Abandoned Farm Animals Now Have a Warm Place to Stay for the Holidays

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (18 NEWS) - - The Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen came across a case in Western New York, which could have turned deadly for a group of farm animals abandoned in freezing conditions.

Living with no food or shelter, and a frozen stream as their only source of water 17 sheep (including six lambs), two goats, and a bull calf were running out of time. With the help of the Farm Sanctuary, and other agencies, they now have a warm home just in time for the holidays.

"These were animals that were out in a pasture with really no place to get away from the elements," National Shelter Director Susie Coston said. "Really high wind chills up on a hill, with a running stream going through. At least they did have water, which is good. When we got there they were eating bark off trees, and they were clearly very hungry."
 
Hungry, cold, and scared. It took the rescue team four hours to get the animals to safety.
    
"So, we were trying to in the deep snow coral them into a corner," Senior Shelter Manager Tara Hess said. "So, that we could then halter them, and either walk them or carry them to the trailer. Because of how steep that hill was, often times we had to hold on to them and sled down so that no one fell."
 
Then, it was time to address health concerns.

"The goats were emaciated, and had lice, both sucking and chewing lice," Hess said. "So, that can make them anemic on top of already being too thin. They didn't have any hay when we were there."
 
"This group basically had really high parasite loads," Coston said. "So they have already been wormed, and they will be wormed again in a few days. We will do a recheck, and make sure that we are killing all of the parasites."

Situations like the one these sheep were in is a reminder to keep your pets in a safe warm place during the cold season. If left outside any longer, the sheep most likely wouldn't have survived.
 
"Every single year we get calls about animals who have been out in the cold," Coston said. "We get roosters whose combs are frostbitten off. We have had birds that come in, and they have lost all their toes. Animals can not survive in these wind chills. With the snow and the ice, it's just too much for them."

The Farm Sanctuary was assisted by Skylands Animal Sanctuary along with SPCA officers for the rescue.

No information on the owner of the animals has been released.

To learn how you can help the animals at the Farm Sanctuary, click here.


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