Max was just three weeks old when he arrived at Farm Sanctuary, but he had already been through so much. Within days of his birth, the little lamb had wound up on the side of the road completely alone. Rescuers believe that Max fell from a truck; he may have also been abandoned by an “owner” that did not want him. Miraculously, he bore no signs of injury and managed to evade predators and oncoming traffic. Though unscathed physically, Max was alone, afraid, and vulnerable—but he would not be for very long. Thanks to our friends at Kings County Animal Services, who rescued Max and entrusted him in our care, this little lamb now has a big life ahead of him!
Max’s homecoming was a result of incredible teamwork and impeccable timing. Just two weeks prior, animal control had rescued 24 sheep from a Kings County, CA dairy. Having worked together on several rescues in the past, they asked us for help in taking on their care and in finding loving homes. These sheep stayed at the shelter until we gained legal custody—and while our staff was there visiting them one day, little Max arrived! He, too, would need a home—and thankfully, we had a place for him.
As with the first group of sheep we took in, we had to wait a couple of weeks until Max could come home. Shelters enforce a brief holding period, allowing time for people to reclaim their missing animals or pay fines or fight charges for those confiscated by law. Max enjoyed life with his foster family in the interim: he loved snuggles and bottle feedings from staff, and even became BFFs with a rescued puppy (video here)! Finally, his holding period ended without claim, and Max was free to come home to Farm Sanctuary.
When he first arrived, Max got his own room in our shelter office, where staff could provide this growing lamb with the frequent care he needed. We gave him a soft bed and cuddly stuffed animals to keep him company until he was big enough to join his flock. He was still much too small, and could easily get hurt around the older and larger members. We also place all incoming residents on quarantine before they can join the other animals, to prevent the spread of any diseases they contract before coming here. Thankfully, Max was healthy upon arrival, and just needed some time to build up his strength. He enjoyed regular bottle feedings, as well as lots of hugs and cuddles from our caregiving staff in the meantime!
These days, Max has plenty of other youngsters to play with, like twins Laura & Bailey, Maple, and Josie. Max enjoys romping on the hills and cuddling all the new human friends he meets on our tours. It seems that no one can resist his cute face and sweet smile, and we are thankful that Max will always have things to smile about.
Max serves as an ambassador for the millions of sheep slaughtered each year within the wool, meat, and dairy industries combined. While someone once saw Max as a disposable commodity, we value him as a priceless individual. At Farm Sanctuary, Max will be safe, cared for, and loved for life—and by sharing his story you can help others achieve the same. Join us in celebrating Max and all that his beautiful new life has in store!