Sheepy’s second chance on a new family farm

Sheepy’s second chance on a new family farm

By Mike Renzella

The Haldimand Press

HAGERSVILLE—When Brenda Thompson, President and CEO of Whispering Hearts Horse Rescue (WHHR), first laid eyes on Sheepy, a five-year-old female sheep removed from a Selkirk-area farm earlier this year due to unsafe, inhumane conditions, she wasn’t sure the animal would survive given the state she was in.

Thompson called the farm “probably the most horrific case” she’s seen in her time running WHHR: “It was a really, really severe cruelty case.”

According to her, 20 chickens, three market calves, and Sheepy were removed from the site, and multiple dead animals were located on the grounds at the time of the removal.

While lucky to be alive, Sheepy “needed a surgery to remove a big, large mass growing underneath her from her teats.”

After a successful surgery and several months later, Sheepy has rebounded and is thriving under WHHR’s care, leaving her with one last need: to find a forever home.

That’s where Emilia and Wesley Therrien, owners of Barn Angels Composting, a Halton Hills-based service that specializes in composting pet remains, come into the story. 

Emilia first met Sheepy during a visit earlier this year and fell in love with her tenacious spirit. At the time, she was considering options for a new family pet that her 3-year-old twin daughters, Pearl and Ruby, could help take care of. Sheepy fit the bill perfectly.

Emilia already had a strong business relationship with WHHR thanks to “the green aspect of our company, really trying to reduce greenhouse gasses … that are caused by other end-of-life sources…. We decided to work together, it’s been like a match made in heaven ever since.”

HAGERSVILLE—The Therrien family will be giving Sheepy a new life on their family farm, just in time for Christmas. —Submitted photo.

Emilia has only good things to say about the work done by WHHR, noting, “They come in so bad, they come in terrible. A little while later, I can’t even believe they’re the same animals. It’s amazing having a voice for them.”

She recalled her first impressions of Sheepy: “She was having a rough time with all of these tumours all over her. She was in really rough shape when I saw her. I said, ‘If she makes it, I would love to take her on at our family farm’.”

“Sheep don’t do well under any kind of anesthetic,” noted Emilia on her concerns for the surgery. “Once I heard she was out of her surgery and everything was good, we were all really excited.”

Emilia didn’t mince words on her feelings about the Selkirk farm Sheepy was saved from, feeling incredulous that something like that could happen so close to home, adding, “It’s really disheartening, especially for the animal community, because there are a lot of us that do love our animals and take good care of them.”

As for why she made the unconventional choice in a new family pet, she said, “I didn’t want to support a bad breeder or anything. Rescuing from a place I 100 % believe in just made sense to us, you know?”

Sheepy may not know it yet, but a whole new life filled with love awaits her at the Therrien farm. 

“Sheepy will have a senior pony as her companion, who’s actually pushing the miniature size. He just gets beat up out there with the bigger horses. I really think him and Sheepy will get along really well; he’s very docile,” explained Emilia. “Sheepy will be the boss. They’ll have a nice, big pasture with two acres of ground and a nice stall to come into at night, whatever they want.”

While twins Pearl and Ruby have met Sheepy (spoiler, they already love her), they do not yet know that she is coming home to be their new pet, a surprise addition sure to brighten their holiday season. 

With so much to worry about this Christmas, it is heartening to know that true goodness still exists so purely in our community.

Sheepy could have been just another statistic, another animal lost to cruelty. Instead, she will live on and enjoy a second chance at a life far beyond the inhumane conditions she was rescued from. 

We wish the team at WHHR, the Therrien family, and Sheepy herself all the best this holiday season.