16 Icelandic, Two Shetlands Comprise one of the Largest Surrenders of Sheep to Nevins Farm in Living Memory
BOSTON and Methuen, Mass., Nov. 5, 2021 – The MSPCA at Nevins Farm in Methuen is now home to 16 Icelandic and two Shetland sheep who were surrendered after their previous owner developed health issues and could no longer care for them, the organization announced today.
The Nevins Farm team arrived at the previous owner’s property on Wednesday, Nov. 3 to carefully shepherd the sheep onto its trailers for the short drive to Methuen, where they are now settled into their own paddock.
The sheep—who are all nine years of age—comprise a herd that have lived together, on the same property, for their entire lives. Staffers describe them as friendly, social and in very good health.
Their previous owner, whose identity has not been released, turned to the MSPCA following multiple attempts to re-home them on her own.
“She [the previous owner] was extremely concerned about the health and welfare of the sheep, who were clearly treated as much-loved pets,” said Rachel Diersen, who supervises the equine and farm animal program at the MSPCA at Nevins Farm.
“It makes us feel really good that we can care for and find homes for these beautiful pets so she can focus all of her energy on getting healthy.”
Icelandic sheep are known for their soft wool that provides excellent insulation against the cold and makes for fine woolen products as well. It’s believed the breed was first introduced to Iceland by Vikings in the late ninth or early tenth century.
“These sheep were the last generations of lambs to have been born on the property, they are in excellent health, and their previous owner ran a small yarn business using their wool, so they’re quite used to human contact and enjoy being around us,” said Diersen.
Diersen said the previous owner even donated 20 bales of hay to Nevins Farm, which will easily feed the herd for another 20 days.
Diersen has issued a call for adopters and is “open to first-time sheep owners so long as they have adequate space that is fenced and includes covered outdoor shelter.” Diersen noted that the staff is ready to provide additional guidance for those who might be new to caring for sheep. Anyone interested in adopting can apply online at www.mspca.org/adopt/nevinsadopt
Support the Animals!
The new arrivals are just some of the thousands of animals the MSPCA will care for in 2021 alone—both inside and outside its adoption centers. Readers who would like to offset the cost of their care—and the care of animals just like them—can click here to make a donation.