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.
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.
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.
Dale was rescued from Riverdale CA, where he was housed in a small pen. A family member of the farm called Farm Sanctuary and asked them to help her save his life. Less than a year old, he was found haltered and tied to a board in the ground when FS arrived. He was brought to a large animal vet hospital where he underwent treatment for Giardia and Salmonella. Since being separated from his mom as such a young baby, he has an oral fixation and likes to lick/suck on everything for it comforts him. He is learning his way here at Sage Mountain and Bradley continues to show him the ropes. He is such a sweet and playful boy.
The Golden Girls (Dorothy, Blanche, Rose and Sophia)
All 4 girls came from a family emergency where a few died from respiratory issues. These four individuals remained. Two of them arrived underweight and with mites but all are relatively happy and healthy. All are very social and curious. When we leave gate open, we often find them in with the pigs and sheep. Sophia will always be the first to greet you and enjoys watching us clean the coop. To learn more about the life of egg laying hens, click here.
Zoe, Amy, Lacey and Suzy
Zoe, Lacey, Amy and Suzy were all raised on this factory farm in Moroni, Utah. They arrived to the sanctuary at only 15 weeks old. Turkeys are slaughtered anywhere from 15-20 weeks old because they are bred to grow very big very quickly to maximize profit. This causes mobility problems so they often collapse under their own weight. Zoe and the others endured the pain of having part of their toes and beaks burned or cut off without anesthetics. This is done because thousands of individuals are so tightly packed together that out of frustration they could peck or fight each other to death. Their bodies are mutilated so now they can not protect themselves or even peck at the ground as they naturally would.
Since their arrival, Zoe, Amy, Lacey and Suzy have come such a long way. They greet anyone who comes by with their sweet sounds. They are getting used to the snow but definitely prefer the sun! They LOVE food but we have them on a regimented diet because of the way they were bred. They are becoming friends with Maggie and their neighbors, Ponyboy, Wilma J, Sammie, Jesse and Martin. Most of all, they are learning to trust humans in a way they have never been able to. The only time they saw humans were when they came through to pick up all the dead bodies of those who didn’t make it.
If you would like to donate towards the care of Zoe, Amy, Lacey and Suzy or the rest of the Sage Mountain family, you can do so here.
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.
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.
When Bradley was born his mom wasn’t able to take care of him. Being so young and not having a mother, he was lucky help came along the way in the form of the great kids at Discovery Ranch in Northern Utah. They fed him, gave him shelter, and cared for him while he got back to health and started growing into a young steer. In most situations steers are taken to the auction and sold off to other ranches or feed lots. After a few months to a year, they are then shipped off to slaughter and become a steak or hamburger. For some reason or another, the kids at the ranch became attached to Bradley and wanted a different fate. There were rumors of sending him to a ranch in Texas but those plans were scuttled when a horrible hurricane hit and the ranch was severely damaged and could no longer take him in. Winter was setting in and time was running out because the ranch was making plans for a new group of calves to come in and didn’t have room for him. However, the crew from Sage Mountain in Park City came to rescue him and take me to my forever home in January of 2018.
Derek was rescued from a cock fighting situation in California, hundreds of roosters were euthanized but a few were saved. Derek being one of them. He now gets to spend his days protecting Rose, Dorothy, Blanche and Sophia and perfecting his “looks.”
Gumdrops (Finn, Mabel, Betty, Baby and Eve)
All 5 girls were born on a factory farm and at only 6 weeks old were left in crates, along with 60,000 other chickens, on the sidewalks of New York as part of a religious ritual known as Kaporos. While in these crates, they do not have access to food or water for up to a week before they are slaughtered. 60 babies were rescued and we are so lucky to give 5 of them a forever home here at the sanctuary. They are still babies but because they are bred to grow very big, very quickly they are often prone to mobility issues, foot infections, heart attacks and strokes. When they first arrived, they could hardly walk without collapsing under their own weight. Baby and Eve still have a little trouble but since being on a strict diet along with more room to roam around, they are getting stronger every day. We are in the process of building them a coop of their very own!
This sweet boy has a remarkable rescue story involving 2 amazing Park City locals. 2 Avalanche forecasters, Lara Kendall and “Cowboy” were in the backcountry and came across an abandoned young lamb. It took an amazing effort to get him off the mountain safely but they did it and brought him back to their home. Rosie the lamb now lives at the sanctuary. He is already rather smitten with Sammie, Jesse and Martin.