With every animal we rescue and care for at Farm Sanctuary, there also comes the difficult time when we have to say goodbye. Please join us in remembering some of our friends who passed in 2019. Most of them survived abuse and neglect before coming to live at our sanctuaries; all were beloved ambassadors for their species, who changed our lives just as much as we changed theirs.
Patrick was just a year old when we met, but the neglect he had suffered took years off his life. Hobbled by leg injuries that his “owner” wouldn’t treat, he looked and moved like an elderly goat with arthritis. Patrick’s veterinarians got him back on his feet, and he spent a few happy years at Farm Sanctuary—calling our “Wisconsin Barn” home, alongside his twin daughters Ingrid and Marilyn. This charming, friendly goat remained bright and loving to the end.
Queenie found national fame as a slaughterhouse escapee . As the young cow ran from her death and through the streets of Queens, NY, people across the country marveled at her will to live, and agreed that she deserved a chance. So, instead of returning to slaughter, Queenie came to live at Farm Sanctuary. True to her name, she had a royal personality and showed everyone around her who was boss! Though she remained wary of humans, she was much beloved by us all—and especially by her best bovine buds Tricia and Ros.
Most turkeys raised for food live just four to five months; Shannon lived at Farm Sanctuary for more than eight years. She started life on a factory farm, and suffered painful debeaking and detoeing mutilations. Despite the cruelty she once faced, Shannon loved to make new friends. Shannon’s biggest claim to fame was her love for our Thanksgiving Celebration for the Turkeys events: even while coping with arthritis, she was the first to run out and enjoy the feasts that we treat our turkeys to each year.
The Doctor & Sleepy
Pigs like The Doctor and Sleepy bond for life. These two met as piglets, when we rescued them from catastrophic flooding in Iowa—the second largest pig farming state in the nation. Some farmers left their pigs to drown; others freed them from their crates and gave them the chance to swim to safety. Ironically, these deadly floods saved our friends’ lives; instead of facing slaughter for pork at just six months of age, The Doctor and Sleepy spent more than a decade at Farm Sanctuary.
The Doctor got his name because he acted like one; the pigs we rescued were sick, injured, and terrified, and he gently checked on each “patient”—soothing them with comforting grunts into their ears. Sleepy was one of the the sickest, but The Doctor made her feel better. They lived together until his passing, and she passed away just a few months later.
Andy and Joan Jett
Andy and Joan Jett were another dynamic pig duo; they came here together from a factory farm, and spent most of their lives side by side. They were both too sick for pork production, so their farmers had left them to die. Thankfully, they were rescued and brought to Farm Sanctuary. They were stars of our pig barn—particularly Andy, whose ever-present smile made him popular with guests.
Both developed health issues as they aged, but when Andy passed away, Joan lost her will to live; she died shortly after from a broken heart. If there was ever any doubt that farm animals feel—that they grieve, and that their lives matter—just look at Andy and Joan. The depth of their bond shows that farm animals are so much more than just objects on our plates.
Darius was one of hundreds of animals rescued from neglect at a farm-to-table operation. At first, he and the other goats were too terrified to even venture outdoors. In time—and with the help of his best friend, Halbert—Darius found his way. Halbert and Darius spent every minute together—especially as Darius continued to decline and lost his ability to stand.
Monet and his friend Matisse survived foie gras (aka “fatty liver”) production. In this industry, workers shove metal tubes down the throats of ducks and geese—force-feeding them excessive grain and fat to enlarge their livers for consumption. The boys were weak, sick, and terrified when they arrived—but together, they found the strength to recover and heal. Here, they could swim, explore, and flap their wings. Monet’s legacy lives on through his best friend Matisse, and through our work to create a world that honors farm animals like them.
Merlin was a magical member of our special needs cattle herd. He first survived slaughter as a calf, and then a barn fire at his former home. Despite his scars—physical and emotional—he was patient and loving during tours and events. He was a true gentle giant, and an inspiring ambassador for his species. Merlin developed arthritis and mobility issues as he aged. He passed peacefully, surrounded by his herd.
Dotty had a unique way of connecting with people: she would wait for us to kneel and lower our heads, before approaching us to rub her own head against ours. It was her special way of showing trust and affection—no small feat for a goat who once knew only pain and neglect. Her previous “owner” had left her to starve, and failed to treat her broken leg. Despite all of this, she learned to trust and love again—forming deep friendships with her chosen people and goats.
Paolo was a kind and gentle steer whom our staff, volunteers, and visitors adored. As a calf, Paolo was attacked by a coyote—and instead of seeking proper medical care, his “owner” sealed the wounds with duct tape. Paolo made a full recovery at Farm Sanctuary, and learned that there are caring people in this world, too. Sadly, he developed severe arthritis as he aged. We did everything in our power to keep him comfortable and to show him just how loved he truly was.
Our tiny Dandypants had a giant personality, and ruled the roost for a decade at our Southern California Shelter. As a young roo, Dandypants likely escaped a live market that would have slaughtered him for meat. Rescuers found him roaming the streets of Los Angeles and brought him to a shelter; from there, he came to Farm Sanctuary.
He found joy and purpose in protecting his hens, and spent his nights snuggling with Henrietta—our largest turkey in that flock. This friendship between our smallest and largest birds warmed our hearts—showing that despite our differences, we can find common ground and benefit from each other’s company.
William and his “brother” Harry came to us as calves. Holsteins are a dairy breed, but since these boys would not produce milk, they were on their way to slaughter. Instead, their rescuers brought them to Farm Sanctuary. William, later nicknamed “The Noodle,” was a goofy, gangly, and mischievous boy; in fact, he learned how to open our gates with his tongue and even let the horses out! We miss this silly practical joker and the light and laughter he brought to Farm Sanctuary.
We rescued Waylon in 1993! At his former home, Waylon had an aggressive reputation. At Farm Sanctuary, he was kind and sweet, and enjoyed snuggling up with his caregivers and friends. Waylon had a characteristic big-lipped smile, and we couldn’t help but smile back while around him. Waylon was our oldest resident at the sanctuary, and was between 33 and 35 years old when he passed away.
Bleu was a kind and jolly soul who loved nothing more than spending time with his friends. Rescued from a sheep farm as a lamb, he grew up at our Northern California Shelter. He loved romping the hillsides with his best friend, Persia, and receiving deep-wool scratches from his human friends. When you reached the right spot, Bleu would turn his head and smack his lips with delight. Bleu, Persia, and their friends came to our New York Shelter in 2018, and spent their “retirement” together in our special needs flock.
Henry’s bubbly personality saved his life. His “owner” had planned to slaughter Henry for Thanksgiving dinner—but when a passerby befriended the young bird, he agreed to send Henry to sanctuary instead. Henry was a kind and curious boy who was very protective of his friends. Due to his being bred for meat, he was a very large bird—and despite placing him on a special diet, he had arthritis and other health issues from his size. The unfortunate reality is that farmers do not think of long-term repercussions, since their animals do not live for very long. When given a chance, however, farm animals like Henry can show just how meaningful their lives are—and how our own lives can improve by knowing them.
Carlee was the belle of our Acton sheep barn, and her cute and tiny stature made her stand out from the start. Her former guardians, thinking she was a lamb, had purchased Carlee as a gift for their young daughter. As it turned out, Carlee was a miniature, adult sheep—and she needed more care than what this family provided. Carlee was very shy when she first came to Farm Sanctuary. However, she soon found a sister in Bear, a love interest in Mo, and many loving new friends in our visitors and staff.
Lucky Lady got her name by taking a chance on life—and winning. As a lamb, she escaped a New York City live market—places where people can purchase living animals to be slaughtered for meat onsite. Many people were surprised to find a lamb on the lam, and to realize that such cruelty takes place in their own neighborhoods. Inspired by Lucky Lady’s strong will to live, authorities agreed to save her life instead of returning this sweet lamb to slaughter. She even got a police escort to a local animal care facility, where she stayed until coming to Farm Sanctuary! Lucky Lady spent more than twelve years on our pastures. Even after developing untreatable cancer, she remained happy and active within her flock until her passing.
Leroy was a popular goat on our Explore.org live cams, which stream views of our New York Shelter to folks around the world. Leroy came to Farm Sanctuary in 2005, after locals found him wandering the area. Instead of facing slaughter for meat, Leroy had a long and happy life here with us. The 18-year-old lived in a “bachelor herd” consisting of goats who were too rough in other barns. In this group, however, they all got along; Leroy was especially close with best friend Nate. Explore.org viewers loved watching Leroy fight the odds and roam the pasture with his friends.
A deadly traffic accident saved Avalon’s life. At just 42 days old—the age “broiler” chickens face slaughter for meat—several chicken crates fell from a transport truck, spilling out onto the Staten Island Expressway. Many of the birds died on impact; Avalon’s injuries were so severe that she required amputation of her wing. Despite this, she made a full recovery and spent the next five years at our New York Shelter. Towards the end of her life, she had trouble breathing and came to live at our Melrose Small Animal Hospital. Between treatments in our oxygen tank, she “supervised” our work during meetings. She was a fun, inquisitive hen who treasured her life and the chickens and people in it.
Zuzu was lucky to have never known cruelty; he and his twin brother, Otto, were born at Farm Sanctuary. Months earlier, we rescued their pregnant mom, Lizzie, from starvation and neglect. Had she given birth at her former home, Zuzu might have died; he was very sick and needed urgent medical care. Thankfully, he recovered and spent the next nine years here with us. Despite illness—Zuzu and his family had caprine arthritis encephalitis (CAE), a virus that damages the joints—he remained upbeat and full of life. Sadly, however, he also developed incurable cancer. Zuzu enjoyed one last summer (his favorite season) before passing peacefully.
We are so grateful to have shared our lives with these incredible individuals. Thank you for being part of their journeys and for helping us keep their memories alive through your compassion and support.