Mother’s day is coming up very soon, and as we celebrate our mothers on this very special day, let us also take a moment to remember the animal mothers who live right amongst us. To get you started, we would like to share with you the stories of three unique individuals who are mothers of course, but who are often lost on the world. So today, we are shining the spotlight on them.
Almost 5 years of age, Luna gets all excited about food and her fluffy bed. A sign that she is slowly but surely leaving behind the life she lived as a breeding dog.
Luna was put up for adoption by a breeder at Sungei Tengah for whom she was made to produce several litters of puppies for several years. When her adopter Rebecca Cappelli met her in the viewing room at the breeder’s, Luna was the only one up for adoption, all the other dogs - poodles, corgis, samoyeds etc - were put up for sale for several thousands of dollars each.
Luna was shaven, bloated, had some patches of red skin, a cut in one of her ear and what looked like broken bones on her nose. Never mind that Luna was not sterilised, not trained, not as ‘nice to look at’ or that she could potentially even have health issues. These were non-issues given that euthanasia was looming over Luna if she wasn't adopted. So Luna was promptly whisked away from the breeding facility that was filled with the barks and cries of numerous other dogs.
Luna is now slowly learning to put her past behind her. Having never been out her whole life, the outside world is very overwhelming for her. Her family’s small garden however makes her incredibly happy and she is slowly being introduced to walking outside. She still crouches when someone comes close to her, but she is learning to relax more every day. This is perfectly understandable as she spent 5 traumatic years at the hands of people who kept her for the profit she would bring in. All that however is thankfully behind her.
Having never been able to be a mother to the numerous litter of puppies she gave birth to at the breeder’s, Luna serves as a reminder for us to spare a thought to the animals who are living in the shadows of the puppies (and kittens) we see in stores today.
Meet Mrs JersRescued from a dairy farm in 2017 while being pregnant, Mrs Jers now is a happy resident at Possum Valley Animal Sanctuary, Australia (PVAS).
She gave birth to her calf, Daisy at the sanctuary and unlike her other calfs who were forcibly separated from her right after birth, no one was taking Daisy away from her. Daisy is for Mrs Jers to care and dote on for the rest of her amazing life.
This is something she is very clear about as despite Daisy being 3 years of age and almost twice the size of Mrs Jers, she still cleans Daisy’s face every morning. Daisy for her part, still suckles her momma.
The past of Mrs Jers jolts one into remembering the notorious dairy industry, known for its reputation to meddle excessively with the maternal instincts of cows. Stories of calfs being taken away from distraught mothers either to be sent for slaughter or to become dairy cows themselves are sickeningly commonplace in the dairy industry.
It is a relief to witness the duo escape the grasp of the cruel industry and instead spend their days snuggled next to each other, enjoying the sunshine and snacking on hay.
An ex-battery hen, a typical day in the life of Marsha (also a proud resident of PVAS) includes activities she loves doing the most like dust-bathing, chatting with her friends and posing for cameras. Some time back though she was forced into a life that can only be described as misery.
Confined to a cage that barely had space to move around in, all she did then was lay eggs. Having had her body be genetically manipulated by humans, she was laying 30x more eggs than normal hens on a daily basis.
This unnatural process naturally will take a toll on the health of hens like Marsha, ultimately affecting their egg producing capacity. Had she not been rescued, she would have been sent to slaughter when she was deemed to not lay enough eggs to cater to the demands. This typically happens at around 18 months of age and hens naturally have a lifespan of up to 12 years.
Even though Marsha has escaped the industry, the good life would probably be too short. Health issues continue to plague Marsha and her friends and they often have to be treated for egg laying complications - a result of the genetic manipulation of her body by humans. What should have been a process that would give Marsha the ability to nurture and care for her young has become the very the reason why hens like her are often gone too soon and too young.
Regardless, there is some consolation that she is living the best life she could with what time she might have left.
All mothers love their children, not just human mothers and if nothing else, for this reason alone, let their stories not be in vain. If you have the capacity to make a change that will lead individuals like them to live a life filled with love, instead of misery, we hope you will make that change because just like us, they deserve the freedom to live and love too.
All said and done, there is much to ponder and reflect on regarding our relationships with the very animals whose stories we have shared. So we will leave you with this question of the day: Are we able to approach life better for the sake of the animals with whom we share this one planet with?