14 May 2021

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May 2021, Newsletter

Hens sitting in the grass with msg: Respect for Chickens Month With LaSalle Gals

Hi Karen,

We are celebrating ‘Respect for Chicken Month’ and I want to begin this newsletter by paying tribute to the 36,000 LaSalle Chickens. In today’s newsletter, you will read about their stunning rescue story.

Thanks to the tireless efforts made by Luvin Arms staff and over 150 generous volunteers and activists, Luvin Arms saved the lives of over 600 LaSalle chickens and found them loving homes all around the country. A rescue mission of unprecedented scale, ghastly sights, and a strong underlying message.

Plus, you will get up close with Valentine - one of the rescued LaSalle Chickens - still alive to tell her story.

If you believe that your companion animal loves to cuddle no end, just wait until you meet our affectionate chicken lady Valentine!

The Shocking Story of LaSalle Chickens Rescue

Thousands of chickens crowded in a shed

A Desperate Plea on a Chilling Winter Night

On the night of December 30th, 2018, during one of Colorado’s unforgiving winters, Luvin Arm’s co-founders Shaleen and Shilpi Shah were about to sit down for the family dinner when they received an unexpected phone call.

It was a desperate plea from a volunteer who trekked all the way from California to Colorado on a critical rescue mission. The volunteer notified the Shahs that a chicken farm in LaSalle, Colorado had recently gone bankrupt.

When the call came in to rescue the LaSalle flock, the numbers rolling in were staggering. Nearly 36,000 innocent chicks and adult chickens were suffering and starving on the farm—Valentine being one of them.

The Shahs and Luvin Arms staff knew they had to help these chickens.

A Rescue Mission of Unprecedented Scale

Since a rescue of this magnitude was first for the Shahs and those at Luvin Arms, they strategically planned out their mission.

One team of staff and volunteers ran around preparing numerous supplies needed for the rescued animals. They transformed the Luvin Arms facilities into makeshift shelters in order to temporarily house a large number of incoming chickens.

They rented several vans to rescue the chickens and converted one of the barns into a shelter. The visitor center turned into a makeshift ICU for those in more critical condition.

Punctured Wounds and Missing Limbs
- The True Face of “Humanely Raised Chicken” Farms

Another team led by Shaleen Shah, Luvin Arms staff, and volunteers traveled to the farm where they believed they would rescue around 210 chickens.

To their utter shock, that number would soon soar into the HUNDREDS.

The rescuers and staff entered the farm to witness a grim site - an unsightly paradox to the farm’s benevolent message. Thousands of chicks were found living in deplorable conditions - likely never seeing the light of day.

They were tightly packed together on top of one another and covered in layers of their own feces. While some of the chickens were found frostbitten, others had puncture wounds and missing limbs.

Unfortunately, there were already chickens who had passed away upon their arrival.

Some starving chicks resorted to cannibalism of the ill and deceased - a behavior that is uncommon for chickens and was likely done out of means of survival.

If the scene itself wasn’t ghastly enough, what was happening on one side of the barn stunned the rescuers. While Shaleen, staff, and volunteers were so eagerly saving as many chickens as possible on one side of the barn, the farmers were in the back of the barn simultaneously slaughtering chickens, later claiming that they were “putting them out of their misery.”

Shilpi summarizes her experience of the rescue -

“The whole rescue wasn’t just the rescue itself. It was not a one- day rescue. It was a multiple-day transport effort with many volunteers involved.”

While Valentine’s story ended with a loving home, we continue to live in a world where chicken farming and agriculture are carried out on a mass industrial scale. Downplaying the detrimental impact it has on the animals and the environment.

We could save only 600 of those sentient beings. And we feel sad about those who couldn’t make it.

The truth is - we need more people to hear this story. We want more hearts to connect with compassion. And all this is possible with your support.

Please forward this message to as many people as possible and help spread this word.

False Portrayal & Empty Words - When Will this End?

The food industry feeds consumers with a common fable to pair with their meat— that farming animals for their flesh is justified when it is carried out in “a humane fashion”.

We walk through the aisles of our local supermarkets and pass by packages of meat with bold letters reading “free- range chicken” or “humanely raised chickens.”

Now passing down the aisles we are reminded of those false photos and those empty words.

Valentine and all of the chickens remind us all of their irrefutable suffering and exploitation at the expense of the animal farming industry.

When will this hypocrisy end?

Resident Spotlight: Valentine
- Mini, Yet Mighty Lady With a Full Heart

Woman holding a hen

By Julie Negal

After recovering from a patched-up wing and a healing heart, Valentine adjusted well to the good life at Luvin Arms.

Our social lady began to show excitement and curiosity towards people during group tours, and, with time, developed a trust in her humans.

Beneath her feathery exterior, Valentine encompasses some of the same complex emotional needs that we so often believe to be reserved solely for humans. The need to be held, to be hugged, to be kissed, and to be loved.

Just like her name implies, Valentine knows no physical or communication barriers when it comes to love. She selflessly gives people lucky enough to be in her presence unconditional affection.

She is our mini, yet mighty, floofy lady with a full heart, and she is a survivor with a story to tell.

Close encounter with Valentine

By Shartrina White

Nine months after her rescue, I met Valentine. We developed an instant bond.

Now, every time when I enter Valentine’s home, Valentine affectionately runs up to me eagerly awaiting cuddles.

I cherish the beautiful bond we share. My heart melts every time I am with her. It further solidifies the notion that chickens are undoubtedly highly sentient individuals who develop close family and interspecies bonds.

Donor Spotlight: Lisa Steele

Woman holding a hen

Lisa’s “love affair” with farm animals started with a pair of domestic ducks that were abandoned on a pond near her home. After a few unsuccessful attempts, the ducks were rescued from the pond, and she began caring for them. She along with Kathi McGee (her neighbor and fellow Luvin Arms volunteer) then began searching for a permanent safe home for the ducks. That’s when they first learned about Luvin Arms and its mission

Lisa always felt a special connection to all animals and supported organizations that work to prevent animal suffering. She feels that farmed animals especially need advocates because they don’t seem to be thought of in the same way as our companion animals.

In her own words-

“Farmed animals are sentient beings and deserve to live a life free from suffering and exploitation.”

Lisa shared a quote that captures the essence of Luvin Arms:

“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”
~ Desmond Tutu

Luvin Arms Animal Sanctuary