Refuge as (un)happy as pigs in mud
They should be as happy as pigs in mud, instead they are drowning in it.
An animal refuge in taki is facing a ‘‘mud crisis’’ that is jeopardising the health of their animals.
Heavy rain has caused many of the sanctuary’s 26-acres to turn into an uninhabitable boggy pit, co-manager Coces Vehreschild said.
The sanctuary has begun taking in spring lambs but the mud crisis has forced them to undertake their biggest fundraiser ever in the hopes of ending the crisis for good.
The Black Sheep Animal Sanctuary is a farm about an hour north of Wellington that provides a space to rehabilitate and rehome abused, injured and neglected animals.
Unusually heavy rain and stock trampling has caused the worst mud the sanctuary has seen in its seven-year history.
Horrace and Doris are two of the sanctuary’s 350kg pigs who have accidentally been contributing to the problem, Vehreschild said.
The heavy animals have been churning up the wet ground.
‘‘The mud is deeper than our gumboots. This is like everlasting mud.’’
What the pigs started has also begun to affect the sanctuary’s resident goats - who are used to drier conditions, and are now requiring zinc baths to prevent foot rot.
Of the sanctuary’s 200 animals, 11 pigs and 17 goats are at risk of foot rot, Vehreschild said.
‘‘When we get new volunteers they can’t even feed the animals. You just have people saying, ‘can someone get me out of the mud’.’’
Much of the country, including Paraparaumu has experienced more rain over the past nine months than is typical across an entire year.
For farmers it has made spring time a constant battle to protect paddocks from stock trampling.
The volunteers at the sanctuary have been trying to resolve the problem by rotating feeding stations and digging trenches for drainage.
But the problem has became so large that drastic action was needed, Vehreschild said.
The sanctuary is entirely funded through the Opportunities for Animals shops.
They have raised about $5000 but will need $6500 to cover the cost of a digger and truck that are being hired to remove the mud, drain water from the pig paddocks, add gravel and create better drainage on the property.
‘‘It is a long term solution, so we are really excited.’’
The work will take several days to complete and is due to begin in the first week of November, weather permitting.
Contact The Black Sheep Animal SanctuaryO¯ taki to donate, or to adopt an animal.
From left: Manon Gren, Anatole Radi, Malin Anderson and Coces Vehreschild with, from left, Enzo, cockatoo Casper, Winky the lamb and Larry the pig.