In January 2023, we were contacted about a blind 10-month-old lamb. She was not coping in a large flock, and her owner did not have the capacity to care for a lamb with her special needs.
We knew the little lamb would be physically and emotionally reliant on her mum.
It’s very rare we are able to negotiate the surrender of a mother when a baby comes into our care. But we always try. After much discussion with the owner, we secured the surrender of both Mother and her baby.
Mum was about four years old and had been used as a breeding ewe her entire adult life. We named her Dorothy after our first rescued sheep Dorris, who passed away not long before this rescue.
We named Dorothy’s lamb Maple.
Safe in our care, these two beautiful girls will never be separated, sold, or treated as anything less than the sentient beings they are. We will keep them together and give this little sheep family the life they deserve.
At the time of rescue, Maple and Dorothy had little experience with humans, and were incredibly nervous. They trembled and jumped at any sudden movements.
With lots of food, love, and patience they both started to trust, and in the last four months they have come such a long way in their rehabilitation!
Their story doesn’t end there.
There was another surprise waiting for us.
Dorothy had a stowaway on board when she was surrendered into our care.
In April 2023, we noticed Dorothy’s tummy getting bigger and bigger, evidence she had a little lamb in there!
We knew it was a possibility Dorothy was pregnant, but as a no breed-sanctuary we hoped that wasn’t the case.
We had mixed emotions, at the thought of Dorothy’s body going through another lambing, but also how incredible would it be for her to have her child in the safety of our care. We would be able to witness and advocate for the bond mothers share with their babies, and provide this sheep family the safety and care all beings deserve.
Oak was born on May 7th, 2023.
The bond and connection he and Dorothy share is magical. To see the unconditional love she has for her baby, is concrete evidence that sheep are caring, nurturing, and loving mothers.
Oak is a healthy, happy, rapidly growing little guy.
He is the first lamb born at the sanctuary and it’s been incredible to see nature in charge.
Normally when we have lambs, they are surrendered unwell and in need of our constant care. We are used to prepping bottles, sorting medicines, constantly checking their vitals, checking they are warm / cool enough, and helping them out of the sun or rain. Oak doesn’t need us. He has Dorothy. It’s beautiful. It’s how all babies should be cared for.
We cannot wait to watch Oak grow and flourish, under the care of his mother, big sister Maple and our dedicated team.
There are millions of lambs born in Australia each year, born with their slaughter date already planned. To be able to give one of those millions, this opportunity is bittersweet. We are in love with Oak and the life of peace and kindness he will live. Our hearts break for those lambs destined to know only fear and suffering.
Please, next time you consider contributing to the lamb meat or wool industry, remember Oak. Support sanctuaries, not slaughterhouses.
Help us give Oak the life all lambs deserve! Sponsor our nursery today!