Just months away from County Fair season, Delano High School students are helping their lambs recover from a brutal dog attack.
One morning, a parent discovered a husky in the sheep pen, pinning one against a wall. In an attempt to escape, all the lambs hopped over their gates, but eight out of nine were still mauled.
According to the school’s agriculture department, the dog got in through a hole in the fence.
“The students were pretty devastated. They understand it is a part of life, and that it can happen,” said Rachelle Reames, Delano High’s agriculture advisor.
Raising the lambs has been a year-long commitment for the Future Farmers of America students. They come in every day, three times a day to care for the animals.
They often pay $400 out of pocket to initially acquire the lambs, but they could sell them for more than $1,500 at the County Fair in September.
“This is an investment for them. A lot of the funds go into things like paying for college, offsetting the cost of education,” said Delano High agriculture department chair, Ernesto Marcial.
After the attack, the students decided to put down three of the lambs because their injuries were so severe. Of the six surviving animals, two had to undergo major surgery, and the rest have open wounds.
This means most students won’t have a lamb eligible for show at the fair, and they’re left with thousands in vet fees.
As a result, community members have donated some lambs, and breeders have offered discounts to students.
“Between everything they’ve got invested, we’re just trying to make sure they have a positive experience and are able to recuperate some of those costs,” Marcial said.
If you’d like to help the students, you can donate to their GoFundMe page. They are hoping to raise $10,000.