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October 8, 2015

We’ve been so lucky lately with finding homes for hens as soon as they come to our animal sanctuary. First we had the 5 hens that had been dumped on the beach and rescued by Sarah brought to us… and almost immediately I got a phone call from Raechel, saying that she wanted to give a happy home to hens with a sad story. I told her about the 5, and she said “I want them, I love them already!” We’ve been treating the hens, and our wonderful volunteer Sue will take them to their new home today. Then, minutes after I got a phone call asking us to take Molly, the sole surviving hen from South Head, I received an email from Valerie to say that one of her beloved “princesses” had passed away. I told her about Molly, and she offered to adopt her immediately. Alex drove them to Auckland for me, so Valerie could pick them up. Finally, we had a call from a lovely lady name Joan, who has a beautiful garden and a new coop, and wanted to give a loving home to 2 hens. Well, I had 2 rescued battery hens that were ready, so it was a perfect match. We were wondering how to get them to her, when Gretchen contacted us. She said her 2 children wanted to be involved in animal rescue, and could they help with transport? Wow, what timing! Gretchen and her children came up yesterday to take the hens to their new home. And as an added surprise, her young son Callum (photo below) brought us the contents of his money box, which he’d been saving for the animals for some time. $63.40! What a compassionate family. All of these events fall under the series of coincidences that seem “meant-to-be”. These continually delight us. Thanks to everyone involved in making these stories for all these hens have happy endings.

sparky down


The vet has been and gone, and Sparky was back up on his feet surprisingly quickly. Knocking him out was fraught, as always. I have to give him the injection, cuz he freaks when he sees our vet. As Sparky started getting wobbly, several ducks decided to lay down in his massive shadow. Unbelievable! I raced in and chased them out just in time, as he went down like a ton of bricks. Unfortunately, we can’t control how he drops… and he curled up directly on top of the foot we needed to examine, as you can see in this photo.

bottom of hoof


Argh! At 800+ kilos, it took a bit of manhandling to get Sparky moved so we could access the underside of his hoof, but we did it. Ross found a wound beneath the ‘toe’. He cleaned it, and we disinfected the opening. Sparky will be confined to quarters for at least a week to keep it clean and dry, which he’ll hate, but hopefully it will heal fully. He’s had a massive dose of antibiotics, and also has pain meds to help him feel more comfortable.

hanging sheet


While Sparky was knocked out, I was worried that he was laying in full sun and was too hot with that black fur, so I climbed the corral fence to tie some twine up high and hang sheets for shade. My husband was furious as I only had foot surgery 12 days ago… but I’m sure every animal lover and every Mum knows that you do whatever you have to do to keep your animal or your kid safe. Hey, it was better than physio, and now I think we can just return the wheelchair and the walker earlier than planned! Anyway, Sparky is up, drooling and bleary, but standing well and showing interest in hay, so the worst is over for today. Now we’ll cross our fingers and hope he heals well and it doesn’t reoccur. Thank you to everyone who sent both Sparky and I good wishes, it meant a lot to me!!

sparky visit


October 6, 2015

I’m a nervous wreck this morning. Anyone who has followed our animal sanctuary for any time, knows that Sparky is one of the great loves of my life. He suffered a horrible injury as a baby, and eventually had to have one half of his foot amputated. He’s got along fine, until a few days ago there were spots of blood on his stall floor. It’s coming from under his hoof… and since he only has half a foot, any problem with the remaining part is serious. We treated him with a hoof mat and contained him, but it’s still there and he’s limping. So this morning at 11 am our vet Ross is coming up to knock him out, so that we can inspect the underside of the hoof and see what the problem is. I’m praying that it’s something we can treat and fix. If not… well, let’s not go there. There aren’t any prosthetic legs for bulls in NZ that I’ve been able to find, so this simply HAS to be a treatable problem. Please send your prayers/thoughts/energy to support Sparky, that this is something simple and easy to heal.



A lovely family has adopted Hugo, and will give him lots and lots of love. Not only that, but they have also adopted a female named Pixie at the same time, so Hugo will have a wife! (Photo below). Hugo & Pixie will be indoor “house” rabbits, and they’ll also have an outdoor area especially built for them so they can have supervised exercise and grass nibbles. Rhiannon is spending today getting ready by putting cord covers on their electric cords, so there’s no chance that her bunnies will chew and electrocute themselves. Thank you to Dayna and Kirsty, who’ve done an incredible job of fostering Hugo, ferrying him to and from vet appointments, and providing lots of TLC after his various surgeries. Thank you to Rhiannon and her family for providing Hugo and Pixie with a happy future.



This is Pixie, Hugo’s new companion. She’s the perfect size for Hugo, and I think they’ll have a wonderful life together once they’ve accepted each other. Bonding rabbits must be done properly. You can’t just throw them in together and hope for the best. For really helpful information on rabbit bonding, the NZ Hopper Group has a great website:
Here’s the link for how to bond bunnies:



October 2, 2015

I love this photo of our volunteer from the UK, Rosie, saying a teary goodbye on the weekend to mini-pigs Rosie and Pepper, who went to their forever home. It was such a happy story. However, today I heard a very sad story. A lady phoned in great distress. She said a dumped little piglet (now named Patches) had adopted them. Patches is a loving wee thing who follows them around like a dog, and they adore her. But the land developers said Patches wasn’t allowed, and that if they didn’t have her gone by this weekend, they were going to send hunters to shoot her. I’m talking to them again this afternoon, and no doubt will have to take Patches to save her life. I’ll post photos and details as soon as I have them. Why do people have to be so horrible?? If you’re interested in adopting a friendly female pig, do let me know…