Animal Friends – March 2021

Many of the stories we share are sad and involve troubling levels of neglect and cruelty. Animal Friends is our monthly series bringing joy and happiness to your inbox. Over the years we’ve had the unique opportunity to witness our animal friends developing strong bonds and relationships with each other. The friendships formed here at the sanctuary are unique to each animal and often aid in their recovery from abuse and neglect. We hope their stories of friendship will not only inspire you but will also show that our animal friends can and do recover from past trauma and abuse with the help of each other. As a place of healing, our greatest hope is that the animals are able to live life on their terms with no expectations or pressures from us. Here are their stories.

Teddy arrived in May of 2020 from a cruelty and neglect case with two hens and five geese. All of them were covered in poultry lice, critically underweight, and visibly suffering. Teddy was in the worst shape of everyone and seemed depressed and withdrawn. The photo below shows the first time that Kate and I met Teddy. Once we saw him we knew we had to help and immediately started working on helping their bodies heal. After a 30 day quarantine Teddy’s body healed but he was still depressed. Teddy wanted companionship and he would here him talking with our turkey flock.

Turkeys are very family oriented animals and can live in groups of hundreds of turkeys. In the wild they remember up to 1000 acres of the habitat where they live and travel these distances in their large family groups. Our existing turkey flock is a family group and we weren’t sure how accepting of Teddy they would be but we went ahead and introduced Teddy to his new flock.

To our surprise, Johnny came right over to Teddy, looked him over, and decided his nearly identical twin would be his new best friend. Teddy’s demeanor immediately changed. He went from a sad hunched over turkey to following Johnny’s every lead. Johnny showed Teddy how to be a good Tom turkey and Teddy soaked up the lessons mimicking Johnny’s every move.

Teddy’s transformation was inspiring to watch. The friendship Teddy built with Johnny showed how powerful animal relationships are. Teddy’s body may have healed with the help of nutrition and human friends but he still longed for something more, a family of his own species. You are safe now Teddy, and your family will always be yours.

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