Founded in 2011, Wings of Heart Sanctuary, based just outside of Madrid, provides a safe home for over 300 animals who would have otherwise been sent to a painful, terrifying and premature deaths as part of the “livestock” industry. Caring for horses, donkeys, pigs, cows, bulls, geese, goats, ducks, chickens and other animals, our aim is simple – to save lives and to provide a home for life where animals can live without fear and surrounded by the love and respect that they deserve.

About the Campaign

The “Life Without Fear” series will introduce you to just eight of our hundreds of residents (and their closest friends) and share with you their stories. Over the course of two months, you will meet, among others: Agustin the pig, Parchis the goose and Evaristo the goat. Belonging to different species, with different personalities, likes and dislikes, what all of the individuals you will meet have in common is that they are “someone”.

They are not, as they were considered by the people who brought them into the world with plans to raise them, kill them and make profit from their body parts, “something”. They are not commodities to be exploited but individuals with friends who they want to spend time with, love that they want to both give and receive and, above all, lives which they want to live for their own purposes.

They are not ours to kill and consume. It is our privilege to be able to share our lives with them.

Chapter One: Eneko

We are delighted to share with you the first chapter in our “A Life Without Fear” Campaign. The campaign seeks to highlight some of the stories of our beloved residents who, without your help, would have had a very different future to the one that they are living today at the Sanctuary.

We will start with one of our most special residents: a pig named Eneko. Eneko is a cross between a pig and a wild boar and arrived at the sanctuary in 2012 with his brother, Koke. Had the pair not been rescued, they would have been used as “bait” to train dogs to hunt boar. These affectionate, playful and, at time, naughty, babies very soon captured our hearts, along with those of the volunteers and visitors.

Eneko left behind his difficult start in life and now, as an adult, he has become a calm pig who loves his home comforts. He adores taking long “siestas” and mud baths – particularly during the long hot summer in Madrid. He is very happy in his own routines and he loves to choose exactly how to spend his time. The only thing that will break Eneko from his daily rhythm is when he hears (or smells) that it is time for dinner! He is very intelligent and has learned how to help us clean his sleeping space.

After five and a half years living with us here at the sanctuary, the two brothers had never spent a day apart until, two weeks ago, Koke fell ill suddenly and tragically passed away two days later. The vets did all that they could but there was nothing they could do to save the life of our beautiful Koke. Eneko is missing his brother terribly and now needs all the support that he can get.

One of the greatest challenges faced by sanctuaries such as ours is that we are caring for animals who are bred by the farming industry to live just months or, at most, a few years. Animals exploited in farms have been manipulated over many years genetically so that they grow faster and to much larger sizes than is normal. This is done with the sole purpose of securing the maximum profit for the farmer from the bodies of the animals. That is to say, chickens are bred to produce more eggs than their delicate bodies can handle, cows are forcibly impregnated over and over to ensure that they continue to produce milk at levels which are totally unnatural and animals bred to be eaten are forced to gain abnormal amounts of weight, with no thought of the impact on their health. And to the farmers, there is little reason to concern themselves with the potential future health problems that the animals will suffer as a result of this cruel treatment for the very simple reason that these animals were never intended to have a future.  

In the moment that these animals become ill, or when their exhausted bodies simply cannot withstand the abuse any longer, they are taken to slaughter as they can no longer be used for economic gain. Their lives are so short that, shamefully, vets generally lack sufficient knowledge and experience to treat adult “farm” animals when they fall ill, as was the case with Koke.

We know that, thanks to the support of people like you, Koke lived his life surrounded by love and without fear. In his memory and that of all of those who have left us to early in the past, we will continue to work with the same dedication and energy to give the best life possible to Eneko and the other 300 animals under our care at present,

And this is where you come in. By supporting our “A Life Without Fear” campaign today, you will be giving hope to Eneko and his companions. You will be making sure that, when an animal becomes ill and needs veterinary attention, they will be given everything they need. You will be ensuring that we are able to open our doors to those animals who, while we have not yet met them, we know will need us in the near future.

You will be giving a life without fear to an animal who needs you.

Thank you <3

Chapter Two: Trasgu

In the second chapter of the “A Life Without Fear” series, we will share with a story which could have come straight out of a children’s fairy tale book. It is the story of Trasgu, a blind lamb who was, literally, thrown to the wolves.

Trasgu’s amazing story began in Asturias, Spain, when the little lamb was cruelly thrown into the enclosure of a pack of wolves with the intention that she would be eaten alive. Incredibly, instead of attacking her, the wolves took her in and protected her. Astoundingly, the baby sheep remained completely unharmed.

When the story came to light and a complaint was made about the incident by a local animal protection group, Trasgu was rescued and brought to the sanctuary. It was only on her arrival that we discovered she was almost completely blind; possibly as a result of the blow to the head she suffered having been thrown with force, and from a great height, into the wolf enclosure.

When she arrived at the sanctuary, she was frightened and this, coupled with her lack of sight, meant that Trasgu initially could not be with the other sheep who live here at the sanctuary. Our team became her companions and playmates and she gradually become more confident as the weeks and months went by.

While Trasgu loved to play with her human friends, we knew that our company was no substitute for that of her own kind so we were left with the conundrum of how to socialise Trasgu with the other sheep without her getting hurt, lost or confused. The solution came to us in the form of a gentle and friendly sheep named Paco.

Paco had befriended little Trasgu and he became the sheep that Trasgu trusted most at the sanctuary. But Trasgu could easily lose her friend among the dozens of other sheep here and, when she did, she would become anxious and upset. So, we decided to give Paco a bell, so that Trasgu could find him. Trasgu immediately learned that the sound of the bell would guide her to her best friend. She no longer lost him in the herd and she followed him everywhere. After just two days, Trasgu had gained enough confidence to simply be with the rest of the herd and we removed the bell from Paco.

Trasgu now lives happily as part of her huge sheep family at Wings of Heart Sanctuary.

Thanks to love, friendship and patience, the little blind lamb who was destined to be eaten alive by wolves was saved. Trasgu now lives A Life Without Fear.

In the last few weeks, three more baby lambs have arrived at the sanctuary in need of our help. We know that more will come in the next few months. Thanks to your generous support we are able to make the same promise to our newest arrivals as we did to Trasgu when she first joined us. From the day that they set foot in the sanctuary, we promise that they will life A Life Without Fear.

Thank you.

 

Chapter Three: Parchís

We don’t know much about where Parchís and his best friend, Oca, came from. They appeared one day on the streets of a Madrid suburb, lost, frightened and huddled together in an attempt to feel safe as people passed by, looking at the two little geese with curious stares. The pair would not have survived for long on the streets and, luckily for them, a young couple managed to catch them up and take them to their apartment. That young couple saved their lives.

The terrified little birds were given a blanket, a box where they could sleep, hide and feel safe and a bath, which served as a swimming pool. Of course, Parchís and Oca could not spend their entire lives in an apartment in the city, so the young couple began to search for a forever home for them.

So, it was shortly afterwards that we welcomed Parchís and his friend to Wings of Heart and it took them no time at all to establish themselves as members of the family. With their new house, their new swimming pool and their new friends, the pair had come home.

Now, Parchís is one of the most confident, and comical, members of our family. He explores the world using his beak and hates to miss out on anything that might be happening around the Sanctuary. If there is a commotion going on, you can guarantee that Parchis is in the middle of it, ensuring he has a front-row seat.

Parchís loves people and has the sweet habit that he would have learned from his mum and siblings of following us around as we get on with our day. Thanks to the support of people like you, our sweet, funny Parchís was saved and now lives a life without fear.

We hope that, as you get to know our friends, you too will see them as we see them. Some of the animals you will meet have overcome horrific trauma – almost without exception they have experienced the heart-breaking loss of their mothers and friends, most have suffered physical abuse and injury and many have experienced emotional trauma – but each one of them is a fighter who refused to give up. From Trasgu, the blind lamb who was, literally, thrown to the wolves and yet survived to Evaristo, the little goat who was valued so little that he was put up as a “raffle prize” so that the lucky winner could “take their food home”, kill him and serve him up for dinner.

We share their stories not just to invite you into their lives but also to ask for your help. When we take in any animal, we commit to providing a safe home for life to them. Most importantly, we make a promise to each and every one of them: that from the day that they set foot (or hoof, or paw) into the sanctuary, they will be guaranteed A Life Without Fear. For animals who have suffered so much, this is the very least that we can promise. But we cannot fulfil this promise alone, and this is where you come in.

How You Can Help

By supporting our “A Life Without Fear” campaign today, you will be helping Pepa, the sheep who was left abandoned to starve to death in the middle of nowhere, in her ongoing recovery. She never lost hope that she was going to survive and we committed to ensuring that she did just that.

In supporting our campaign, you will be helping those animals who we have not yet met, but who we know will need our help soon. Sadly, as the exploitation of animals continues at the highest level in our history, we know that the next animal who wants nothing more than to live a Life Without Fear will soon arrive on our doorstep. We cannot turn our back on them.

Will you stand with us and help us to keep our promise?

Will you give the gift of A Life Without Fear today?

€5 euro will provide antibiotics for a baby animal.

€ 10 euro will allow us to carry out a vital health check on a new arrival.

€ 25 euro will provide colostrum for a lamb, like Paquita.

€ 50 euro will pay for emergency transportation to the vet for one animal.

€100 euro will allow us to vaccinate one animal.

€ 500 euro will allow us to provide important, preventative, anti-parasite treatment for all of the animals at the sanctuary.

€ 1,000 euro will allow us to buy emergency first aid equipment (needles, gas, bandages and other equipment) to treat animals for three months.