Liza was born at our New York Shelter a mere eight hours after we rescued her mother, Julia, from a factory farm. A breeding sow, Julia had spent months nearly immobilized in a tiny gestation crate with no distraction or relief. As workers moved her from this torturous device to an equally cramped farrowing crate to give birth, they kicked her, beat her, burned her with an electrified prod, and dragged her by her ears. The trauma induced premature labor, and the health of the 16 piglets Julia bore at our shelter was fragile during their first days with us. Now, Liza and her siblings have grown into hardy, happy pigs. Playful and bold, Liza loves people and is best friends with her sister Maggie, leading her on adventures and sleeping by her side every night.
Richard and his friend Marlon were dumped at the New York Shelter in August 2015, a rare bit of luck for two birds who began life with the odds stacked heavily against them. The dumping of roosters has become alarmingly common as the popularity of backyard hobby flocks continue to grow. The chicks purchased for these flocks, whether from a catalog, a website, or a feed store, ultimately originate in giant industrial hatcheries. At such facilities, male chicks are typically "destroyed" at birth, since they won't grow up to produce eggs and are illegal in many areas. Richard was among the unknown number of male chicks who end up in shipments of females, either through worker error or because they are being used as living packing material to fill out a box. While these chicks escape immediate slaughter, further perils await them. Countless unwanted young roosters are "set free" to fend for themselves against traffic, predators, harsh weather and starvation. Others are dumped at municipal shelters or sanctuaries, inundating overtaxed facilities. Fortunately for Richard, he ended up at Farm Sanctuary and is safe at last! He is no longer in danger of being rejected because of what he isn't, Richard will henceforth be loved for who he is.