Put aside thoughts of the three french hens from the song “The 12 Days of Christmas” and consider the 60 pigeons, 25 ducks, five goats, two cattle and 14 sheep in upstate New York instead.
Those are the 106 animals that now have a wonderful life, thanks to the efforts of the staff at Lollypop Farm, Humane Society of Greater Rochester in Fairport, New York. They were among the 1,000 neglected animals removed earlier this year from a Westport, Massachusetts, farm that animal welfare officials said was the worst case of animal abuse ever found in the Northeast, according to the Boston Globe.
“These cases are tragic for everyone involved,” said Joanna Dychton, the farm & safety manager at Lollypop Farm. “It’s sad to know these animals were living in such bad conditions, but [the animals, specifically two sheep named] Conrad and Ladybug remind us that this isn’t the end of the story for the animals coming out of the Westport hoarding case.”
The animals were so badly neglected that their rescuers and caregivers did not know they were pregnant until they gave birth. On Nov. 27, one of the rescued sheep, Constellation, gave birth to her baby Conrad. Lollypop Farm staff and their many fans were thrilled to welcome a new member of the family, especially out of such sad beginnings.
So imagine their glee when on the second day of December, Lollypop Farm caregivers found Scorpio, who was also rescued from Westport, had given birth to a little lamb they named Ladybug.
Both the new moms and their babies are thriving at Lollypop as they wait for families to adopt them. People adopt sheep for their wool and also to maintain large grounds, said Dychton.
“Sheep can make wonderful pets for a lot of reasons. Sheep can be shy, but usually have very sweet personalities,” she said. “But probably the best reason a person will adopt one or more of these sheep is that they’ll be giving them a second chance at a home where they will be safe, happy and loved.”
Ashley Zeh, a Lollypop Farm spokesperson, said the births of Conrad and Ladybug underscore that positives can come out of tragic situations.
“These births show that the Westport story didn’t end with hoarding and abuse,” she said. “These [rescued] sheep gave birth to other sheep that will live happy, healthy lives.”
And, of course, continue to spread joy to humans, too.