Transforming Lives: Jim & Jill

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Each year we witness inspiring and surprising transformations at the sanctuary. The animals we rescue who have suffered injuries, abuse or neglect each have a unique road to recovery when they arrive. Whether it’s behavioral or medical, we work with each rescue for however long it takes to ensure they feel safe, healthy and free to live the life they deserve.

Jill & Jim: Transformation Stories from the Sanctuary for Giving Tuesday

Jim and Jill are a gorgeous brother and sister duo and are a rare breed of Soay Sheep. They were born in the middle of Michigan winter in January of 2018. They were five months old when Barn Sanctuary received a call about them. We were told they were born with deformities—both missing pieces of their legs—and so their previous owners couldn’t provide them with the care they would need to survive. They had heard about our work with other rescues who needed prosthetics and wanted to give Jim and Jill their best shot at surviving.

Jill is missing both halves of her back legs and a piece of her ear. Jim is missing three hooves.

When we brought Jim and Jill home to Barn Sanctuary they were jumpy and terrified of humans. We called our local vet to visit for a check-up and assessment. Upon first inspection it was immediately apparent to the vet that the “deformities” we were told they were born with were actually injuries from frostbite.

Jim Transformation Story Giving Tuesday Barn Sanctuary
Smiling Jim in his prosthetics. November 2018

Jim and Jill had a rough start to life. We don’t know what the first five months of their lives looked like, but we know based on their injuries and frightful behavior that they were not given the care or loving attention that they deserve.

We were able to get them fitted for prosthetics so they can walk, run and play like normal sheep. After a few months at the sanctuary they also finally started to open up, becoming more friendly and comfortable around people.

After the prosthetics arrived, it didn’t take long before they were grazing and running with the other sheep. It took longer—months of being around caregivers, of watching how we pet and love on the other sheep at the sanctuary— before they even started to trust us.

One of our favorite transformations to witness at the sanctuary is the recovery of energy, playfulness and freedom that some of our special needs animals like Jim and Jill display when their wounds heal and their bodies get the physical support they need to thrive. In Jim and Jill’s case, prosthetics helped them regain confidence and mobility.

The other heartwarming transformation we witnessed with Jim and Jill—and any animal who suffers neglect or abuse at the hands of humans—is the slow process of learning to trust and feel comfortable around people. Jim who was once too frightened to let people come within arms reach of him now feels safe enough to let us touch him… safe enough to fall asleep beside us.

Prosthetics are not cheap. Neither are hospital bills and vet examinations. It takes a team and a lot of time to help our rescues recover. The only reason we are able to change lives and share these transformational stories is because of your support.

This Giving Tuesday we hope you will pledge to donate to Barn Sanctuary in honor of all the  animals whose lives we have changed and will change. All donations made on Giving Tuesday will be matched up to $25,000.

Pledge now and join our #Give2Barn social campaign!

After you pledge, you will get redirected to a page with instructions on how to participate in our social #Give2Barn campaign.


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