As the days went by, I climbed down the cliffs several times taking her food and water. She had difficulty getting up, standing, and would only take a few very shaky steps before falling over again. I contacted the farmer several times and he told me that she was just exhausted and would soon regain her strength and be able to climb up the steep grassy slope to safety.
After 10 days, however, she still hadn't done that and I was very worried about her. I shared her story on Facebook. One of the lovely people who responded was Louise Yule who runs the Halfpenny-Farm Animal Sanctuary. Louise commented that it didn't look like Elise would be able to get up that cliff by herself, in fact, she was in need of urgent medical attention to save her life.
After a few stressful conversations with the farmer, he agreed to sell Elise to Halfpenny-Farm for £50. She was now ours to save. We just had to figure out how to do it! It was going to take skilled professionals with the right gear to get Elise up that cliff.
The Coast-Guard refused to help. The Fire Brigade ignored us. Finally, Louise's husband Mike found two off-duty volunteers from Aberdeen Mountain Rescue who performed a stunning rescue that lifted Elise to safety.
She was whisked straight to the vet where x-rays revealed a broken pelvis. Her back leg was strapped in a sling to stop it moving to allow her hip to stabilise so that the bones can have a chance to heal.
On pain meds, antibiotics and a pro-rumen injection, Elise arrived at Halfpenny. There she received her own comfortable pen where she will need to rest for 12 weeks. At night, the other sheep come in the barn around her so she can see, hear and be comforted by the smells of her own kind.
Louise managed to get Elise eating. She loves hay, fresh grass and dock leaves!
The question now is whether her hip will heal without a surgery. If she has a surgery, what will her recovery be like? Will she be in so much pain that her life ceases to be worth living?
We are currently waiting 2 more weeks and then she will have more x-rays to see how her hip is healing. If it is not healing, a femoral head excision surgery can be performed (cost $2050), although the vet is not sure how successful it will be because of Elise's weight.
Here's the reality of the matter. Vets are inexperienced and uncertain in the area of surgery on farmed animals because it almost never happens. Very sick or injured farmed animals are typically killed. They are not worth the time or money to investigate. Move on.
Elise is a victim of a system that views farmed animals as mere commodities - when the packaging or contents are damaged, they are destroyed.
Anyone who has met Elise knows one thing for sure: she wants to live. She wants to live as much as you and I.
After having a catch-up with Elise yesterday, I wandered around Halfpenny-Farm Animal Sanctuary and saw the amazing work Louise and Mike are doing. Work that very, very few people in the world would even consider. Sheep, pigs, horses, donkeys, ducks, gees, hens, doves, hamsters, dogs and many more have found their loving, forever homes here.
This crowd funder is to cover the costs already spent on Elise's care, her potential surgery, and also the huge, everyday costs of running a sanctuary for old, ill, and behaviourally challenged animals.
Thank you for Saving Elise.