Wilma Jean was originally raised for meat as an attempt at “homesteading”. When her owner became too busy with work and family responsibilities, the responsibilities of caring for he pig fell on his father. Once the father began caring for the pig on a daily basis, he was able to see her as an individual, and it became difficult for him to imagine her going into the freezer like the last pig. He spoke to his son about sending her to a sanctuary, and the son agreed to surrender her if placement was found. That’s when the father called Farm Sanctuary in Acton, CA, where she spent some time before moving to Sage Mountain in March 2017. Wilma Jean is sweet, gentle, and a bit shy, but very curious.
Ponyboy came to Sage Mountain in March 2017. Ponyboy’s story began in a backyard butcher situation in Riverside County, California. He lived in cramped quarters where the pigs were grossly overfed and turned into bacon. PB and his friend Johnny the lamb escaped the farm and were eventually found on the side of the road and picked up by animal control. From there the two were moved together to a place called Farm Sanctuary in Acton, CA. After spending some time at Farm Sanctuary, PB grew bigger and needed more space than his friend Johnny. He was moved to Sage Mountain where he could have tons of space to roam with his new girlfriend, Wilma Jean. He loves to spend his time exploring, digging, chewing, bathing, getting muddy, and receiving belly rubs and treats.
Jesse was only a few weeks old when he was separated from his mother in Cedar City, Utah. Because of this, his growth may be stunted. In the animal agriculture industry animals like Jesse are considered “bummer lambs” meaning they are of “no use” to the industry and will often be discarded or forgotten. Typically, the Suffolk sheep breed are raised for wool for the first 4-6 years of their lives and when they stop producing high quality wool they are slaughtered for meat. However, their natural lifespan ranges from 10 to 12 years! He was found on the side of the road, malnourished, scared, and ALMOST forgotten. If it wasn’t for a kind woman taking him in and bottle feeding him day in and day out, he would not have survived. Jesse has had a rough and painful first 2 months on the planet BUT this little lamb was not giving up! He is smart, adventurous, and very clever.
Sammie’s story begins in the mountains of Northern Utah near Victory Ranch. Sammie was separated from the herd at a very young age and was left to fend for herself throughout the long snowy winter of 2017. One of the local residents named Peggy Grubbs discovered Sammie one day near a snowshoe trail and quickly bonded with her. Over the course of the winter Peggy snowshoed 6 miles every day, many times in knee deep snow, to bring Sammie food so she could make it through winter. When a break in the weather finally arrived in mid February and with help from the local community, Sammie was finally rescued from high mountains and taken to a foster home nearby. Now her days are filled with grazing and playing with her friends Jesse, Ponyboy, and Wilma Jean, and she has become a wonderful mother figure for Jesse and baby Martin. Sometimes Sammie would rather hang out with the pigs in their shelter instead of her own during the heat of the day and couldn’t be happier.
For more details on Sammie’s amazing story please click here.
Martin is a young male lamb that has a similar story to Jesse. Martin was born in the spring of 2017 and was part of a grazing herd on the west side of Utah Lake in Utah County. For some reason or another Martin’s mother rejected him and he was left alone on the range without the nourishment he needed to grow into an adult sheep. The same foster family that took in Sammie reached out to the sheep herder and asked if he would be willing to let them adopt Martin. Since Martin was what the industry calls a “bummer” lamb and is of “no use” and has little to no value the sheep herder agreed to the adoption. It is so unfortunate that so many animals are considered worthy only if they can be used by humans in some way for profit. If not, they are often discarded, neglected, or killed. Since arriving to his permanent home at Sage Mountain, Martin has been learning the ropes and getting along great with all the other animals including Maggie, our German Shepard. It seems as though Maggie understands her job is to protect Martin and she takes great pride in her new role. Martin, just like the rest of the animals at Sage Mountain, will live out the rest of his life and will always be cherished as someone and not something.