Sad News: Ray Charles

Jan 16, 2020

I’ve shared in other newsletters about how relentless Ray’s bumble foot was. 

Kindred Blog: Ray Charles Health Care: Part 1

Kindred Blog: Ray Charles Health Care: Part 2

All the volunteers at the farm never gave up as long as he had a good quality of life and there was hope.  We lost that hope on New Year’s Eve.

After his last checkup the vet recommended post surgery treatment on his feet and a second surgery on his left foot.  Unfortunately, Ray took a turn for the worse over the Christmas holidays and needed to see the vet asap.  I took him to the vet on New Year’s Eve.

I spent a lot of time holding Ray and discussing his options with Dr Louise.  She was really pleased with the condition of Ray’s right foot and said to keep up his daily treatment of epsom salt baths.  She said that she would be able to do the second surgery on Ray’s left foot on Thursday when a vet tech was back at the clinic.

Unfortunately, when she unwrapped his left foot, she was shocked at how bad it was.  She had expected to see new tissue over the surgical site, but instead there was more infection and his foot was twice the size with swelling.  She said the infection was too voracious, and she wouldn’t be able to do the second surgery.  My heart sank and I had to make the decision to let him go.  

Dr. Louise and the whole staff at Townline were extremely kind to Ray and I.  Dr. Louise gave Ray a sedative cocktail to help him relax.  It took a long time for it to kick in and it was such a privilege to hold him and talk to him.  I told him about his rescue story and his legacy of kindness: helping countless children heal from trauma, showing people the true nature of a turkey and advocating for his peeps in factory farms.  He then received euthanasia while I stroked his head.  

What a stoic man.  Dr. Louise said the amount of infection in his foot would have taken down a Rotweiller.

Thank you everyone for your love, care and kindness to Ray Charles. Thank you for considering the turkey as an individual similar to a companion animal.
He is forever in our hearts and part of our farm.

He had a brilliant life here and is now running free.

Keryn & Ray Charles at the vet

Here are Terry Pratt’s words on meeting Ray Charles

“I first met Ray on a lovely sunny day in March of this year. He was standing in the doorway of the barn listening and making his “phew” noise and puffing up his tail feathers. Even though he was blind he didn’t startle at all when I came up next to him. I immediately bent down and gave him a big hug. I would later say to people that there was nothing quite so wonderful as hugging his warm, solid body and stroking his beautiful silky feathers. 

Terry meeting Ray Charles for the first time

“It was love at first sight. I went home and immediately wrote to Keryn saying I wanted to be his sponsor. 

He was so loved and lived a wonderful life at the farm.

Who’d have thought that one glorious, big, white, cuddly guy could warm so many hearts and heal so many souls.”