IMAGINE staying somewhere where your adjoining neighbours are a flock of sheep, a herd of goats, a stable of pigs and a collection of chooks residing in their very own Cluckingham Palace.
Edgar's Mission, a sanctuary for neglected, unwanted or abused farm animals in Lancefield in Victoria's Macedon Ranges has put three "tiny houses" on site for guests.
Decorated with a minimalist 'farmhouse chic' aesthetic, each house is equipped with a kitchenette with daily breakfast provisions, sleeping and living quarters, mini library, self-contained bathroom featuring an eco-savvy composting toilet and a large deck upon which to sit back and enjoy those farmland views.
Guests staying in the tiny houses can take a guided tour of the sanctuary to meet the rescued animals and hear their stories. The first animal they will probably meet will be Ruby, who has become the heart and soul of the sanctuary.
The kelpie who lacked the necessary mustering skills to make it as a sheepdog was going to be shot when her owner had a change of heart and relinquished her to Edgar's Mission.
Today Ruby greets tour groups and visitors, comforts orphaned lambs and kid goats in her role as vet nurse Ruby and provides plenty of comic relief. She has become such a star she even has her own Instagram page.
According to Edgar's Mission founder, Pam Ahern, many 'food' or 'production' animals in Australia are excluded from the protections of animal welfare legislation.
"Many endure lives of abject misery in factory farms: barely able to move, they are subjected to acts of cruelty that would be illegal if done to a cat or dog. They live without sunshine, without freedom, without being able to socialise, without hope."
Edgar's Mission offers regular guided farm tours during spring, summer and autumn for groups of up to 20 people. There is also two major open days throughout the year.
The Mission's policy is 'Rescue, Rehabilitate and Rehome whenever possible'. They frequently adopt out animals in need of loving, lifelong homes.
However they will only adopt out rescued animals to people who can provide a forever home, not to those offering short term or foster care or those intending to rehome the animal themselves. "If you are after a cheap lawn-mower please try one of the many hardware stores or ebay," Pam says sternly.
As well as providing shelter and direct care to mistreated and abandoned animals Edgar's Mission sees its role as promoting compassion, understanding and respect for all animals. Its aim is to promote responsible and humane treatment towards animals through the provision of advice, education and information to the community.
You can help Edgar's Mission by staying in one of the tiny houses, becoming a supporter, sponsoring an animal or taking a farm tour (bookings required) or an Open Day.
IF YOU GO...
The Tiny House accommodation, priced at $199 per night, is not suitable for infants, toddlers and those under 18 due to its "tiny" nature, the unsupervised access to the sanctuary and the sanctuary's insurance policy.
The money goes to supporting the sanctuary's work in providing lifelong love and care to the 450 rescued animal residents who call the sanctuary home.
Animals often arrive needing urgent treatment because of injury or neglect. The mission relies entirely on volunteers, donors and supporters to help provide the care that's needed - www.edgarsmission.org.au
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