It's been a very busy winter. Everyone is so glad that the days are starting to get longer and the weather is slightly better, enabling us to make progress with building projects. We have also finished vaccinating all our sheep and goats. Our newest pig, the lovely Ginger Lola, has moved in with our other Lola, and they are making friends. Two of our cows, Poppy and Hazel have now found a lovely home with lots of long grass, after their previous adoption unfortunately did not work out. Other new arrivals include two gorgeous and friendly ducks, Deadpool (pictured below) and Myfanwy, whose previous caregivers had moved to Australia. All the animals are enjoying our tree lucerne, including the bunnies, goats and local kererū as well as the pīwakawaka (fantails).
We're delighted to report that our two rescued guinea pigs Cissy and Miffy have been reunited in their spacious outdoor quarters. They had to be separated while Miffy was recovering from his desexing operation. We'd been told he was a female, but he proved not to be on arrival, so swift action was necessary!
One of our ducks, Niffler, was more determined, and managed to evade our non-breeding policy to lay a hidden clutch of eggs. The ducklings have been a delight, though young creatures are always vulnerable. Initially we had to keep everyone in a large cage to ensure safety from predators, but now the ducklings are exploring the outdoor world.
Winter is always a hard time for the older animals, and we also have some sad news. Ivy, our oldest goat, had been slowly but steadily becoming more frail, and recently had to be euthanased. Although previously the matriarch of the goat herd, she became mellow and loving in the months before her death, and we miss her very much. Our beautiful Squeaky pig also had to be put to sleep by the vet as she was suffering from advanced breast cancer. She had been sick for a while, and as her health and quality of life went downhill, euthanasia was the only option left. Squeaky had moved in with us in 2013, a large sow with a sweet personality. Sadly, her life had been a succession of crises. She began her days in a petting zoo, but when she grew bigger and less ‘cute’ she faced death. A kind family took her in but when their life circumstances changed, Squeaky ended up with a pig farmer in Ōtaki, who kept her constantly pregnant until her body was exhausted. He was about to send her to slaughter, but thankfully her previous caregivers got in touch with us, and she slowly settled into the sanctuary, regaining her trust in humans. We're so glad that she lived to spend her final years at the sanctuary.
Some of our animals are still looking for sponsors. Sparkles arrived at the sanctuary in early 2018, flyblown and facing death. Fortunately she has made a wonderful recovery, and we've discovered that she is very sociable and interactive, and will come running to greet any passing humans. She is our friendliest sheep!
Are you interested in volunteering with us? Come to a meeting at 4pm, Sunday 14th October at Opportunity for Animals, 162 Riddiford Street, Newtown or at the Black Sheep Animal Sanctuary, 2 pm Sunday 28th October. Whatever your skills and interest, we probably have a task for you! Jobs that we need help with include animal enclosure cleaning, animal house building and repair, volunteer coordinating, opshop volunteering and restocking, fencing and onsite projects, event coordination, fundraising, outreach, and social media. For further information and directions to the sanctuary please email firstname.lastname@example.org
With grateful thanks for your support,
for the Black Sheep Animal Sanctuary