Since the founding of Sunrise Sanctuary in 2001, we have lost many dear friends who have crossed the rainbow bridge. They may be gone from this earth, but will forever live in our hearts and continue to inspire all who knew them to keep fighting to save every precious soul they can. We are so lucky to have every member of the Sunrise family in our lives and to those who are no longer here, thank you for the joy you brought. Until we meet again. Some of our precious friends who are gone, but never forgotten are shown below.
We’re thinking Woody must have been part cat, surely he had 9 lives. He was an owner surrender many years ago and survived a bad accident that left him with only one horn. To this day, we are not sure what happened to him, we suspect we was roughhousing with our ram and their horns locked. OSU came out and performed emergency surgery on Woody, saving his life. You could always expect Woody to follow you around the farm and introduce you to everyone else (at least that’s what he thought he was doing) when you came for a visit. He always made sure to station himself at the back gate during events and Open Barn Days to make sure no one was able to miss loving on him. We know he is at the pearly gates greeting all who come.
We lost our sweet Baby in 2021. Baby was an owner surrender. He was only 9 months old when he came to Sunrise. Baby was a friendly pig, but could be a bit of a nipper. He’s wasn’t particularly fast, but would grab your shoes or ankles if given the chance. I always say, he’s was just a grouchy old man. Baby ruled “his” barn, but allowed the turkeys, ducks and chickens to live with him. We miss Baby so much.
Roscoe was such a sweet, funny boy! He always hung around with all new arrivals to make sure they feel welcome and find their way around. He also was notorious for paying very close attention to new people too! So, when you came to Sunrise and thought you were being followed, you were! We miss his loving spirit and sweet personality. The farm is not the same without sweet Roscoe, he is gone from this earth, but will be forever in our hearts.
Dog came to us from another sanctuary that shut its doors due to lack of funding in 2006. Dog gets his name because he is so friendly he’ll follow you around like a dog, except when he was with the other sheep then he had to follow the herd or ruin his reputation with them. Sheep fall into peer pressure just like humans. Dog was such a loving boy and sweet soul, we miss him terribly.
Robert came to us in 2016 as the product of a divorce. He was in a home where he was the only sheep among horses. He had no problem fitting in here, though he tended to be found with the horses more than the sheep. I don’t think anyone let him know he’s not a horse and we didn’t have to heart to tell him either. Robert was ten years old and it’s obvious he has been raised with a lot of love and affection. Sadly, Robert had severe arthritis and his joints just could not support him any longer. He is now running free in sheepie heaven and in no pain.
Bo, Luke and Daisy
Bo, Luke, and Daisy came to Sunrise in 2006. Like Shilo, they were from an neglect case. Luke and Daisy were Corriedale sheep and Bo was a Horned Dorsett. They spent much of their time together, but loved all their sheep siblings and enjoyed the company of visitors as well. We lost Daisy in 2020 and Bo and Luke in 2021. These three great friends are together again. They took a piece of us with them when they left, but we are so grateful to have had them in our lives. Run free sweet babies.
Several sheep came to us many years ago as part of an neglect case. Shilo was in that group. Shilo (aka Shy) is a little cautious with people and probably always will be. She is a precious soul and such a graceful older lady. She passed in 2020 at 15 years old, which was pretty old for a sheep. She enjoyed lounging around the farm, grazing, and taking long naps. She would always greet you from a distance as she was our shy little old lady. She often stuck with the Llama’s when visitors were around, they were her body guards. She was a little girl, but her absence leaves a big hole.
Ping (stealing corn from the picnic table) was rescued by an 8 year-old girl, it was her birthday wish to save a pig. The girl had been raised vegan and pigs were her favorite animal, thus her wish to save one. Ping was saved from a hog farm here in Ohio, where she would have been slaughtered or lived life in one of those awful gestation crates. Those crates only measure 6.6 ft by 2 ft. There is no bedding. The floors of the crates are made of concrete with slats to allow waste to be collected below. When Ping came to Sunrise it was the first time she had ever been outside. Even as a piglet she was housed in “cupboards” with each door housing a different age piglet. Ping adjusted and learned to love being a pig and enjoying life. Her favorite pastime was making and lying in mudholes. We lost our precious girl in 2020.
Poncho was rescued from someone who was going to take a pig into 4H and decided against it. They got Poncho and Lefty (the piglet that came with him) from a hog farm. When we picked up Poncho he was a runt and very small, but within a few weeks he was bigger than Lefty. Though Poncho grew quickly, he had his share of issues due to having been born on a factory farm. His issues included an abscess from sharing needles rather than changing them between piglets and a bacterial infection from the inhumane and unsanitary way he was castrated. He was a happy and healthy piggy. We lost Poncho the summer of 2020, he had a short, but wonderful life at Sunrise.
We lost our beloved Wesley in 2020. He spent a wonderful and happy 11 years with us and touched many hearts along the way. Wesley was rescued as an 8 week old calf. His life had been spent tied to a 10 foot rope, his home was a doghouse, and he was starving… on purpose. He was so weak that his legs shook terribly trying to hold up his body. He was intended to be veal. Veal calves are purposely starved and restrained from any movement. Mindy, the owner of Sunrise, talked the farmer into selling Wesley. We loved Wesley so much and are so thankful that he was here with us at Sunrise where he never went hungry and could roam free! Wesley had a sweet, gentle demeanor and a wise old soul. He was the peacekeeper at Sunrise! He got along with everyone! His best friend was Chance the pitbull, they were best buds since Wes was a tiny little calf. Wesley will be forever missed and will always be hard to gaze out at the pasture and not see him looking back. Run free sweet boy, you were loved.
Baby Nathan is the only known rescued pig of the Xenia semi wreck in early June of 2015. The tractor trailer was hauling 2,200, 10-day old piglets. The piglets were on their way to a “nursery” to learn to cope without their mothers prior to being sent to a factory farming facility, and eventually slaughter. 1,100 of the piglets perished in the accident. The remaining piglets were rounded up and sent on to their original destination. Luckily for Baby Nathan, a good Samaritan found him tangled in the wreckage and took him to Animal Control, ODNR then contacted us. Nathan is home safe at Sunrise where he will be forever loved! We decided to name him Nathan in honor of Nathan Runkle, founder and President of Mercy For Animals (MFA). We are thankful for everything that MFA does for the animal community and for their assistance with this rescue. Baby Nathan had a respiratory infection and nutritional loss when he arrived. We fought with him to recover his health. Sadly that may have played a factor in his heart failing.
Precous Julie passed on March 28, 2017 at the ripe old age of 17. She had been at Sunrise for most of her life, she came her with her mother Angel years before Sunrise Sanctuary was even founded as a Sanctuary. Back then it was just Mindy rescuing animals as always. Julie was the last of the original animals rescued Sunrise came into existence and lived a wonderful long life here at the Sanctuary. Julie’s bonded partner, Larry, passed years before and we know they are together again.
Ms. Lily was quite the lovebug and very social. She was known to latch onto and follow visitors around. She was very friendly on her terms and enjoyed lots of loving from her fans. Her smiling face and warm personality will be forever missed.
Chloe was an owner surrender. At her previous home she had been abused by another animal in the home, so they rehomed her to Sunrise. She spent many years here enjoying the company of all the potbellied pigs, but especially her best friend Oscar. Chloe was always friendly, but a bit of an introvert. We know she is resting in piece in a warm pile of straw waiting to see her friends again when they cross the rainbow bridge.
On February 21, 2019, we lost our beloved Danny. He was 39 years old, which was ancient for a Belgian Draft horse. Danny started out as a working horse with the Amish. Fortunately for Danny, and us, when his working days were over, his owners thought enough of him to let him come to live at Sunrise rather than sending him to auction, where he most certainly would have gone to slaughter. He spent the last 11 years of his life as one retired, and very spoiled boy. He touched the lives of all who met him and he took a piece of our heart when he left. There will always be a empty space in the pasture that was once occupied by him, but we are so grateful that he was part of our lives.
Sweet Cheyenne passed just a few weeks after Danny. She was about 37 years old and one of the sweetest ladies you ever met. When she got older, her owner wanted to get rid of her and fortunately found us. Options for older or retired horses, sadly, are pretty bleak and usually things do not end well for them. Cheyenne is one of the lucky ones. She lived a happy, safe, life here at Sunrise and knew she was loved. She did not see well, the vision in one eye is pretty bad and the other eye was removed in 2017 because of an ulcer. Other than the typical malaties that come with advanced age, she was happy and healthy to the end. Will will miss her forever.