Most people don't know that every year thousands of mules and horses are shipped to Mexico and Canada to be slaughtered. A good majority of these animals were once used by the Amish to plow fields or pull buggies until they were no longer able to perform their job. They are then discarded at an auction. If they are not bought by someone at the auction then they are most likely going to be purchased by someone called a kill buyer. They are then transported to the "kill pen" where sometimes there is an attempt to find a buyer or the animal is shipped off to be slaughtered.
Now my experience and research into this is limited but it is more than the average citizen who has no idea this happens. The problem in my opinion isn't necessarily the kill pen, it's the extremely poor treatment of our beloved mules and horses that lead them to ending up at the kill pen. They are merely seen as equipment that when it no longer works is simply thrown away.
We absolutely adore our mule Annie and for a while now have been looking for another. Mules are fairly difficult to come by in Connecticut and New England so the search had been difficult. We were led to finding Patriot on the Facebook page of a kill pen in Pennsylvania on a Wednesday and he needed to be saved by Friday. This put us in contact with Penny Parker from Horse Angels, a horse rescue in Pa. Penny facilitated getting Patriot for us. The next day Penny went to the kill pen to pick up Patriot for us. While she was there she found another draft mule there, this was Honor. Honor was in poor condition as he was staying away from the other horses and he appeared to be about 300 lbs underweight. The kill pen had not posted about him on Facebook so if we didn't step in he surely would have shipped to Mexico. So with that Penny picked up two mules for us.
As soon as Honor and Patriot arrived at the farm we fell in love with them. Despite the mistreatment and abuse they experienced at the hands of humans they still seemed to trust us. Our farrier came out immediately that evening to give them a hoof trim. We found that Patriot has some fairly substantial hoof issues and is being treated daily. Honor has thrush in his rear hooves and we have a feed plan to put weight back on him. They may have been discarded but all they will experience is love for the rest of their lives.
We never anticipated we would be bringing home two rescue draft mules but we couldn't let them go to slaughter. We have had many people who visit the farm and learn about Honor and Patriots story and they want to help. We are planning future fundraisers for them to help pay for medical bills, frequent hoof trims and treatment, dental care, hay costs and a suitable shelter to house them. In the meantime we have created wish list on Amazon and at Tractor Supply. If you would like to make a monetary donation you can scan our Venmo QR code below, send a check or stop by the farm when we are open. Thanks for everyones help, we truly appreciate it and so will Honor and Patriot!
Kane has his own fan club! As adorable as he is Kane had a very traumatic puppyhood. When Kane was just a very young puppy he was attacked by an adult dog while still at the "breeders" home. He suffered two broken legs and was not able to walk. He was brought to the emergency veterinarian where his owner didn't make the decision to fix him but decided to euthanize Kane. Luckily for all of us a rescue stepped in and saved him. This is where his happy ending should begin right?
In 2018 officials found five dead dogs inside the apartment of the leader of the non profit rescue that saved Kane. Kane fortunately was one of the survivors. We can only imagine what those other dogs and Kane endured in that apartment. Kane's front legs were also never fixed properly. He gets around fine now but as he ages he will probably have arthritis.
Kane was eventually placed in our care as a foster but after only a few days we knew he would never leave us. Kane's fan frequently visit the farm and he makes his public appearances.
Relaxing out on the town
Overlooking his new farm
What's one more dog when you already have five. This year while at the Catherine Violet Hubbard Butterfly Party in Newtown a little rescue puppy caught Tamra's eye. She was sending me photos and videos all day of them. Despite me ignoring those texts when I arrived at the event to help her pack up she was missing from our area. After walking around I found her at the dog rescue tent filling out an application.
For a while I have thought that having a livestock guardian dog with our goats would be a great security feature. It just so happens that this puppy appears to be a Great Pyrenees and possibly Anatolian Shepherd cross. So needless to say Paladin joined our family that week. Paladin was definitely neglected nutritionally and also had a bad case of mange. He is underweight and we are working on putting good weight on him and feed him three meals a day.
He has been an awesome addition with an amazing personality. We have exposed him to most of the animals so far at the farm and we hope one day he can have a job at the farm living his best life protecting his livestock.