To celebrate Voiceless turning 15 last year, we set out to award seven gifts of $1,000 to the unsung heroes of the animal protection community – the animal carers. Assessing each application on the criteria of commitment, contribution and need, we were overwhelmed by the quantity and quality of the responses and so, we added an eighth and called it the People’s Choice, voted for by our generous and compassionate community of donors.
Below is the story of Tilt, a former broiler chicken taken in by one of 2019’s Voiceless Animal Protection Heroes winners, Melbourne Chicken Rescue. It was first published in our 2019 Donor Impact Report.
Tilt was found at 5 weeks old lying on a shed floor with his neck twisted and his face buried in the piled-up excrement. Two days later he arrived at the doorstep of Melbourne Chicken Rescue. Tilt could stand on his own two feet, but he couldn’t walk, and he couldn’t keep his head up.
A year and a half on and Tilt has found sanctuary with Melbourne Chicken Rescue in the safe hands of Liz and Nicole who have dedicated all that they have to their brood of rescue chickens, many of whom have special needs.
Tilt will spend the rest of his days riding around in his pet pram or nibbling at the washed-up seaweed washed up at the beach. At home, he’ll watch cartoons which encourage him to keep his head up and then, at bedtime, he’ll be showered and blow dried as his wry neck means he’s unable to keep himself clean.
For Liz and Nicole, Tilt is an important family member and the light of their life. He is like a son and a best friend.
On the factory farm floor, Tilt was considered wastage.
Our Animal Protection Heroes are the dedicated and selfless individuals who work tirelessly to rescue and rehabilitate injured and abused animals. Whether they’re restoring the wellbeing of sheeps, pigs or chickens who have fallen victim to industrialised farming or nursing an orphaned joey who would otherwise be unable to survive alone, they often operate with zero financial support. This means using their own personal finances and even sacrificing their own homes for the sake and love of the animals.
We hope to continue the Voiceless Animal Protection Heroes gifts in 2020 so we can support animals like Tilt and promote the sanctuaries that they call home.
Since publishing Tilt’s Story in our 2019 Donor Impact Report, Melbourne Chicken Rescue has said goodbye to integral team member, Nicole, who ran the hospice and took in all those who needed special care and rehabilitation. Paula Jewell from Edgar’s Mission has since come on board and has so far rehabilitated a handful of birds with varied backgrounds including an ex-cockfighting breeder hen, a backyard hen with a severe and untreated blood and bone infection, and a hen who fell from the back of a truck on the freeway.
Despite a health scare early this year, we’re happy to report that Tilt continues to rule the roost at MCR.
- Read about the life of broiler chickens on factory farms in Australia.
- Teach your students about broiler chicken welfare.
- Watch “How are Chickens Raised for Meat in Australia?”
- Download the Voiceless hen report: Unscrambled: The Hidden Truth of Hen Welfare.