Rhianna Axon, Animal caregiver, Charlie's Acres Sanctuary. Sonoma, CA.
The joy I feel when surrounded by happy animals is immeasurable. I want to do my part to help all animals feel that joy, too, and live their lives freely. Farm animals are not usually seen as animals, more as products, and thus treated as such. When you make friends with a pig or a duck or a goat, you quickly realize they are each unique individuals, and they deserve to live their lives unharmed. I like educating people about the issues surrounding animals, especially farm animals since they are so under represented and ignored by the masses.
When Amos the lamb came to us at 4 days old, he did not look like he would make it. He was just skin and bones and his eyes were sunken in and sad. He was crying and crying, looking for his mother or some kind of comfort. We scooped him up, along with Michael, and swaddled them like you would a human baby. Sitting in our laps on the couch in our warm home, he quickly fell asleep. The next few days were more of the same, he was nervous and didn't want to be touched. Finally, once he saw that we were kind and just wanted to take care of him, he opened up and showed interest in interacting with us. (The fact that we were bottle feeding him also helped). Soon he was running around in the grass, chasing us around and wanting to be at our sides all the time. He is now so healthy, strong, happy, and has so much light in his eyes that you wouldn't believe he was that same lamb from a few weeks earlier. If he had not been rescued, he probably would have died alone in a field with no one even noticing. Now he gets to run around like the happy guy he is, and doesn't have to worry about a thing.