Dartmouth’s Disabled Orphaned Lamb Kiki Beats the Odds Every Day
If you don't follow the Don't Forget Us, Pet Us animal sanctuary on social media, then you may not yet know about Dartmouth's rising star, an extremely cute disabled lamb named Kiki. Kiki has been taking Facebook and TikTok by storm as people from all over the SouthCoast watch this orphaned animal beat the odds every day.
I was lucky enough to spend some time at the sanctuary with Kiki recently and learned from Deborah Devlin, president of Don't Forget Us, Pet Us, everything this little lamb has been through in just the six weeks since she was born.
"She was born with bent legs and a paralyzed hind end and wasn't able to stand or walk," Devlin said. "Her mother refused to nurse her and she was barely eating enough to survive."
By the time Devlin got to Kiki just before Christmas, her condition was pretty critical.
"I'm not sure she would have survived much longer where she was. I immediately wrapped her in blankets for the ride home," she said.
Devlin's home is exactly where Kiki went. She lives in the house, loves to snuggle with Devlin's kids and dogs and has fast become a member of the family. Because honestly, who could resist all this amazing cuteness?
Kiki quickly stole the hearts of Devlin and Jill Tagino, who runs the sanctuary with Devlin, and really everyone who meets her. When visiting this little lamb in her warming room at the barn, it was hard to believe anyone could want to kill this sweet thing. Yet that is what farmers typically do. Taking care of a lamb like Kiki with all her physical ailments is not anything most vets are trained to handled. Most livestock animals are not thought of as pets and are simple "put out of their misery" if anything is wrong.
Devlin told me she only found one other lamb in the entire country being cared for the way she is caring for Kiki: Leo the lamb in Illinois, who sadly passed away in his sleep just recently. His owner told Devlin he'll likely never know exactly what happened.
This is 100 percent why Kiki needs our help. Though Kiki is thriving at the sanctuary, she does still have a long road ahead of her, a road with a lot of question marks. Devlin said she needs more surgery to repair her hind legs and though she will likely never walk.
"She's starting physical therapy to improve her mobility and strengthen her muscles," she said. "The goal is to teach her to use a wheelchair once she fully develops."
All of that medical care and surgery obviously costs quite a bit of money, money Devlin said comes completely from supporters.
"There's no funding, no grants, none of that. Everything comes from donations," she said.
Which is hopefully where you come in. Donations for Kiki's care and the care of several other animals at Don't Forget Us, Pet Us are being collected through a donation tab on the sanctuary's Facebook page.
Devlin and Tagino are hoping to have Kiki in therapy a few days a week, not to mention the veterinary care and food she'll need, too. Anyone with PT skills – either on animals or humans – are encouraged to donate their time for sessions with Kiki and volunteers at the sanctuary are always appreciated.
Hopefully, if we all work together, this little lamb can one day be moving around the farm on her own – and we can all watch her do it on TikTok.