Dandelion, a lamb at the Black Sheep Animal Sanctuary in Ōtaki Forks, Aotearoa (New Zealand), has completely recovered after her rescue over two years ago. Dandelion’s story began on a cold morning in September 2021, surrounded by the lifeless bodies of three other lambs. Rescuers at the sanctuary, when they were collecting some hay from a field, found her freezing and very weak, covered in birthing fluid. The team, uncertain if she would make it, swiftly secured colostrum, a vital milk produced by a mother within the first 24 hours of birth. 

The journey to recovery was arduous, but Dandelion defied the odds. From struggling to lift her head, she transformed into a spirited lamb, joyfully running around the sanctuary. The dedicated care and colostrum replacement played pivotal roles in her miraculous turnaround.

Dandelion’s bond with Cricket, another rescue at the sanctuary, added another layer to this tale of triumph. Their diet, initially reliant on milk, expanded to include hay and grass between bottle feeds. Both flourished in health, learning to walk and run, gaining strength day by day.

As time passed, the sanctuary shared Dandelion’s remarkable progress through social media. #TransformationTuesday showcased her evolution from a frail lamb barely able to gulp milk to a robust individual eagerly devouring entire bottles. On the 10th of June 2022, they posted the following on Instagram:

“#ThrowbackThursday! Dandelion and Cricket having some fun with one of our volunteers! These two are over a year old now and are still super playful and energetic. As they were hand-raised, they both love humans while also having a close friendship with each other. Dandelion and Cricket were born on farms and were both in very poor health when we rescued them. Seeing them grow big and strong and recover from their health challenges has been so incredible. We are grateful that they escaped a horrible fate and will get to live their entire lives in freedom”. In early 2023, the sanctuary newsletter showed a photo of Dandelion all grown up, checking out her new pasture. In March this year, Vegan FTA released a short video about Dandelion’s story. 

Jordi Casamitjana
“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.