Coco was rescued from a sheep farm that breeds ewes for lambs to be sold for meat. After miscarrying multiple times, the farmer decided to ask the vet to kill her as it was cheaper than arranging for her to be sent to slaughter.
Despite being otherwise perfectly healthy, the fact that she could no longer give birth meant that she was completely useless in the eyes of the farmer. Thankfully the vet, who also happens to be the same vet that works with us here at Mino Valley Farm Sanctuary, doesn’t believe in killing an animal that is not in any obvious pain or suffering, so he contacted us instead to see if we could give her a place.
At just 3 years old, Coco came to the sanctuary to live out the rest of her life in peace and dignity. No longer will she have to suffer the trauma involved in being routinely made pregnant, or the anguish of being separated from her newly born babies as they are shipped off to the slaughterhouse.
In the sanctuary she is free to come and go from the barn to the pastures as she pleases, and most days she chooses to nestle down in the hay that falls from the holder, or lie out in the sun soaking up the rays and warming her woolly coat.
Just like humans, ‘farmed animals’ like Coco, suffer immensely from the physical and psychological trauma that they have experienced in their past, and this is something that Coco is still working to overcome. Although she has lived at the sanctuary for over a year, she has still not allowed us to freely touch her, and we have had to work extremely hard to earn her trust. She has bonded closely with one of the other sheep Theresa, who has been through a similar experience and the pair of them are now almost never apart. They avidly watch us as we cuddle with the other sheep, each time edging that little bit closer, and we’re sure one day soon they will succumb to the pleasures that are head rubs!
Story courtesy of Mino Valley Farm Sanctuary.