EllieBirth date: Mar 22, 2017 Best friend: “Cyndy, she helped me find Kindred”
SALI received a FB message from Elie’s owner after seeing Louise on Global TV. She asked if there was anyway we could help Ellie. I was drawn to Ellie’s story because her owner is so kind and compassionate, and only wanted the best for Ellie but she is deathly afraid of birds! We were told that Ellie had a broken leg and her owner didn’t know what to do. Ellie’s owner offered to support her ongoing care. We said yes, and she arrived from Kelowna on March 22nd.
It turns out that Ellie didn’t have a broken leg, she had a severely deformed leg which she held behind her. We took several weeks getting to know her and come up with a health care plan. She had surgery at Night Owl Bird Hospital in Kitsilano (Louise’s vet). She had her badly deformed foot and lower part of her leg up to elbow amputated. She came through the operation well, but is not such a good patient as Louise. She gets nervous very easily and needs a lot of reassurance by our volunteers. Which of course she gets in spades.
By removing this deformed part of her leg, will mean that we have options for giving her a possible prosthetic or wheelchair.
Ellie arrived just in time for the Spring Children’s Program and the children were involved in her care.
I still can’t believe we lost Ellie. She survived months with a deformed leg, then full recovery from her amputation surgery only to succumb to a blasted respiratory failure. She always had a difficult time with her breathing, but the recent heat wave took it’s toll on her.
I’ve only been in the farm animal rescue profession for 5 years, but I’ve quickly learned that all it takes is one person to advocate on behalf of an at-risk farm animal to make a difference. That special person is Ellie’s guardian Cyndy who originally rescued her and then asked us to take over her care. Ellie taught me so much about the care of chickens and again how each bird has their own personality.
Ellie’s favourite place was to be tucked into the crook of an arm (this was often the only time she stopped her mouth breathing) and carried around the farm. You could never ignore Ellie if she wanted to be picked up, in a flash she would hop over to you on her one good leg and no one could resist her. Her 2nd favourite place was a tie; in the children’s garden, and very recently she loved to be close to Louise. She also had a four-legged guardian, sweet Diego who was vigilant in keeping her safe.
Ellie’s care was part of the animal-assisted activities for the Children’s Spring Group. They cleaned her house, made up her nesting box, made sure she had fresh water and food and her favourite, halved grapes. Not many of the children could hold her, as they were afraid of her when she flapped her wings to adjust her position in their arms. There was one boy in particular though who spent a lot of time carrying her. He was nervous the first time, but after that he became super bonded with her and you rarely saw them apart. All the children developed deep empathy towards Ellie, and wished they could fix her leg.
Our staff, volunteers and children opened up their hearts to this beautiful soul and we loved every single day that we had with her.
We had such hopes to help Ellie live a long life, but it wasn’t meant to be.
Keryn Denroche, Founder/Director