or two. We found Oreo passed away Monday, likely of old age. Now 2 days later we have lost Buddy. Buddy had been battling a disease called CAE or Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis. We discovered his leg was broken yesterday. Today after x-rays at the MSU Large Animal Clinic we learned of the progression of his disease and the extent of his fracture and a future of constant pain. We made a very tough decision but the right one for him. It’s hard for us to let go but we can’t imagine the pain and suffering Buddy would be going through. It’s heartbreaking. So the other part of answering the question of what it’s like to run an animal sanctuary is that it’s hard, VERY hard sometimes. However, this is what we do. We accept that some days we will lose some and look forward to helping rescue more that need us. We will miss our friends Buddy and Oreo but we will not forget them.
Late yesterday we got a new arrival. His name is Huey and he is just adorable! His previous caretakers were struggling to keep caring for him as one of them developed cancer. The couple live locally and knew that SASHA Farm would be the best place for Huey. Most definitely because Huey will have lots of goat friends and volunteers that will adore him. He is curious and friendly and will fit in just great. Since Huey is new he would love a sponsor or a donation for his food and/or vet care. Best of all you can meet him this Sunday at the Fall Tour!
He stands still with his small little frame and beautiful face. Curious as can be, he comes over to you and will sniff your hand. He bears an eartag with the #492 and a purple stripe painted down his back, an indicator of being ready for slaughter. He did not come with a name, just a number. Number #492 is all he was to someone. Biding his time until the inevitable day would come. However, somehow by what you could call a miracle he found a way out. He took off with his little legs to freedom but not without a sprint down 8 Mile Rd. in Detroit ending his solo journey in the Norwood Collision Shop. Animal Control was called and then the Michigan Humane Society. It was just a matter of time before the emails and Facebook messages started rolling in. Everyone was asking if SASHA Farm could help this poor little guy. It seemed no one wanted him returned to whatever terrible place he had come from. Surely they felt, this was an animal that deserved to come to SASHA Farm where he would be safe. He had defied the odds and got out! Thanks to the help of Dave at the Michigan Humane Society of Rochester, who arranged for his transport. The sheep came to SASHA Farm just 2 days later. Our Director has named him Eminem because what could be more fitting for a sheep who has 8 Mile in common with the rap star. All the volunteers and staff already adore this little sheep after just a few days with us. The main thing anyone can take away from this is that Eminem is just one of millions of animals marked for slaughter each day. Almost 10 years ago we rescued Jefferson, a cow that escaped a slaughterhouse in Eastern Market in Detroit. Animals escape slaughter once in awhile and it touches people’s hearts and lifts up their day when there is a happy ending. Imagine if all the animals bound for slaughter dodged that fate. Surely we’d be relieved for those animals too. If you would like more animals to have a happy ending the best thing you can do is stop eating them. This Sunday October 27, you can meet Eminem as we will offer a public tour of the farm at 1pm for a donation of $10 per person.