She was lying just off the freeway, so small, thin and weary she could not raise her head. A man on a hunting trip found her and, perhaps moved by her tender age or her injured leg, decided he simply could not pass her by. He picked up the little lamb, carried her to his truck and took her home with him.
Over the next two days, this man searched for appropriate food for a newborn lamb but had to settle for baby formula instead. Although the frail baby survived, she was not recovering. Her rescuer and his mother searched online for animal shelters, and there they found Farm Sanctuary’s Animal Acres.
When the lamb arrived at our southern California shelter, she was tiny and emaciated. A thorough exam by our vet revealed that her leg was not broken but had likely undergone a forceful trauma. The leg was bandaged with a splint, and she was placed on a bed of soft blankets with fresh water nearby. She slept constantly, and we hoped her body would soon heal. We named her Joey.
Over her first few days with us, Joey began to show more interest in eating and made attempts to stand up. Her injured front leg, however, continued to hang limply and we worried about nerve and ligament damage. We provided round-the-clock care, including 3 a.m. feedings, and soon saw her feeling more energetic, especially when she thought one of her caregivers might have a new, or second, bottle to give her.
Now she is strong enough to go outside for some exercise with our turkeys and ducks in the courtyard. She is gaining weight and tentatively trying to use her injured leg, which remains wrapped. She is curious and affectionate with her caregivers and loves to snuggle against a shoulder or cheek. And, we are happy to report she has become a tad demanding for her meals when she wakes from her regular naps. These are all good signs that this baby girl is on the road to recovery!
We may never know the real story of what happened to this lost lamb. But we do know that, because of one man’s kindness, she has now come to a safe, loving home at our sanctuary. Her story shows that whether abuse or neglect affects one animal on the side of the road — or millions on factory farms — there is always an opportunity to make a compassionate choice.
Here at our sanctuary, this little lamb will receive the medical care and emotional attention she needs to grow stronger and more confident. Please help us ensure that other animals in desperate need can be saved and rehabilitated at one of our sanctuaries by donating to our Emergency Rescue Fund today.