Boris has a big family. The former “Easter lamb”—once set to be slaughtered at just four months old—is alive today because of it. He’s had four homes over the past year: the sheep farm where he was born, a months-long homestay with his rescuers, a temporary residence at Farm Sanctuary, and his new forever home at Kindred Spirits Sanctuary in Florida—a member of our Farm Animal Adoption Network (FAAN) . As the popular saying goes, “It takes a village to raise a child”—and, in Boris’ case, it took a compassionate community across multiple states to save and raise this special lamb.
Many lambs don’t get the chance that Boris did, including members of his own family: he was born on a farm that breeds lambs for meat. Over two million sheep and lambs were slaughtered for meat in the United States in 2018, and Boris’ mother had likely lost lambs to slaughter in the past. Thankfully, Boris’ path took a different turn when someone looked into his eyes and saw a friend…not a meal.
Tess met Boris while doing work on the farm. Boris would follow her, traipsing along the fenceline as she worked, and Tess always looked forward to seeing his friendly face. With her job’s completion, she couldn’t bear to leave her new buddy—or to think of him killed for someone’s meal. Worried, she asked if she could take him home—and to her delight, the farmer agreed.
Tess saw Boris as one of the family. He loved playing with her two dogs (and possibly thought that he himself was a dog) and enjoyed regular bottle feedings from his new adoptive mom. He had his own bed (labeled with his name), a favorite brush, and plenty of space to roam outside. This outdoor space was key: as Tess couldn’t easily “lamb-proof” her house, Boris (and his growing horns) needed to stay outside for his own safety. The only problem was that Boris didn’t want to stay outside; he wanted to hang out with Tess and the rest of the family, and was confused as to why he couldn’t join in for family dinners and movie nights.
In a valiant but misguided effort to remedy his situation, Boris did what any enterprising lamb would do, and started headbutting the sliding doors in the house, hoping to break through and join the party. One broken window pane later, Tess began to realize that Boris needed something she couldn’t provide: a flock to keep him company, and to help him come into his own. So, she reached out to us for help.
We agreed to foster this boisterous youngster as we searched for permanent placement. Boris made a great candidate for adoption: he’s young and healthy, and will thrive in a flock of robust sheep. Adoption is a crucial part of our work; we wouldn’t be able to save nearly as many sick, injured, and ailing farm animals without our incredible FAAN members. We carefully screen all adopters to make sure they can provide a good life for our animals and evaluate our rescues on a case-by-case basis to see which home—Farm Sanctuary or elsewhere—would be the best fit for them. No matter where they go, these animals remain members of the Farm Sanctuary family, and are always welcome back to our shelters should the need arise.
After a couple months stay at our New York shelter (during which time the little lamb amassed a huge fan club of Farm Sanctuary staffers and interns and was also paid regular visits by Tess and her mom), it was time for Boris to venture on to his forever home in Florida. While it was bittersweet to see him go, we look forward to keeping up with his antics from afar. Luckily for Boris, with an extended family spanning multiple states, this plucky little lamb will never have to look too far for a friend.
Do you have space and resources to welcome farm animals like Boris into your family? Click here to apply to our Farm Animal Adoption Network—or, if you want to help farm animals with no barn required, join our Adopt a Farm Animal Program and sponsor one of our rescued residents.