Doris has been living at the sanctuary for about 4 weeks now.
She has a disability as her front legs are not straight. This places all of her weight on her knees. As she is an old girl, Doris has now also developed arthritis, which can make just walking around very painful when her two conditions act up together.
Doris, and her friend Ethel, have been mulesed, and even in their old age they carry the scars.
Merino breed sheep have been bred by the animal agriculture industry to have wrinkled skin. The additional skin that is produced by the wrinkles means that there are more wool strands per sheep, meaning sheep farmers make more money.
As sheep have also been bred by the industry to not shed their hair, like they normally would, it can get very messy around the back and fecal matter often gets trapped in the wrinkles that we gave them. Sometimes flies will then lay eggs in these folds which then produces a painful condition called fly strike.
To remedy this, Australian farmers cut the skin off the rump of their sheep with a knife. No painkillers or antiseptics are used in this process. The sheep are then let go with blood dripping from their hind quarters with a painful open wound.
All of these days are behind Doris, but what lays in front is a disability worsened by arthritis that we will need to manage carefully and closely. We want Doris to have the best possible last few years of her life as we work to keep her, as much as possible, mobile and pain free.
We welcome donations towards Doris’s care. Even better, Doris needs a sponsor who will stay with her through the next few years to the end of her life. Check our sponsorship information for more details.