Neglected sheep find sanctuary

These newcomers desperately needed our help.

Published February 2020

Since 2018, Kent Animal Defenders have been documenting horrendous cruelty and neglect at Little Oakhurst Brissenden Farm in Ashford, Kent. The animal rights group had visited the farm, run by Tracy Middleton, on several occasions, repeatedly exposing appalling conditions.

One of the animals left to suffer was Wally. 

Affectionately named by members of Kent Animal Defenders, this poor soul was found stuck in deep mud- malnourished, dehydrated and freezing, with fluid on his lungs from inhaling the filthy water around him. 

The group set to work freeing Wally from the mud, but sadly he was too weak and passed away shortly after. A visiting vet confirmed that it was likely poor Wally had been stuck for up to a week. 

This harrowing encounter did not deter the KAD activists, but instead spurred them on to continue to fight for the remaining animals at the site. It would take another year of visits, documentation, and reports to authorities, but on 13th Feb 2020, the case was finally settled. Tracy Middleton was sentenced to 120 days in jail and banned from keeping animals for 10 years (except her 2 dogs and 1 cat). All those involved celebrated finally getting justice for animals like Wally and began working to find as many sanctuary places as possible for those left. 

Sadly, 191 cows from the farm were culled because they were unregistered, but the group were able to find safe homes for a number of other animals. Of those rescued, seven sheep came to live out their lives here at Goodheart Farm Animal Sanctuary.  At the end of February, the four ewes and three rams made the journey from Kent to our sanctuary in Milson, near Kidderminster.

One ewe arrived unable to stand and another was suffering from a laceration all the way from her ankle to her chest. All of the sheep were very weak and required round-the-clock care and regular veterinary treatment to get back on their feet. Sadly, we lost two of the girls early on. Both were extremely unwell when they arrived and despite all our efforts- including physio for the ewe unable to stand- their horrific past eventually caught up with them.

The three rams – Kelso, Fez and, Hyde – improved relatively quickly and were soon able to live out in their new pastures with Goodheart veteran Teddy and his friends Reg and Usain. 

The ewes, Kitty and Midge, needed a little more time to recover, but both are now out enjoying life with their new herd. 

(Left: Kitty when she first arrived compared to just a few weeks later)

Kent sheep rescue video

We are now very close to reaching full capacity, but we always want to be here for animals in dire situations such as this one. 

We will continue to campaign for better treatment of farmed animals and work to educate consumers about how their choices make a difference. For those lucky enough to find their way to us, we are committed to providing the very best care and ensuring all of our residents are happy and healthy for the rest of their lives.