Help Neglected and Abused Domestic and Farm Animals
Organized by: Ashley O'Malley
So many amazing rescue pups ready for adoption!
March 06, 2018
Help keep the animals warm and safe into 2018!
Hello all! While you’re getting ready for your NYE celebrations, it is COLD COLD COLD at Squash Blossom Farm Sanctuary. With wind chill temps down to -15 F for the next two nights, please consider making an end of the year donation at www.crowdrise.com/RespectFarmAnimals. We splurged on insulated housing and heating pads for as many animals as we possibly could, which cost thousands and thousands of dollars, but our sole priority is keeping everyone safe and healthy. We still need to fix and strengthen a multitude of walls and enclosures and supply everyone with additional hay, bedding, and insulation. Any help you can give as we wrap up this year and begin the next will make a tangible difference in the well-being of all of our animal friends here. Thank you! And Happy New Year!
Poor Diagnoses for Rescued Animals
When it rains, it pours. I have found 3 discarded animals since the Terrier/Bassett at the dump, and we just got terrible news on two animals at the vet on Saturday. The first is the most heartbreaking. My truck broke down last week, and the mechanic asked if I could take the kitten that showed up there, since his son is literally deathly allergic to cats. I got down on the ground and coaxed this little gray beauty out from under a car. She was a purring cuddlebug of love from that first moment. She hung out with me, and on me, from that moment on, and I got her de-wormed and cleaned up that afternoon. I named her Leeloo, a film-inspired name that I had been saving for a very special little lady. Leeloo is maybe 6 months old, and she is that incredibly rare combination of constant love and affection without a trace of neediness. She is thrilled to snuggle and cuddle whenever you so desire, she is down to take a nap near you whenever you’d like, but she is never the tiniest bit pushy about even asking for a rub. She is grateful and beautiful and perfect.
On Saturday, I found out she has Feline Leukemia. This is a fatal and contagious disease which drastically decreases life expectancy. Obviously, Jake and I are going to make sure that she has the most amazing life for as long as her quality of life allows her to enjoy it, but she has to be kept separate from all of the other cats, and she has a long road ahead of her, ending with organ failure, etc. in the far too near future. The only positive about FeLV is that there is no contagious element to other species, so she can still have friends in the house (namely the pig and dogs that spend most of their time in the bedroom). She loves them, and she loves all of the snuggly places in that room, so that girl is going to be living in the lap of luxury for as long as we are lucky enough to have her company.
Barkley, the boy I found at the dump, has gone from being a mass of sores and bites and lesions to a boy on the mend. After I removed all of the mats from his fur, shaved him, and removed the hundreds of ticks and fleas from his body, he faced a long path of medicated shampoos and skin treatments (unrefined coconut oil has become my favorite remedy for ameliorating general skin conditions). I can now officially say that his skin is healing and his fur is growing back without all of its patchiness, and all of his superficial wounds are healing beautifully. Honestly, he is not recognizable as the same dog. No surprise given the insane number of parasites on him when I found him, he tested positive for Lyme disease. I have started the initial 30 day treatment for him, but as in affected people, Barkley will have Lyme disease for his whole life. He is dealing with significant back pain and joint stiffness from his long Bassett build mixed with his tough life conditions, exacerbated by the Lyme disease. On his bad days, he can’t get comfortable and can’t move around much at all, so he is on pain meds and anti-inflammatories. This is remarkably unfair, since my vet guesses that he is under 3 years old. He has been de-wormed and vaccinated, and neutering is next on the list. I am also using heat therapy and gentle massages on his sore joints, and he makes it clear that he REALLY likes that!
The treatment for Lyme disease and Barkley’s pain and inflammation meds is and will continue to be expensive. Leeloo’s care is going to demand a lot, both financially and emotionally, but no kitten has ever deserved more. I will fill you all in on the other two most recent rescues soon, but PLEASE donate all you can to help with these ongoing costs. We are in desperate need of financial assistance, but we also refuse to allow these animals to just be dumped and disposed of like garbage. Please help us help these sweet souls, and please share our message. Thank you!
By the way, if anyone is wondering why I can’t just bring these animals to the Humane Society, our county has a famously low-quality/high-kill shelter, which is almost impressive in the state already ranked 50th out of 50 states for animal rights. Please help us fill this desperate need to provide care for these animals in desperate need. Without you, they don’t stand a chance.
Desperate dog found at dump, absolutely covered in parasites. Please help!
I had plans to tell you all about the ridiculous trials and tribulations that have led me to not have a computer for months and months and catch you up on alllllll of the new rescues from over the past half of a year, but this new guy I found at the dump on Saturday is such a desperate case, so let's just jump right in and start with him.
First, he has the cutest, sweetest face in the world. He is a Bassett terrier mix: terrier face on a low round body. He rolled right over and showed me his belly and let me carry him straight to my truck. The dump employee said that he has been wandering about for a while, just resting in the middle of the road, and he had more ticks on him than I've ever seen (more on that later), but the employee was shocked that I wanted to take him home. Yeah, dude, I actually don't want to wait for this sweet neglected dog to get hit by a car and left for dead. Regarding the ticks... Doggo weighs about 35 pounds, and I got more than 100 huge ticks off of him, more than ten quarter-size (this is not an exaggeration). His entire shaggy coat was urine-soaked mats with sores all over his body, so it has been slow going with scissors and baths before I could even start with clippers. Once I started getting closer to his skin.... this poor guy has tiny ticks DENSELY covering every inch of his body. I have a close-up posted on our FB page (www.facebook.com/SquashBlossomFarmSanctuary), but he honestly has nearly as many ticks on him as he has hair follicles. Honestly, I can't believe he has survived that, since the huge ticks were obviously feeding on him for so long, but he is a survivor, and he is so patient (not to mention perpetually in shock that he continues to get to stay here, with love, and rubs, and food, and a safe place to sleep).
This sweet boy is going to need loads of medical care to get on the path back to health, and that is where you come in. We need help. To give you some idea how over-extended we are, I recently made 10 spay and neuter appointments, and that was before this guy and our most recent momma cat and her kittens. Please donate whatever you can. Any tiny amount helps, truly, but we are also in absolutely desperate need of larger donations for kennels for new/sick rescues to stay quarantined and help covering the never-ending costs of medical care and medications, whether maintenance meds (i.e. heartworm, flea, tick) or completely unexpected costs, like the acute medical care that this dog is going to need to start to repair his drained body and immune system.
Please donate all you can, and share with others who can help. Also, if you fall in love with this guy, which it is incredibly easy to do, he is eventually going to need the perfect forever home, so feel free to express your adoption interest as well, or to sponsor his care in the interim.
Thank you all for your continued support.
Do you have room in your heart for this beautiful girl?
Get ready to fall in love.
Really, prepare yourselves.
This is Sarah. She was born with a rare genetic disease which doesn’t allow her to walk upright on her front legs. She basically walks on her knuckles/elbows with the bottom halves of her legs splayed out. The owner of the farm where she was born was going to put her down, when a local hero and animal lover stepped in to give Sarah a chance. Sarah is now five months old, and her benefactor did an amazing job of loving and nurturing her. This benefactor does not have a farm; she has been doing all she can for Sarah given her circumstances, but she reached out to me so that Sarah could have adequate shelter, an appropriate environment, and her best chance at being a happy and healthy lamb. Sarah’s benefactor and her friend brought Sarah home to me for my birthday. Best. Birthday. Ever.
It has been unbearably hot and humid here. I have been a constantly sweaty mess, and I’m not covered in an incredibly dense wool coat, so I can’t imagine how hot she was. My first priority, once she was safe and comfy, was to get her sheared. She obviously loved being cooler, but understandably thought it was a bit weird to have a stranger giving her her first haircut, so I took it nice and slow, taking long breaks for cuddles and treats.Right now, Sarah is safe and happy living with the two bottle lambs, Daphne and Finnegan, in a cordoned off area of the barn. They can see and hear everything, and they have introduced themselves to all of the other animal friends who have come to press noses with the newbies through the fence. I take them out multiple times each day for supervised pasture time. They love eating the different greens and exploring, but we desperately need to securely fence off an area so that the lambs can have freedom and still remain safe. While none of the animals would intend to do them harm, Little Man (the big pig) is over 600 lbs and could do irreparable damage to Sarah with a misstep, the goats are naughty and boisterous and overbearing, and there are just too many pigs running around for Sarah to safely navigate in their midst. I have mentioned it before, but fencing is obscenely expensive. Anything you can donate will make a substantial difference. Our other huge upcoming expense will, of course, be Sarah’s ongoing medical care. The farm vet will come out as early as possible next week to let me know what he thinks I can do to make her more comfortable and improve the quality of her life, and I intend to do anything I can for this girl, whether this be a splinting regimen, fashioning her some kind of mobility cart, or anything in between.
I want to offer an extra special donation promotion for this extra special girl. If you donate $25, I will mail you a frame-worthy photograph of this beautiful girl and send you a monthly donor-specific video of her progress. If you donate $100, you will get the physical photograph, monthly video, and a custom-printed, high quality T-shirt in the size of your choosing (child or adult) with a picture of our girl and “Team Sarah” underneath. If you donate $250, you get all of the $100 level perks, plus a choice of one of my crafty offerings: either a hand-knitted sheep toy, machine-washable, safe for children (and adults!), in your choice of colors, complete with curly "wool" and general adorableness, or a pack of four handmade, one-of-a-kind greeting cards in your choice of subject and style (i.e. animals, kid-friendly, birthday, thank you, etc.). We really need your help, and I hope these extras help show just how much we appreciate your support. Plus, you can spread the word about Sarah and animals like her who may have caught some bad breaks but have so much life to live and love to give. No matter what, please share Sarah’s story. We need financial help, yes, but we also need to spread the word that just because a farm animal is different does not make them disposable. Thank you all for caring.Warmly,Ashley
P.S. I was able to post many more pictures and a video of Sarah at www.facebook.com/SquashBlossomFarmSanctuary
UPDATE 4/27/16 HELP! While dealing with a canine problem yesterday, I badly broke my left ring finger in multiple places, so I now have a cast to my elbow with the hope that I can avoid surgery. This would be a pain no matter what, but I make my money knitting, baking, and gardening... Help! Last week, we took in two beautiful bottle lambs that were not being cared for by their mothers; I just posted a video of their adorableness on our FB page. Yesterday evening, Jake found a tiny little puppy in the middle of the road, so we took her to the vet today to get shots and a check-up (pictures are also on the FB page). As always, ANY help you can provide will make an indescribably big impact on our ability to care for this gigantic family of ours. We are getting started on the process to become a registered non-profit, but we really need your help to get there. Please donate what you can and share our cause!
1/26/16 Crowdrise is wonderfully donating $10 for each donation we get tomorrow (1/27/16) from 6 AM ET to 11:59 PM ET! Please, please, please donate anything you can, because they will donate $10 for any donation of $10 or more, and we really and truly need the help. In addition to this matching donation, I am still running the baby pig "sponsorship" for any donations of $100 or more. Pig sponsors will get to name their baby and receive weekly pictures and updates. All of us at Squash Blossom Farm Sanctuary, human and other, are eternally grateful for your support.
UPDATE 1/5/16 Happy New Year! Thank you so much for your support and interest in our cause. We were lucky to have a mild early winter, but we NEED help winterizing now. We desperately need new, safe heat lamps, as well as extra bedding, feed, and supplies to make more secure fencing and pens. After our newspaper article, instead of getting donations, we got lots more animals who desperately needed homes. What is the result of taking in lots of pigs whose history is unknown? TWENTY FIVE babies under the age of two months.... (please see photos and videos of these unbelievable sweeties on our FB page: www.facebook.com/SquashBlossomFarmSanctuary). Out of desperate need, and in honor of their adorableness, I am starting a DONATION PROMOTION. We still have 20 baby pigs who need names. We have boys, girls, black, pink, spotted... The first 20 people who make a $100 donation from this point forward get to name one of the babies and will get personal update pics of their "sponsored" baby every week until they're 4 months old. Please tell me your piggie preference (gender, color), and I will match you up as much as possible! There is additional info about the babies in the photo and album descriptions, too, so if there is a particular baby that steals your heart, let me know!
UPDATE 9/17/15: First, Jake designed and built an awesome, adaptable, protected area. Now, it is being used as a rabbit hutch (we took in two pregnant rabbits, so there are now 15 rabbits, separated by gender), but this area will be used to protect and separate everything from chicks to baby pigs as needed!
Second, we took in SIXTEEN inbred miniature pigs (five adult ladies, eight adolescents, and three babies). The inbreeding led to the development of a horrible deformity in two of the girls. They both looked perfect as babies, but slowly, their foreheads swelled and facial structure changed, eventually swelling so much as to make them completely blind. They are both beautiful, sweet girls, and their pack helps them get around, find food, water, etc. Obviously, they need to stop breeding within their group. We had our farm vet come neuter the 4 boys, but we need help paying the bill! Side note: our 450 lb hog has taken it upon himself to babysit the little ones! He herds them into their pen for dinner and generally shows them around!
Third, a new dog came into our lives. While coming home from a friend's wedding late at night, we almost hit this poor guy on an unlit rural road. It was pitch black, he is black, and he was obviously lost, with a broken chain still connected to his collar. He is slowly learning what it means to be loved and cared for. When he first came home with us, he would cower and hide (very well) whenever we called for him. Watching him grow to learn that all we want to do is feed him and snuggle him is beautiful. He so wants to be a pet! He works his way into our puppy training sessions, and he is generally just such a good boy. We need help paying his general vet and neutering bills.
ORIGINAL FUNDRAISER: I moved to Kentucky so that I could have land to help a wider range of animals than I was able to in downtown Philadelphia. Six years ago, I came to my farm (11.5 acres) with one dog, three rabbits, five rats, and three guinea pigs, all rescues from PA. From there, my happy rescue home has grown to include everything from an abused pheasant to a 450 lb hog that has no idea he was destined to be food, nor does he have any concept of how big he is; he still tries to be a lap pig! I work multiple jobs (selling baked goods and organic produce at my farmers' market, helping people with disabilities become more independent, teaching preschool) to make ends meet, and I happily spend the vast majority of my income taking care of my animal companions that haven't been given a fair shot. I love them all, and caring for them is my reason for being. My most recent rescue, however, made me realize how many more animals, especially farm animals in this region, desperately need love, attention, affection, health care, and basic necessities. I have the space and the desire to help so many more animals, as well as a wonderful fiance who moved here to share his life caring for these animals, but we need your help to make this land viable as a farm sanctuary. We need to build basic emergency medical/first aid facilities, separate areas to quarantine sick or aggressive animals, and more enclosed areas to protect animals from the elements, as well as provide food, medical care, and bedding. We have a barn with unused stalls and rooms which just need to be fixed up and updated to satisfy these needs.
Centering my life around caring for abused or neglected animals has always been a goal, but the sweet baby cow in the main picture gave me the push I needed to reach out for help. He was too good for any name I could come up with, so he was and always will be named Baby. As cheesy as this sounds, I promised Baby that I would reach out, in his honor, in an attempt to help more of his friends, while he lay dying in my arms on 7/17/15.
Baby came into our lives very unexpectedly on Saturday, 7/9/15. A local, like-minded friend was notified about his presence at an auction, and he "purchased" Baby, knowing that if he was bought by any typical rancher, he would be slaughtered/left to die alone/etc. You can see what Baby looked like when he came to us, on his 15th day of life.
He was obviously incredibly malnourished, but that was the least of his issues. His backside had been covered with caked-on diarrhea for so long, that clumps of fur from his backside, tail, and legs came off in my hands when I cleaned him. He had open, bleeding sores in- and outside his rectum from the non-stop, violent diarrhea. I asked our farm vet about the blue dye around his rectum and tail, and I was informed that that was from a chemical dip used when an animal has maggots growing in its anus. Every single one of these issues could have been easily avoided simply by leaving Baby with his mother for an appropriate amount of time, or by ensuring appropriate, basic healthcare if that were not possible. Unlike humans, cows don't have their needed antibodies when they're born, but they get them from their mother's first milk (colostrum) or from a separate colostrum dosage. If Baby had had access to these antibodies during the first 24 hours of his life, he would have had the strength to fight infections and heal. Had she been allowed to stay with her baby, the mother cow would also have kept Baby's backside clean, so the flies and maggots would never have become an issue. Again, if there was a complication with Baby's mother, any responsible farmer would have easily maintained an appropriate level of sanitation in his living area. Separately, both ear tags were done horrifically. They were both incredibly infected, oozing and bleeding. The permanent metal tag in the posted picture is ALREADY significantly too tight, and Baby was two weeks old at the time!
We were beyond thrilled at the chance to give this sweet, beautiful, innocent creature the love, care, and respect he so deserved. My fiance took the picture of me lying in the barn with Baby during his first night with us.
At first, we set him up in the barn with some friendly, young chickens, but his little body couldn't handle even that amount of environmental stress. He fell down without clear cause, and his eyes were filled with pure fear when I found him like that. His already weak body quickly got weaker and weaker, through our 4 farm vet visits and round-the-clock care. Baby's body couldn't fully utilize the food and fluids (formula) we gave him, and even the multiple doses of oral and intravenous fluids our vet provided couldn't keep him hydrated. It was incredibly hot that week, so we moved Baby into our bathroom, which we made into a makeshift nursing facility. We sterilized the room, covered the floor with new hay, and set Baby up in front of a big, quiet fan, which he absolutely loved. At this point, he could only occasionally stand up, and he needed assistance to do that. Our vet came back again and fitted Baby with a catheter in his neck so that we could give him fluids at more regular intervals. We hung the bag of fluids on our towel hooks and began to give him intraveous fluids every 1.5 hours. We maintained 24-hour care by taking shifts and trading off, of course also taking care of the rest of our brood. When I literally couldn't keep my eyes open anymore, I would set a sheet down next to Baby and spoon him while I snatched a moment's rest. I wish I could show how soft and cuddly he was through a picture. Baby LOVED physical affection. He loved to be held and brushed and cradled. He loved to touch noses. He loved to suckle on my finger, elbows, hair, face, etc., even when he wasn't hungry. He also showed more gratitude for and understanding of the love and care we gave him than any other animal I have ever had the pleasure to know.
It became clear that no matter how much we loved this little cow, and no matter how much medical care and attention we gave him, he just hadn't been given the necessary ingredients to fight what was happening to his body. He couldn't hold himself up. He came to not be able to hold his head up on his own. He would still occasionally suckle from the bottle, and he still responded to physical touch. Baby's organs began to fail, and all we cared about was making him as comfortable as possible, giving him immeasurable amounts of love, and trying to help him not be scared. We were still trading off shifts, and we were only in the room with him at the same time in passing. Finally, we were in with him together, and it was as if he was waiting for both of us to be with him. With both of our arms around his little body, Baby finally let go on the 21st day of his life, and his last look was one of peace, without a glimmer of fear.
This fundraiser isn't about whether you choose to eat meat or not; this is about treating the other beings that we share this planet with with respect. Baby was treated as an object before he came to us, one which his "owners" wanted to get rid of as soon as possible when they realized that he wouldn't be economically profitable. While we lost Baby far, far too soon, I take a tiny bit of peace knowing that he saw something other than abuse, hate, neglect, and pain in his much-too-short time on this earth. There are so many countless other animals who only see the worst of humanity and only feel fear and pain. Please help us give more innocent animals a chance to live without fear. Help us give more animals a safe place to live and heal and play. They deserve it.
I included some other pictures of just a few of our happy rescues. Without exaggeration, any size donation will provide tangible help to an animal in need. Even $10 covers the cost of a new calf nursing bottle. We will use every cent we raise to do the greatest amount of good, and we will keep everyone updated as to our progress!