Martin was our first REAL rescue! He was born in the middle of May 2018 to a goat farm. Shortly after he was born, the farmer realized he was blind and was unable to keep him. Someone posted about him on a Facebook group stating, because he was blind, the farmer was only willing to keep him for two weeks before “disposing” of him. We posted we would love to have him at LAS, but the trouble was he was in Kansas! Then the power of social media took affect and six different people, strangers who did not know us or Martin, volunteered to caravan him from Kansas to Minnesota! 13 hours after the first person picked him up, Martin arrived at our sanctuary. He was only five weeks old when he arrived. He was highly anxious and VERY vocal, but immediately bonded with our family! Since then, he has grown up to be our biggest goat even though he is our youngest. He follows his buddy Pancake around all day (who wears a bell so Martin can hear him) and he LOVES all the humans who visit. Our kiddos have given him the nicknames Martini, Mar-Mar and Marzipan. But to everyone else, he’s known as Martin with the Big Ears!
Pancake came to us from a farm in Wisconsin. His owner reached out to us because his front legs were very bowed, and he was being picked on by the rest of the herd. When we arrived to pick him up, it was clear there was much more going on. He was kept under a child’s trampoline and there was no food or water near him. He was emaciated; his spine and hips were protruding from his body and his belly was so distended, we worried he was infested with worms. He was so filthy. When we took him to the vet, we learned his distended abdomen was because he was starving. For the first few weeks, he did nothing but lay around and eat, but soon he became stronger, became playful and really bonded with Martin. Now he is beautifully round, like a goat should be. He is our funniest and naughtiest goat! He loves to play with his animal friends, climb and escape his enclosures. We love to see how much he has changed!
Nicknames include Pannekoeken, Pancakey and Short Stack
Sven the goat came to us from a Minnesota goat farm. The farmer explained that he was born in the early spring, during a very cold stretch. He was born outside and left out in the elements. He lost his back feet and both his ears to frostbite. He was disbudded (his horns were burnt off with a hot iron) but poorly, as his horns still grow but are weak and break off. For a year and half, he stayed on the farm, trying to survive, but the rest of the herd did not treat him well. Sven arrived with severely overgrown hooves and bloody calluses on his back legs. He was terrified of all people. Since joining the goats at LAS, his hooves are slowly being trimmed back. He has his own little cart to sit in, so he can be as tall as his goat friends. He does a daily stretching routine since his front legs are contracted from a year of laying down. We are even working on getting him prosthetic legs! He does not move much, but now he loves his people and cries when they walk away. He has the best goat smile!
Nicknames: Sven the Goat, King Sven, Svenner, Svensicle.
Tucker & Riley
Tucker and Riley were our very first goats. When we moved to our farm, we wanted goats, because we love them so much. We saw an ad posted on Craigslist for baby goats for shockingly little money. When we arrived at the location, there were animals everywhere. They were kept in poorly constructed pens and were overbreeding. There were just too many goats for the family to care for. When we returned home, we realized they were both infested with lice and fleas. They had to be treated 3 times and then shaved. Luckily, they had no medical problems. Riley is the “Queen B” of our little sanctuary, and Tucker is the silliest. He is the only goat with waddles (the little flaps of skin that hang off his neck). When he is really naughty, we call him Mr. Waddles.
Hedwig & Snowcomb
These two beautiful ladies were taken in by Minneapolis Animal Care and Control in the fall of 2018, and we saw them listed on their website. When we arrived to pick them up, we were shocked at their size. They are Cornish Cross chickens, which are the fastest growing chicken breed. They are used for meat and are typically slaughtered between 8 and 12 weeks. These chickens looked like the size of turkeys! They were covered in feces and needed baths immediately. Unfortunately, due to their size, they are not expected to live more than a year. Their organs just cannot take the weight. They eat special low-fat food and must careful in the weather, as they can’t tolerate temperature fluctuations well. We know they will not have a long life, but we are going to give them the best one possible while they are here.
Ninja came with to LAS from a slaughterhouse situation. She arrived with two other hens (both of which have since passed). She was scared, smelled of waste and had a severe upper respiratory infection. It was clear she was raised in a factory farm setting. She was debeaked (the end of her beak was slicked off) and was misaligned as a result. She didn’t know how to be a chicken. She didn’t roost at night, she did not scratch at the ground, and she did not come outdoors when the coop door was opened. Her illness improved but it took months before she began acting like a chicken. With time, Ninja learned to trust her humans and will even come for treats. We love seeing the changes in her since she arrived at our sanctuary.
The Original (“O.G.”) Chickens
We were so excited to get chickens after we moved that we went to a local farm store right after spring came to get some. It was only after learning about the horrors of hatcheries that we learned the mistake we made (learn more here). We love our chickens dearly, but we should have researched where they came from. Our kiddos had the privilege of naming them all, and they say they can tell them all apart: Elvis, Hei Hei, Bock Bock Chicken Bock, Ophelia, Thirteen, Hershey, and Henny Penny. Most of them are difficult to tell apart, except Hei Hei. She had a virus and lost one of her eyes. Everyone knows who she is. #heiheiwiththeoneeye
Rocco is our 13-year-old Boston Terrier who is deaf, mostly blind and has to wear a diaper. Getting old is hard! Piper the Pit Bull is our most recent addition. She was adopted from the St. Paul Humane Society and is a ball of energy. When Rocco lost his best friend, Darla in November 2018, he was so depressed he stopped eating. Once Piper came around, he perked back up (even if he gets irritated by her never-ending vigor).
Rocco’s nicknames: Old Man Shevitz, Rocco-Binocco
Piper’s nicknames: Hyper Piper, Piper Diaper, Pipes, Piper the Pitty
Those We Have Lost
Buttercup was rescued from a slaughterhouse with two other chickens. She arrived covered in waste and with an upper respiratory infection. Soon after coming to LAS, she became very sick, stopped eating and began limping. Our vet believed she had contracted a virus. We cared for her in the house for quite awhile, where we fed her with a syringe. Her condition improved, but she continued to limp and stayed quite thin. She spent the next 8 months with her best buddy, Ninja. They never left each other’s side, and Ninja was her protector. Buttercup loved to be picked up and cuddled by her humans. She passed away 9 months after we rescued her, with Ninja by her side. She was a favorite of many visitors, and she is missed every day.
She-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named came to LAS with Buttercup and Ninja. She also arrived with an upper respiratory infection and most likely other medical issues due to her mistreatment on the factory farm. She only survived with us for a few days. Her time with us was so short we did not even have time to name her. Our love of Harry Potter led us to call her “She-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named” after she passed. Her life was so short, but before she left us, she was able to experience grass, sunshine, breeze and kind humans.
Fluffy was one of our original chickens. She was friendly and learned to run to the “dinner bell” for treats. She became suddenly sick this past fall and passed the same day. We took her to the vet who told us she had cancer, which had affected many of her organs. She seemed to be happy and pain free until the day she died. We hope we gave her the best life possible.
Voldemort was another original chicken and was one of our shyest girls. When Buttercup became weak, we moved Voldemort in with her and Ninja, so Ninja would not be lonely if Buttercup passed away. She fit right in with the two, and they became fast friends. After Buttercup passed, Ninja was clearly mourning, and Voldemort followed her everywhere she went. She seemed to be comforting her in her time of need. A few months later, Voldemort became suddenly sick and passed away, most likely from a virus. We miss her sweet face.
Our dear sweet Pit Bull Darla was with us for 11 years. She was adopted from Underdog Rescue. She was sweet, loving, playful, hyper, sweet to all animals and best friend to our Boston Terrier, Rocco. She lived 13 long and happy years and passed away in November of 2018 from cancer. She gave us so much joy, love and comfort, and we miss her every day.