Wise-old Gertie is one of the “founders” of Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary. Since the sanctuary’s establishment in 2004, Gertie has graced the green pastures and muddy puddles of our special plot of land for rescued animals. She is inquisitive and noble. Not to mention, Gertie’s boyfriend, Brandon, is about 8-years-old younger than her.
Brandon’s Story: Rescued from foie gras production
Brandon was a victim of one of the most hideous forms of animal cruelty in modern animal agriculture: Foie gras production. Fortunately, he was among a group of rescued foie gras ducks who found their way to sanctuary at Harvest Home in 2011. In the first few weeks at the sanctuary, Brandon was frightened by humans and other animals. As time moved forward, he adjusted pleasantly to his new peaceful surroundings.
But Brandon’s new beginning at the sanctuary was hit by an unexpected blow. Suffering from poor leg health, Brandon began to lose the ability to walk, which is an unfortunate sign of breeding birds for profit-given rapid growth and heftiness, not longevity. It wasn’t long before Brandon could not walk at all.
Our avian vet diagnosed Brandon’s leg condition as osteoarthritis. Further, our vet thought he would not regain any movement in his leg and would need to be euthanized soon. We were devastated by this news.
With all Brandon had been through, we are not ready to give up. Instead, we developed a hopeful plan for rehabilitation. We nicknamed Brandon’s rehab regime “Operation: Walk for Life”, which included daily doses of pain medications, hydro-therapy and lots of green salads.
In the first weeks of rehab, Brandon’s mobility improved marginally. But, we were focused on the small improvements.
Approximately two months in to “Operation: Walk for Life”, Brandon was walking again. He proved the doctors wrong. It was amazing to watch a miracle unfold. Further, Brandon actually started to enjoy human companionship.
Today, Brandon enjoys life more than any duck we know. He forages on pasture, naps on piles of leaves and finds comfort living with the fourteen lady ducks of the sanctuary.
“Operation: Walk for Life” was a true success.
Fluffy’s Story: Abandoned at an office park
Fluffy, a White Pekin duck, was abandoned on the AT+T office park grounds in San Ramon in 2008. It was obvious that she had been someone’s pet, and didn’t know how to feed herself “in the wild.” There she mated with a Mallard and had several babies. Soon after, all of the babies were eaten by predators. Life was not easy for Fluffy. She began crossing a main road, four lanes wide, looking for food. Thanks to caring AT+T employees, Fluffy found her new home at Harvest Home.