Congratulations to our Founder and Director Dorothy Davies for her interview in the new issue of VegNews Magazine. The article is called “Women Who Run Sanctuaries.”
On June 19, 2014 twelve new roosters arrived at SASHA Farm and things would never be the same. We are learning about the horrific things people do to roosters just for their entertainment. In May we received an email from the Cleveland Animal Protective League about some very special roosters that needed to be placed in new homes. We were committed to helping. Fifteen total birds were seized from a disbanded cockfighting ring. Most of the birds bear the sad appearance of shaved bellies and legs, clipped spurs, combs cut-off and missing eyes and/or blindness. These cruel alterations and injuries followed these reported circumstances:
”CPD detectives contacted the Cleveland APL humane investigators requesting assistance on a search warrant. Fifteen chickens were in a musty, filthy room in the basement with raw sewage on the floor. The stench was nearly overwhelming. Some of the birds were underweight, injured and ill. Three of the birds were loose in the room walking freely amongst the waste. Some of the other roosters were housed in individual enclosures that were full of feces and urine. No water was available for any of the birds in the enclosures and only one small bowl of filthy brown water was available for the free roamers. The only food available was corn and not all birds had access to that. Some of the birds had apparent wounds and eye infections. There was a makeshift pen with blood smeared on the walls and we found spurs, syringes, medications, timer and performance enhancement drugs consistent with a cockfighting operation. The owner admitted to training the birds for fighting and shipping to Puerto Rico. The owner agreed to surrender all of the birds. Multiple charges pending against owner.”
–Cleveland Animal Protective League.
The roosters will be rehabilitated over time to be integrated with the general population of roosters and hens at SASHA Farm. This takes time and patience. For this reason many times former cockfighting roosters are euthanized because no one takes the time to work with them. We feel these poor roosters deserve a second chance. Most are very sweet and like to be held by people. They were used to being kept in a dark, filthy basement. Now they enjoy being outside in the grass on a sunny day and taking dust baths . Through daily care by volunteers and staff they will be socialized and begin their transition to a life free from fear and free from the expectation to kill one another. We will see these roosters change over time but we too will change with them. We’ll learn about animals who have been previously forced to endure cruelty evolve into animals who live in peace and existing for their own reasons and not to serve humans.
Read about the story here:
Three major cockfighting rings were busted in the U.S. so far this year. Cockfighting is illegal at both the state and federal level in all 50 states. Cockfighting usually takes place among gambling and other activity. It’s a cultural tradition in places like the Philippines and very popular in Puerto Rico where the roosters where destined to go. Cockfighting is masqueraded as a “sport” that takes place in a “family” atmosphere where no illegal activity takes place. We know from evidence recovered and people arrested at the scenes that this is simply not true. At these cockfighting matches people place bets on a rooster and the two roosters fight until one is killed. After the brutal match is over the rooster who lost is dumped like trash. The roosters are also fitted with gaffs on their ankles. Gaffs are knives that have a single or double edged blade. The gaffs are capable of puncturing organs and breaking bones in the rooster. As if this was not bad enough the people who participate in this sometimes shave the bellies and legs of one rooster to make the fight bloodier. Roosters’ combs are cut-off to prevent them from being torn off during the fight. These roosters then lose their ability to cool themselves in hot weather because they do not have sweat glands.
Without further explanation you can see how disgusting and heinous cockfighting is. While it is illegal in all 50 states the penalties and fines vary. Often the fines and penalties are minor. Cockfighting in some states is a felony but not all. Stronger penalties need to exist and these places that hold these gruesome matches need to be shut down. Here are some additional resources if you would like more information.
SPONSOR A Rooster:https://secure.acceptiva.com/?cst=f59388
or DONATE to build them an enclosure:https://secure.acceptiva.com/?cst=895a7c
A few months ago we received an email from a city in Northern Michigan about a blind cow born on a dairy farm. The woman who contacted us was the farmer’s daughter. The farmer wanted to euthanize the cow but his daughter would not let him. She pleaded with him and kept him alive for a year. She wanted to find a place for Stevie where someone would take the time to work with disability. We agreed to take Stevie because his circumstance is so unique and we know special needs animals can be hard to place.
Stevie is a year old and has learned to depend on his hearing to compensate for his blindness. He also has begun to learn the perimeter of his new barn and yard. He knows where his food is but with every step we take we have to remain consistent with all that we do for Stevie. Stevie’s accommodations will always have to be taken into consideration to maintain that he has a good quality of life. Cows can live to be in their 20’s. Stevie will need a lifetime of care. At SASHA Farm we realize the importance and the challenges of taking on special needs animals. Despite the hard work that goes into doing that we would not have it any other way. When people are blind we do not simply discard them so why should we do that to animals?
For Immediate Release
Sheep Destined for Slaughter on the Loose in Saline Neighborhood Is Rescued by Local Michigan Farm Animal Sanctuary-SASHA Farm.
Manchester, Michigan – July 4, 2014
On the early morning of June 21, 2014 SASHA Farm employees headed to a Saline neighborhood to help catch a sheep that had been tromping through everyone’s backyard for a couple weeks. After spending all morning chasing after her with the help of a few neighborhood residents she was caught and loaded into the SASHA Farm trailer.
Over a week ago SASHA Farm began receiving calls from the Humane Society and Saline residents reporting that a sheep was on the loose and attempts to catch her were unsuccessful. A family purchased the sheep to slaughter for meat and she was kept in their yard until she broke free. The sheep has tags on each ear and spray paint down her back, so she was clearly marked for slaughter. The family realized the sheep was causing problems by running loose through their neighbor’s yards. They asked us to help catch her but we only agreed if she was surrendered to us so we could see to it she was never slaughtered.
Upon catching the sheep and bringing her back to the farm we found her to be quite scared. Although SASHA Farm employees were trying to help her she didn’t know that. She was running for her life and even now being in a safe place she is still leery of people. Our director appropriately named her Runaround Sue. She is no longer number “129” as her ear tag reads. She is now a “someone” and not a “something”. Sue will live her life free from the threat of being slaughtered. She will join our 26 other sheep that come from similar circumstances. Her ear tags will come off and her spray-painted mark for slaughter will wash away. She has found freedom and love with us at SASHA Farm.
Sometimes you never see it coming. Sometimes you do. Life throws these curve balls that come in the form of loss. Yesterday we felt this loss hit us very hard. We lost two very good friends, George the emu and Manettethe cat.
George was found wandering loose in Sharon Township a few years ago. No one ever stepped forward to claim him so he got to keep his new home at SASHA Farm. Awhile later we got another call to rescue an emu on the loose. We named him Dundee. Although George and Dundee had a few tense moments that quickly gave way to a friendship that lasted for a few years. George and Dundee became brothers. The emu brothers were two of the most popular animals at SASHA Farm. Now that George is gone Dundee is very lost. He misses his brother and friend. Although he is surrounded by other animals at the farm we sense he feels very alone right now. George had been sick over the winter and after vet visits, medication and a lot of consultations on his condition no one could diagnose his illness. However, when the snow melted and he got back outside he improved and we were hopeful. His recovery was short lived and he started to decline again. Now we have lost him and his absence does not go unnoticed. Having to break the news to our volunteers was the hardest. He was loved by so many and now when they arrive to say good morning to him George will not be there. It’s heartbreaking but George leaves behind a legacy and that is: Emus like hugs and if you ever hugged one you know that you’ve made a friend.
Dear, sweet Manette. He came to us a few years ago as a stray cat and quickly worked his way into our hearts. He suffered from kidney issues as well as other feline respiratory symptoms on a consistent basis. His health issues required many vet visits and a long list of medications. When a cat requires medication and a lot of extra care you get to know their personality pretty quickly. Despite whatever he was being treated for he was happy as ever and purring away. Manette was very close to a few of the other black cats we have and it was cute to see them all lay together in one cat bed when there were ten other empty ones. He touched our hearts and we know our volunteers feel the emptiness in our cat barn. They worked very hard to care for him and we are sure he appreciated it. If those purrs didn’t say it then I don’t know what did. Goodbye dear friends.
Meet Daisy and her new baby! More pictures coming soon! We were involved with Daisy’s rescue last Monday. A man and his family from the Chicago area heard of a pregnant cow in Riga, MI who was owned by a backyard butcher who has a small slaughterhouse. The family from Chicago wanted to help Daisy be rescued and contacted us. With their help and generous donation we did that. Although Daisy never entered the slaughterhouse herself she was forced to keep having baby after baby. These calves she gave birth to would each become part of the ongoing cycle of raising calves just to be slaughtered and turn a profit. A cow-calf operation is a method of raising beef cattle in which a permanent herd of cows is kept by a farmer or rancher to produce calves for later sale. The males go on to slaughter and the females may end up being forced to endure the same thing as their mother. The disturbing cycle repeats without skipping a beat. We are so happy we could help Daisy. We knew she was pregnant and due very soon when we picked her up Monday. We had no idea she would give birth within less than a week. Daisy is very protective right now so we are stilling trying to get close enough to determine the sex of the calf. The good news is that the baby started nursing right away and will receive the colostrum (antibodies to build immunity) that Daisy is meant to give her baby. The maternal bond begins with Daisy and the baby. A bond that is often denied to cows like Daisy. We feel a great deal of sadness for the other cows like Daisy in the world who do not get to stay with their young. There is some direct action you can take to do SOMETHING. Adopt a vegan diet and begin to be part of what will hopefully end this deadly cycle of lives lost.
Read what the Ann Arbor News thought about his inspiring story.
Read Fargo’s story here: http://www.sashafarm.org/2014/03/22/sasha-farm-heads-to-north-dakota-to-save-runaway-steer/
How we get through weeks like this we sometimes don’t know. We lost three very dear friends this week. Brave, Feten and Gertie were well loved at SASHA Farm by the staff, volunteers and their fellow horse and goat companions. This loss weighs very heavy on SASHA Farm. Our work will still go on but not without a certain emptiness being felt from this day forward. We now have a horse barn and goat barn that will no longer seem the same. Many of us bonded with these animals weekly and even daily. We looked for their faces when we’d go out each morning and night to feed them and cleanup their barns. They won’t be looking up at us and that will feel so strange and that sense of emptiness will loom over us for awhile.
Brave was a former high prize winning race horse that went lame and was surrendered to our sanctuary. Fetenwas also a former race horse who sustained injuries and was turned over to a rescue only to be turned over a second time to SASHA Farm. Gertie came from an unfortunate circumstance where she was not cared for properly then surrendered to SASHA Farm.
What we can take away from this is that these three precious animals where able to shed their hardships upon arriving at SASHA Farm and just be a horse or a goat. No expectations were upon them. Their lives at SASHA Farm were to be happy and healthy and we provided that. We feel honored that we got to share those years with them. Good years that they may not have had otherwise. We will miss them dearly but they will not be forgotten. They are part of the beautiful, ongoing, experience we have rescuing animals over and over and watching them leave this world with the good years they had at SASHA Farm. We thank you for your support as you stand behind us during the good times and the sad. We told our volunteers that while these animals will no longer physically be at the farm they will still be there because we will carry them in our hearts.
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.