Credit: Kate Luke - Little Oak Sanctuary
Wooly the rescued sheep grazing in a field, safe at an animal sanctuary

The sheep given a second chance: Wooly Harrelson

Rescued after falling from a truck as a newborn, this brave, affectionate sheep is now living a safe, love-filled life...

Animals Australia

Animals Australia team

Last updated November 22, 2023

Our friends at Little Oak Sanctuary have kindly given us permission to share the story of a very special rescued sheep to support our work to end live sheep export. And, in the hope that his life can inspire compassion for all animals.

Meet Wooly Harrelson.

Wooly is living a life all sheep deserve – one where he is cared for and valued for who he is, not what he can be sold for. But it wasn’t always like this…

Wooly was born on the back of a truck as his heavily pregnant mother was being transported to the saleyards. Wooly slipped through the grate and onto the road, where he almost certainly would have been killed by traffic.  Luckily, passing wildlife carers on a rescue mission of their own, saw Wooly fall and immediately scooped him up to safety.

Now eight years old, Wooly lives a life filled with love and adventure at Little Oak Sanctuary. His caregiver describes him as charming and friendly, with an upbeat personality. He’s a natural leader to the other rescued sheep who look to him for guidance in any uncertain situations.

Wooly’s brave, friendly and affectionate nature was evident even as a tiny lamb when he was first rescued and seen – for the very first time – as an individual.

Wooly’s life is one that sadly, many sheep will never experience.

He will never be loaded onto a dangerous live export vessel. He will never be shoved into a car boot in suffocating heat. He will never face the pain and terror of fully conscious slaughter – a fate that awaits most animals exported live from Australia. Wooly will only ever know love and the companionship of his flock, human and animal.

Right now, thousands of sheep just like Wooly are being prepared for sale into the cruel live export trade. Your gift will help us maintain our critical role as watchdogs of this industry, and help us ensure the government’s promised phase-out of live sheep export happens as soon as possible.

Donate to end live sheep export
Wooly the rescued sheep enjoying a neck rub from his carer
Kate Luke - Little Oak Sanctuary
A young happy Wooly the rescued sheep laying on the ground with a content facial expression
Kate Luke - Little Oak Sanctuary
A rescued lamb walking on a muddy path with a blue sky in the background.
Kate Luke - Little Oak Sanctuary

Since falling from a truck as a newborn and being rescued by kind-hearted people who saw him as someone instead of something, Wooly’s personality has been able to shine. Image credit: Little Oak Sanctuary

Sheep don’t belong on live export ships. They are sensitive, timid animals who seek connection with one another (and with us too if we earn their trust). And like Wooly, when given the chance, they blossom.

All sheep deserve the life that sweet Wooly Harrelson has at Little Oak Sanctuary – one filled with love, joy and adventure – doing all the things that sheep love to do!

This image contains content which some may find confronting

Two sheep nuzzling one another in a field
Now eight years old, Wooly is a confident and natural leader of his flock.
Image credit: Kate Luke - Little Oak Sanctuary

Help shape a brighter future for all sheep

In Australia, sheep endure painful surgical procedures without being given any pain relief and are killed at just a fraction of their natural lifespan. This is the ‘best case’ scenario for most animals born into the sheep industry.  Hundreds of thousands of others will be subjected to the additional trauma of live export where grueling sea journeys and painful, fully conscious slaughter are ‘the norm’.

An end date to the live sheep export trade means an end to some of the worst suffering for thousands of sheep – each one as deserving as Wooly of our kindness and compassion.


This image contains content which some may find confronting

Wooly and his carer gently touch heads with their eyes closed, in a sweet moment of connection
Image credit: Kate Luke - Little Oak Sanctuary