[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9__jckosjZw&feature=player_embedded[/youtube] At 43 secs he kisses a pig!
We hear so many heartbreaking stories about animals that it's always a real pleasure to hear a heartwarming one instead. We got one of the best yet recently from the great folks at Farm Sanctuary, a wonderful organization that rescues -- you guessed it -- farm animals from often-abominable circumstances and allows them to live at one of two large sanctuary facilities (one in upstate New York and one in Northern California).
The little fellow above is Angelo, a lamb who was born while his mother was in transit to a slaughterhouse in Yonkers, N.Y. Fortunately for Angelo, a kind woman, Cindy Rexhaj, happened to be shopping at a market nearby and approached to see the sheep being taken off the truck. What Rexhaj saw horrified her: A tiny, newborn lamb in danger of being trampled by the flock of more than 100 adult sheep being herded to slaughter. (By the time Rexhaj arrived on the scene, another lamb, believed to be Angelo's sibling, had been trampled to death.)
Rexhaj stepped in, pleading with the driver of the livestock truck to save the lamb and reunite him with his mother. But, the driver said, there was no way to determine which of the adult ewes had given birth to Angelo. Instead, he handed the lamb to Rexhaj, who persuaded the owner of the slaughterhouse to let her take him home with her.
Angelo went to live at the Yonkers row house Rexhaj shares with her elderly mother, and the two took painstaking care of him, bottle-feeding him and even fitting him with lamb-sized diapers so he could wander freely around the house. (Rexhaj reported that Angelo grew so close to her mother that he took to following her around like a puppy.)
But the two women knew they couldn't keep Angelo in a row house indefinitely, so they contacted Farm Sanctuary, which immediately dispatched a volunteer to pick him up and take him to the upstate New York facility.
Angelo has been at Farm Sanctuary nearly a month, and staff report that he's thriving. Still, based upon his difficult start in life, they're keeping a close eye on him to ensure that he remains his healthy and vibrant self. "We don’t know whether Angelo was able to nurse from his mother and receive colostrum, which is a specific type of milk produced by ewes in late pregnancy that's rich in nutrients and antibodies," Farm Sanctuary's national shelter director, Susie Coston, explained. "If test results indicate his protein levels are low or that he did not receive the vital immunities needed from his mother, we'll order a full blood transfusion. But he is already gaining weight, which is a good sign, and is in very high spirits.
"Seeing Angelo frolic around in the sun, it strikes me how incredibly happy he seems -- and we’re going to do everything possible to make sure he stays that way." Amen to that!
Rescue success story: Angelo, lamb born en route to slaughter, thrives at New York's Farm Sanctuary | L.A. Unleashed | Los Angeles Times