The quartet’s guardians contacted Farm Sanctuary because they were moving, and couldn’t take their sheep with them. Often, people in their situation opt to send their animals to slaughter; we were glad that they chose a different path, and agreed to take them in. When we met the sheep, however, we noticed that something was very wrong—and what we had originally thought of as a guardian surrender quickly morphed into a starvation case.
The sheep were extremely thin and malnourished, with Body Condition Scores (BCS) ranging from one to 1.5. The BCS test rates animals on a scale of one through five, with one signifying emaciation and five being extremely obese. Katie, who had just given birth to twins, was so thin that she couldn’t feed her babies, let alone herself. In fact, these animals were so hungry that they were eating the wool off of each other’s backs. Following routine vaccinations and bloodwork, we also discovered the family had Giardia and required quarantine until that passed through.
We also had Kevin neutered—standard routine for incoming males—as we don’t support breeding; doing so would take up the limited space we have to rescue other farm animals from situations like theirs. Kevin healed well, with his family by his side.
The “Bakersfield Four” have been settling in nicely, and are now integrated with the rest of the flock. The family is still shy, but they’re coming around. “They haven’t had much interaction with humans, so they are still looking to Mom and Dad to let them know it’s okay to approach us,” says West Coast Shelter Manager Jessica Due. “Now, they know that when we come in we are often bringing more food, or treats, or simply wanting to sit with them and show them love—and that we mean no harm to them or their children. Everyone is [now] coming up and not so frightened.” We’re glad the twins also have some playmates their own age—including newcomers Max, Shawn, and Phry, whom Katie has also taken under her wing.