Ram on the Lam
A North Carolina nonprofit helps rescue domestic farm animals, including a certain fugitive sheep.
By Richard Banks | Photos By Logan Cyrus
This is Bubba. He has a checkered past.
The sheep—possibly a Barbados-Mouflon, bred for short hair and better meat, and known for being fleet of foot—spent four months eluding authorities in suburban Durham County, N.C.
While there, he wandered through yards and parks, and into the hearts of many residents, even though it’s estimated he caused about $5,000 worth of damage. The worst of Bubba’s alleged misconduct was breaking car windows, which he smashed after thinking his reflection was a challenger—albeit a really handsome one.
All good things must come to an end, however, and, last December, Bubba was eventually captured by local wranglers and handed over to Red Dog Farm Animal Rescue Network. Since then, the Greensboro, N.C.-based organization, which mainly focuses on rescuing and rehabilitating domestic farm animals, found a foster farm willing to house the former fugitive until a permanent home is found.
“That’s a big part of what we do,” says Lauren Riehle, Red Dog executive director. “Many of the animals we place are farm animals, not livestock necessarily, but animals such as horses, goats, rabbits, chickens, that are no longer wanted or are abused.” Noting they’ve also helped place dogs and cats, snakes and hamsters, Riehle mentions several miniature ponies Red Dog recently rescued that were so hungry they were eating gravel.
Founded in 2006 by a local couple, Red Dog is a nonprofit organization that relies on donations for funding and volunteers for everything from mailings and other office tasks to fostering and adopting animals. Because the need for placement has outgrown its facilities—Red Dog has placed 1,700 animals since its founding—the organization does not itself house any more animals. Instead, Red Dog relies on people willing to foster and/or adopt the animals permanently.
While Bubba’s life on the lam might be an uncommon tale, stories of animal rescues across North America are not. “Everywhere there are pets and farms, things happen. Animals are abused or, because of circumstances beyond their control, owners can’t care for them anymore. If caring people, like those within our network, get involved, then happy endings like Bubba’s can continue to happen.”
MORE ABOUT RED DOG FARM: Click here to visit their website. >>