Baby came to us close to 15 years ago as a wee baby who immediately became best friends with Chucky, Diane's horse who was rescued from being sold for meat. For 12 years they were always together and Baby was the one who opened the gate, or just found a way to get them Into trouble. When Chucky passed, Baby took a few years to find a close friend but she did so with Betty Big Nose, a potbelly/feral cross pig. Baby is the godmother to all our new rescues and demonstrates a kindness and calmness that makes everyone immediately at home, no matter what the species.
Percy and Betty
Before we became a rescue, we had our first potbelly pig, Percy, living in our living room for almost 9 years. Like most animal lovers, we did not associate Percy with bacon or ham. Then, one day, we made the connection and meat was off our menu. Percy is now the ripe old age of 13, and this summer he decided he wanted to be a farm pig and moved out of the house and into the barn! He has made himself a wonderful bed of hay out in the back barn and every morning and evening meets me half way to the house, looking for his breakfast and dinner.
Betty Big Nose was our first outside pig. She is about 5 years young and has been with us for almost 4 years. Betty is a feral cross, very shy but loves belly rubs from our visitors. She is also best friends with Baby our donkey and Lucy our pink pig.
Betty was surrendered to us by a previous owner who no longer could take care of her. We immediately thought about our donkey Baby, who had lost her beloved partner about a year ago, it would be a perfect match if they got along. As soon as Betty Big Nose arrived, she set off exploring and never gave her old home another thought. Baby and Betty got to know each other through the fence for a couple of days and once we opened the gate the two of them were immediately best friends and Baby was happy for the first time in a year since she had lost her other companion. You will barely see them separated, by each others side all day and night, wether it be out in the field or in the stall, Baby stands guard over Betty, best friends for life!
We rescued our first male dairy calf Desi at a week old, destined to be a veal calf and never touch or meet another animal until he would go to slaughter. We learned a lot in a short time about bottle feeding and how to properly care for a bull, but it was the start of such a love affair. Desi had the most amazing personality and loved human contact. Baby, our donkey fell in love with him over the stall door, just as quickly as we did. We rescued Lucy, our pink pig, also from slaughter, a week later and the two instantaneously bonded and became best friends. It was amazing to observe how gentle the big calf was with the tiny piglet! When Desi was a year old we rescued another two male dairy calves, Sparky and Scooter, also from slaughter, to join Desi, who has become a proud uncle to them.
Our 3 bulls have been professionally castrated under full anesthetic by a veterinarian and are now steers, at the same time when they were under anesthetic for their castrating procedure, they were also surgically disbudded to prevent them from growing horns for the safety of all our other family members at the Happy Herd.
One week old and a huge personality! She immediately became best friends with Desi, a 2 week old Jersey male who was destined for a veal crate and death by 3 months. Lucy is now around 250 lbs of pure delight! Smart and always on the search for belly rubs!
Scooter and Sparky
Imagine being only 1 day old and taken from your mother. Scooter and his friend Sparky were rescued from the dairy industry, they are considered an unwanted by-product, since they don't produce milk. We aren't sure Scooter even got his mom's colostrum, which is vital to a calves future health and immune protection. He developed pneumonia immediately and it became a long 3 months of love, care and constant medical attention until we could say that he would survive. He doesn’t play as much because his lungs still carry scar tissues from the illness, but he is growing into a beautiful and friendly steer (all of our male calves were surgically castrated and disbudded under full anesthetic by a local veterinarian). Sparky and Scooter love the attention they get from our visitors and enjoy each others company rotating on various paddocks grazing all day long.
Found wandering a block away, Chick had escaped from the massive chicken barns. Silkies are prized in the orient for their black skin and bones. His future would have been crammed into small cages and shipped to slaughter. Chicabowwow moved into our house and slept on the back of the chair at night and joined the chickens outside during the day. When we had a newly hatched chick without a hen, Chicabowwow adopted and raised the chick by himself, he was a proud dad. A couple of weeks later, Chicabowwow grew into a handsome rooster! Now he lives in the coop with 15 girl hens!
Norman & Patty
Norman and Patty were also both destined to be sold for their meat.Norman is the black lamb/sheep, just a few days old and Patty is the white goat.
Patty was only skin and bones, she looked worn, absolutely used to the max, her bloated belly gave away that she must have had to give birth to many offsprings and was no more use to the farmer.
In a situation of absolute despair these two found each other and were each others only hope and source of protection, love and unity. Petrified, torn from their original owners, left to a destiny almost guaranteed to end with their premature brutal deaths, they would never know human love, care or protection.
Patty would guard Norman with her life, although she had nothing more to give. Possibly the only moment in her life she was ever left with a young animal for her to protect, most likely all her offsprings were removed from her almost immediately after birth. Norman was the only and last chance, to be protect by her and live out her motherly instincts, even for just a few hours. She has the face and love of an angel. Nobody could have looked the other way or not rescued them from the awful, cold, heartless situation of being disposed for their bodies.
Bottle feeding Norman at first was a bit of a challenge but he soon learned and is now eating like a champ. Patty is also slowly realizing that we are here to help and protect the both of them, something she has never felt in her life from a human before. We are trying to not overwhelm her, getting her to put on weight slowly and give her all the love, care and medical attention she needs to become strong and live out her natural life at The Happy Herd with Norman and the rest of our family!
Petrie was found wandering around West Vancouver until someone kindly brought him to the SPCA. When they couldn’t locate his home, an employee and volunteer brought him to The Happy Herd and we adopted him into our family! Petrie loves to hang out on visitors shoulders, he may give you a loving peck too.
Big Daddy, Blue and Toodles
Big Daddy is our resident Muscovy male. He can be found most mornings sitting on the deck railing waiting for his piece of stale bread, and the occasional pet. He loves to go on dates with our female ducks, waddling the grounds with a lady by his side, he is a real charmer.
Blue is our pretty little female duck with gentle blue eyes. She spends most of the time walking around with Big Daddy.
Jewels is Blue's mom and most recently the mother of 7 new ducklings. All of our ducks can come and go as they please, they are very good at hiding their nests from predators and us and just like wild ducks, each year we have a few new ducklings at The Happy Herd, unfortunately not all of them make it or some choose to leave!
Toodles is our white call duck, she was found at the city dump trapped between two boxes. She was brought to us from the Humane Society by a volunteer. Toodles is still very shy, she spent most of her first few months bonding with the wild ducks who visit us year after year at our pond. Lately she has settled in and enjoys swimming with the new ducklings or joins Blue and Big Daddy on their daily walks.
Stewie, Popcorn and the girls
Before we moved to our current Happy Herd location, before we became vegans and before we started a sanctuary, we wanted to have our own chickens for eggs. We didn’t want to buy baby chicks but rather rescue chickens from slaughter, that still laid eggs but were no longer profitable to farmers, therefore being sent to slaughter. That was all before we realized we do not need to eat animal products. We were new to the whole rescuing farm animals and knew that chickens wouldn’t be voluntarily given to us, even if they had little value to farmers. So we rescued the ones destined for slaughter by going to the auction or finding chickens on craigslist.
As the idea of the sanctuary grew, we got involved with chicken rescue through one of our first volunteers, Jane. We rescued the white, leghorn chickens, directly from the factory farms on their way to slaughter. These chickens were confined their entire lives, their feet never touched ground and their bodies never felt sunlight. As we unloaded each chicken, we had to cut their overgrown toe nails, just so they could stand. It was like a miracle watching them come out of their coop, one brave soul at a time. It was a very emotional moment watching them find a piece of earth to take their very first dust bath, or just lie and spread their almost naked wings to let the sun warm their worn bodies. We have done 3 rescues with Jane so far, and have given these wonderful souls a place to live out their lives.
Stewie is our gentle giant rooster, rescued at 1 year old just before someone wanted to send him off to be slaughtered for his meat. He gets along with everybody, a true pacifist. He loves his girls and struts his stuff all over The Happy Herd!
Mowat, Finnegan, Farley & Casey
Mowat & Farley
Male goats are just as worthless to the goat milk industry as male cows are to the dairy industry, they would have been sold for their meat just under 1 week of age. They are considered a by product because they don’t produce milk and need a lot of commitment, time and money to be bottle fed 4 - 5 times a day until they can be weaned. We rescued two of them from a farmer who was going to send them to be slaughtered. These little kids lived in our bathroom so we could keep up with their feeding schedule and keep an eye on their health. We let them out several times a day to go to the bathroom until they were strong and old enough to be introduced to Finnegan and Casey after 3 months. Walker our dog protected them each time they went outside, he knew they were babies and needed to be watched over.
Finnigan became the first goat to arrive at the Happy Herd. His partner was Casey, a young female lamb. Finn was not well and we quickly treated him for worms and a serious cough. Not knowing his history,we did all we could but he still has a slight cough but otherwise is healthy and full of spunk.
Casey arrived with Finn and had more fear in her eyes than any animal to date. It took over a month before she would approach us and another month before going near a volunteer. She has the most beautiful kind face and desperately wants to join in the fun, but slowly, at her pace.She turns out to be a Barbados lamb and they shed their wool!
Walker & Rocky
Our first dog Alfie, a rescue from a U.S. Human Society, was getting on in years and we decided it was time to find him a companion and give another dog a loving home, so we started looking for a rescue. Stephen had a wish to rescue a bulldog and one day there was a beautiful girl up for adoption at the U.S. Humane Society. We drove down to do a test walk, to make sure the two dogs got along. Well, Alfie didn't like her, wouldn't look at her and we knew she wasn't right for our family. We test walked a few other rescue dogs until we found Walker, immediately Alfie walked beside him, protected him from a scary fire hydrant, and wagged his tail. Two years later Alfie passed from a massive tumour and left behind Walker, his chosen replacement!
A year later we moved to our current Happy Herd location and noticed Walker was getting lonely. As most rescues happen, we came across puppies from a rescue foundation that needed new homes. At the rescue centre we saw kids playing overly excited with a puppy who was very scared and as soon as the kids put him down we picked him up and he immediately calmed down and felt safe, it was clear we had to rescue him. At the same time we were a bit worried how Walker would get along with this little Chihuahua. As soon as Walker met Rocky they immediately started to play with each other and they bonded as friends, we couldn’t have been more happy!
Monkey (Mr. Monk), Molly & Cosmo
Monkey, aka Mr. Monk is a big fluff ball and prefers small groups, he demands petting time every morning and evening. He was left at a vet clinic and no one would adopt him, so we brought him home to The Happy Herd.
Molly is our old lady cat. She came to us from Steve's sister and is around 17 years young. Molly is very independent, like most cats, she prefers to explore on her own but loves when we have visitors who heap a lot of attention on this pretty orange matron.
Cosmo was a surprise kitten from a cat we rescued from the side of the highway. Her mum was pretty feral as were her brothers and sisters, they were all spayed/neutered and found a wonderful new home in an equestrian center where they still reside.