Today 160 rescued ducks, geese, turkeys and chickens are awakening to sunshine, clean bedding and grass under their feet. And for some of these birds saved from a hoarder, they are also having their very first swim! More than a million people have now watched this incredible footage of the duck’s debut on the pond.
“Initially, we tried working with their owner towards an amicable surrender, pleading with her to consider the quality of life for the birds and we used many of our own resources to help provide a cleaner environment for them,” explains Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary co-Founder Doug Abel. “The hoarder’s initial intentions were good and her love for the animals apparent, but she neglected to see how their overcrowding, over-breeding, lack of shelter and space and filthy conditions were hurting them. She also continued to buy chicks and ducklings online and mail ordered to her.”
Ultimately, when negotiations failed, Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary called in the Ulster County SPCA and the two got a judge’s warrant to seize the birds. The survivors were suffering from widespread malnutrition and frostbite and had been living in small sheds and animal carriers, caked with excrement and the stench of ammonia. For the very first time all of their health issues are being addressed and they are receiving nutritional supplements, quality food and vitamins daily in their water.
But perhaps the most exciting moment in all this came when the flock of ducks were released onto a pond, one by one, and they had their very first swim to get acquainted with the sheer essence of being a duck.
Hilary Jackson is caring for many of the birds in an offsite location.
“All the ducks were scared of us in the beginning and unsure,” Hilary explains. “But that quickly changed. For example, we have one named Snax who knows the daily routine and is always the first one at the gate when I arrive with food and she almost eats it out of my hand. She has a little posse that now accompanies her on this mission.”
“And, given that none of the ducks were acquainted with water, it is wonderful to see a duck named Squeaks standing by the wading pools while I fill them,” Hilary continues. “Squeaks can’t wait to be the first one in the pool!”
Story brought to you by The Great Animal Rescue Chase tournament of heroes.