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Four months ago, we (Animal Place) welcomed six goats and two sheep rescued by Santa Cruz county animal services from a live-auction slaughterhouse. It's the kind of place people can pick an animal for slaughter on site. The animals were in horrible shape - malnourished, sick, hooves overgrown and several were pregnant.

One of the goats died from incurable pneumonia and a raging, incurable stifle joint infection. Another, Adele, gave birth to two healthy goats - Todd and Tess. The two sheep, Virginia and Etta, are older girls; probably between 7-10 years of age. We never thought either one would be pregnant.

Imagine our surprise when, four months after their rescue, Virginia gave birth to a little lamb. Virginia is sick. She has lung problems, most likely from untreated pneumonia. Her liver is failing. We're not sure how long she has. Afraid for her health and the physical tax a baby has on a mother, we were tempted to start bottle feeding the little boy. But the bond these two have is too important to sever. When he calls, she coos back to him. When he wanders too far, she follows. When he lies down, she gently grooms him from head to toe. And when they stand side-by-side, little boy gazes adoringly up at his mother as if waiting for an answer to some lamb question. I mean, seriously: How cute are they?

Please keep Virginia in your thoughts. She's a good mom and a gentle, shy, wonderful sheep. We'll give her all the comfort and relief from suffering we can provide.



( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 18th, 2008 11:12 pm (UTC)
I got teary reading about Virginia not feeling well. Poor mama.
I bet though, caring for her baby makes her feel better. I think it's a good thing to let her raise him to the best of her ability with a loving, ready to help human eye watching over the two of them.

I've never felt inclined to kill a lamb before but Victor (yes, that is what I believe Virginia named him when he was born) makes me want to kiss him.
His little pink nose calls to me, and begs for kisses.
Sep. 19th, 2008 02:06 pm (UTC)
Good thoughts for Virginia, for sure. What a cutie!

*wishes I didn't have to take JC to daycare...again*
Sep. 19th, 2008 07:57 pm (UTC)
that is incredibly adorable. i hope caring for her lamb helps her get better, if she can get better.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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