For such a tiny lamb, Sophie is already making a big difference. Born on a sheep farm earlier this year, the malnourished, disabled lamb nearly faced a premature death — but instead, this pint-sized ambassador is now demonstrating the importance of compassion and the power of sanctuary.
When Sophie was born, she couldn’t stand; she had contracted tendons, a condition that is treatable, yet not often treated in farm animals. That’s because most farmers consider it economically unsustainable to invest significant money or time into the care of an animal they plan to slaughter for profit.
Thankfully, little Sophie had an ally: A worker fell in love with this sweet lamb, and knew that Sophie deserved a chance. So she asked her employer if she could take Sophie home to her small hobby farm, not far from Farm Sanctuary, where she had enough space and resources to accommodate a lamb. Thankfully, the farmer agreed, and the woman set out to get Sophie the care she needed.
Sophie’s new guardian tried her best to support and build strength in Sophie’s legs, but unfortunately, Sophie still struggled. Realizing that Sophie needed more than what she could provide, the woman reached out to Farm Sanctuary to see if we could help. We gladly welcomed Sophie to our New York Shelter, and immediately set out to get her the specialized care she needed.
We are fortunate to have a longstanding relationship with one of the best veterinary hospitals in the country: the Nemo Farm Animal Hospital at Cornell University. There, Sophie’s veterinary team ran routine diagnostics, including blood work, fecal exams, and radiographs to check for broken bones. Tests revealed her contracted tendons, as well as pneumonia and selenium and vitamin E deficiencies. She was also very small; though 6 months old, she looked more like a 2-month-old. Still, Sophie’s vets were optimistic about her prospects. They recommended splints to lengthen the tendons and strengthen her legs, offering hope for recovery without the need for surgery.
We’re happy to say that Sophie’s recovery process is going well! Thankfully, her splints are working and she’s showing gradual signs of improvement. While she still has a long road ahead of her, she’s getting healthier and stronger each day. She’s learning to walk and graze within a small, easily navigable pasture, and loves to spend time with our doting staff members and volunteers, who are cheering her on every step of the way.
At Farm Sanctuary, Sophie receives all the individualized attention and care she needs to thrive — and because someone noticed and honored her strong will to live, she’s now able to serve as an ambassador for other farm animals like her. When people meet Sophie today, they see a cute, loveable lamb with a strong and beautiful spirit. And while it’s clear that she is indeed a unique and special individual, so too are each of the billions of farm animals who are slaughtered each year — the only real difference is that Sophie has a chance to show the world who she is.
Thanks to friends like you, we can continue our rescue, education, and advocacy work on behalf of animals like Sophie, and work toward a more compassionate world for all.