It takes a village…..

It takes a village to raise a child

Source unknown

On September 5 I saw a post on a local community Facebook page regarding a group of goats who were frequenting a local property. The property owner had posted asking if anyone knew the carer of the goats as they were roaming the neighbourhood, causing damage.

Elevated Plains goats 1


After suggesting the local Shire be contacted, I sent a private message to find out what was happening, as no one had claimed the goats.

The property owner was frustrated at the damage to their garden but did not want the goats to come to any harm, so I suggested I bring over some panels to try to secure the goats and take it from there. Thus started a three month journey…….

I dropped off the panels but at that stage realised the enormity of the challenge. This was in a local area I had not previously visited. A gorge, bushland, ravines…

Then the ‘owner’ of the goats became known. A relatively new property owner, a largely absent property owner, had decided to purchase five goats, but did not make provision for them to be contained. In the area is a herd of abandoned goats. Before long the five goats were lured into the wilds…and so the problem began.

Roaming far and wide across impenetrable terrain, the goats visited olive groves, vegetable gardens, and caused angst amongst the land holders. They did however regularly return to their ‘home’ but because the fencing was inadequate, sooner or later they were on the prowl again.

We were given permission to take the goats, if we could secure them….

So a rescue began……

It is all very well to take on animals, but you need to know where they will go to be safe for life. We have a large property and our goats are happy here…but they are the type of goats who hang around. We could not risk letting these goats roam again, and our secure yards are already occupied, A call for help was answered, and a deal struck. We would take in five rescued sheep from another rescue to join our flock,  in exchange for them providing 5-star goat accommodation in their existing secure enclosures.

Then I received a call. The owner of the goats was planning to shoot the goats.  Not only was this a cruel and unnecessary outcome, unless a goat was killed immediately it would run off to die an horrific death in the bush.  Getting the goats was now critical.

The goats had returned to base and I was advised, contained in a yard. So I headed off with the horse float to collect them…….

When I arrived it was apparent the yards were not secure. We tried our best in the circumstances but to no avail…and the end result was the goats headed bush again

Another call that the goats were back…but this time when we arrived and they were running loose in a 100 acre paddock.

We were then advised that the goats were back at the neighbours. So we set up an appealing ‘goat retreat’ in their shelter with straw bedding, water and feed, hoping they would decide to make it their base. Our plan was to set up a feeding station in a secure yard, and use this to capture the goats.

We heard nothing for a number of weeks, weeks where we were busy with incoming rescues. When  we next made contact we found out the goats were still roaming and the neighbourhood was up in arms. The owner still refused to do anything but get a shooter in.

We had already discussed options with other rescues skilled in goat recovery. With time running out and the logistics being so tricky it became clear that there was now only one viable option….the expertise of Manfred, from Five Freedoms Animal Rescue.

It is a huge ask to dart and capture five goats. With any shot being fired the rest will disperse, and this was impossible terrain. Wild, steep, bushland going for miles, with nothing to contain the goats.

The neighbour agreed to coordinate with the representative of the goat’s owner and  the neighbourhood to allow us time. They also agreed to coordinate directly with Manfred on the goats’ whereabouts. We were pulling this together when a friend sent me a Facebook post that was being circulated.

Elevated Plains goats 2

‘Free to good home 5 lovely whipper/snippers (goats), they are for the chop If nobody takes them’

It was late at night when I opened the message and saw with horror the five goats, with comments on the post about how wonderful they would be in various meat dishes.

Several frantic messages and texts later, Manfred rearranged a full schedule to get to the farm. The owner was contacted to agree that the property be accessed.

Amazingly, and totally to the credit of Manfred, four of the five goats were successfully darted and captured…..this was incredible given the situation where the goats could not be contained. The four were transported to a new home.

Elevated Plains goats 3

We were so happy…but each and every one of us could only think about the last goat, who had run off before she could be darted. Manfred, so professional and so compassionate, would not rest until the fifth goat was brought in.

The two days later I received a message. The fifth goat had appeared. Manfred went back and darted her…but the dart glanced off and she took to the bush. Manfred, Helen and everyone searched through thick bush terrain for hours but she could not be found.

Holding onto hope we waited….

Then on Sunday morning, another message. The goat had reappeared, seeking comfort from the resident alpacas. Once again Manfred drove to the farm. We waited for news. Then I received a message…could I head to the farm, help was needed.

By the time I got there Manfred had secured her. Climbing again through the horrific terrain was about to return, desperate that the goat again had got away when he spotted a ‘strange looking rock’….

Getting her back was a heroic task but he did it…Safely contained…the fifth goat….hardly to be believed.

Within an hour all five were reunited, now safe forever.

Elevated Plains goats 4

Sadly the owner has no interest in contributing to the cost of securing the goats, no interest in their welfare, no interest in even making contact to say a thank you.

Please, only ever bring animals into your life if you are willing and able to take full responsibility to care for them and protect them from harm, and this includes making sure they are not causing disruption to others.

It takes a village…not only to raise a child, it takes community of rescuers, it takes people like the neighbours in this case, who wanted the best outcome for the goats, who were willing to do whatever it took…it takes this to do right.

Our sincere thanks to those who cared, the compassionate neighbours, willing to give practical support and help,  to Pam from Edgars Mission who offered advice and support, to Jason for coming out to try and get the goats in,  to Anne from Horse Shepherd for providing a safe haven, and to Manfred and Helen, for their compassion, skill and boundless determination, for making it possible.

It takes a village…………………









Hay appeal

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We have two HP horses, Banjo and Jimmy,  being returned to us this week.

This is at a time when we are needing to feed out the horses here for the next 6 weeks until another pasture area becomes available.

Having two horses arrive back, plus with the additional sheep we have taken in recently, means we are having to provide a lot of fodder.

Can you help us over the next few weeks with the purchasing of lucerne squares (for the sheep) and round bales (for the horses and cattle)?

$10 will purchase a bale of lucerne and $60 a round bale

Your help at this time will be greatly appreciated.

Account details

Honeys Pledge Inc


BSB            033688

Account    503538

Please reference your donation with your name, and use the contact form to advise us of your donation so a receipt can be issued.

If you cannot access internet banking, donations can be sent to Honey’s Pledge Inc. PO Box 94, DAYLESFORD, VIC. 3460.

Honey’s Pledge Inc has Deductible Gift status.

We want to save Martin

Two weeks ago I spotted a small cow/bull/steer in the local council pound. He/she looked forlorn and lost.

It preyed on my mind and I called one of the rangers to enquire and was told it was a bull who would be up for sale by tender in the following weeks.

My heart sank…we cannot take a bull, even a small bull…and I could not imagine anyone else being able to.

On driving past again I decided to approach the bull to get a feel as to his temperament. As I stood at the fence he immediately came over, hesitated for a moment, then came up for a head scratch.  He is friendly, and affectionate and just looking for someone to be his friend.

He is so friendly that it is very likely he has been bottle raised, But, as often happens he has not been castrated and has probably got out , or been abandoned, as he became more challenging to care for as a bull.

I knew I could not walk away so I started to so some research. Yes he could be surgically castrated but I would need access to a cattle ‘crush’ to restrain him safely for the anaesthetic.

Then our first stroke of luck. I contacted another rescue organisation who cares for two cattle and asked if they could provide a home.  After some consideration they replied that, if castrated, they could.

Next I made enquiries re the logistics of transport and facilities for the surgery. There were options but all involving a lot of money. Then a friend offered her facilities to take in the bull, utilise her vet to do the procedure, and to transport him to his new home.

Next a local farmer agreed to give us the use of a stock trailor for transport.

The vet provided a reasonable quote.

Now we just need to raise the funds for his purchase and for the cost of castration. Out target is $500.

So please meet Martin. Without us it is very likely he will be sent for slaughter.

If you have a soft spot for this lovely man and would like to assist please contact us re contributing to save him.

UPDATE: October 10, 2013

To say I was devastated would be an understatement.

It has been nearly four weeks in the quest to save Martin, and after a wait of over two weeks to find out the result of the tender.

Today as I comforted Saffron and waited for the vet in the windswept paddock, I received the long awaited e mail. I truly believed we had been successful and it was only a matter of time before we would be told Martin was legally ‘ours’

Then I read that we had lost the tender and Martin was not ours…would not be ‘Martin’….he had been purchased to be sold on later…….I just crashed…

There was a small lifeline. The successful bidder had agreed to give out his telephone number and was okay for me to call him.

I left a message, contacted BAWCS , and a supporter who had offered to assist if further funds were needed.

My priority was Saffron and the next hours were spent with her and the terrible grief at losing her.

Late this afternoon I drove to town and went to see Martin. I promised him I would do everything I could. I kept trying the ‘phone number and finally managed to contact the successful bidder.

These are always delicate negotiations and you can imagine my delight when he readily agreed to on sell, having been advised by the ranger that I was wanting Martin as a ‘pet’. Then, to my relief, he only asked for the amount he had tendered, which was a wonderful gesture.

I went back to Martin, and hearing me he came over to the fence, gave me a big lick and enjoyed a scratch behind the ears, the same I had been doing with Saffron just hours before.

And the deep weight of despair lifted.

Thank you Martin, thank you to all of the wonderful team supporting Martin…..and thank you Saffron for working your magic from over the ‘bridge, .and so the new journey begins

A safe place for Saffron…an appeal for your help


Hi all.

Our new rescue, Saffron, has made it necessary to put out an urgent appeal. Read the story of Saffron here.

Saffron is totally blind and we need to create a new paddock for her as soon as possible. At present she is confined to a loose box and is fretting and finds it difficult to eat from a feed bowl as she cannot locate it. A dedicated paddock will enable her to graze, to have a companion, and to gain confidence.

We have an ideal paddock next to the house, but it has a very deep dam, and we need to fence this off.  This will create a safe paddock with shade trees and ready access to the yards and stables. There is an added advantage that this will also create a spring paddock for the ponies prone to laminitis.

A fencing contractor can do the fence this week. But, we cannot start the work until I have raised the funds.

We are asking for supporters and anyone you can recruit, to contribute $20 to pay for two metres of fencing. Of course if you can assist with more we will not say no!


The fencing together with gates is estimated at $1500. Therefore we need 79 contributions of $20.

We will update via our Facebook page of how we are going.  As Sunday 18th August we are at 65% of target. ..thank you.


1. By Paypal.

Until we incorporate the Paypal account is in my name, Linda Mira-Bateman

To pay go to:

Log in

Click on the tab ‘Buy’

Click on ‘Make a payment’.

Select ‘Pay for goods or services’

Use e mail address to make the payment’

Please if you have any problems let me know…I have not used Paypal before to receive payments!

2. By direct Internet transfer

Again, until we incorporate we do not have a dedicated account for Honey’s Pledge.

Donations can be made into an account. Please contact me for details.

3. PLEASE e mail me on so I can trace your donation and issue a receipt.


As we are still in the process of incorporating we cannot offer Deductable Gift Status. We will however provide a receipt. Please make sure you e mail us so we can do so.

Saffron is a very special rescue with special needs. This is why we are reaching out for support.

Many thanks

Linda and the Honey Pledge team (and Saffron of course)

Be part of a rescue and rehabilitation team……Foster care

At times Honey’s Pledge requires short to medium term foster care for our animal rescues. Most frequently this is for horses or ponies who have come into our care, but may be required for other animals.

We require foster carers to be  experienced with type of animal they wish to foster and able to provide for basic care.

If you are in a position to help, please contact us using the form below. We will then e mail you an application to foster.

Many thanks…rescue is a team effort!


Our missing girls

Pansy and Blossom…where ever you are, what ever has happened…please find your way home.

You are not forgotten or replaced.

We miss you so much.

I still look out for you.

I still see a dark shape in the distance and watch in hope.

Not knowing is terrible and we can only hope there is still hope.