Santiago Left This World
Animal Stories from All-Creatures.org

FROM Zoe Rosenberg
Facebook post, July 19, 2021
July 2021

The woman who found him seven years ago said he was standing in the middle of the bike lane, acting as if he was trying to get someones attention to ask for help.

Rooster Santiago

I come to you all this evening with devastating news.

Yesterday morning our sweet friend Santiago left this world.

As many of you know, he received surgery to remove a tumor from his eye several months ago. While the surgery was a success, he never really went back to his former self. Over the last several months, he had his ups and downs, but ultimately his health was slowly declining.

On Sunday morning he was found in the ICU incredibly cold and weak. A heat lamp was setup and we did what we could for him, but he sadly passed away a few hours later.

Santiago came to us almost seven years ago. He was found with his brothers on the side of the road in Santiago Canyon in Orange County. The woman who found him said he was standing in the middle of the bike lane, acting as if he was trying to get someones attention to ask for help.

When the woman stopped to check on him and the other roosters, she found that all but one of his brothers had been hit by cars or killed by predators. The woman contacted us and we arranged for her to drive them to the sanctuary. Santiagoís one remaining brother was incredibly weak and dehydrated, and tragically passed away on the drive to Happy Hen.

Santiago survived against all odds and made it safely to his new home. He became a permanent resident at Happy Hen Animal Sanctuary, and from that day forward he made everyone he met fall in love with him. He showed hundreds of visitors that chickens are incredible and unique individuals deserving of respect and compassion, and he taught us that no one is too small to make a huge impact on the lives of others.

He is the smallest chicken resident to ever live at the sanctuary, but he made up for it in personality. You could always look outside and find him strutting proudly with his tail feathers held high, and if you ever underestimated him he was sure to prove you wrong. We would often find him bossing around roosters 10x his size. We will never forget looking outside to see him chasing our largest rooster around the yard!

Santiago and Zoe

But despite his occasional bossiness and sass, he was truly a sweet boy with the biggest heart in that little body of his. When his best friend passed away a few years ago, he stood over her body for hours. He was completely devastated, and he didnít want to leave her. He so clearly felt love and loss, just like humans do.

Everyone at the sanctuary is completely devastated by Santiagoís passing, and I know this hurt and pain will be felt by many people all over the world. Santiago was loved by all of our staff members, volunteers, and visitors, and he made such a profound impact on so many of us.

Chicken Friends

We know without a doubt that Santiago will never be forgotten, and not a day will go by that we donít miss seeing him strut or hearing his beautiful crow. I hope that his passing can be a reminder that we can all make a difference, regardless of the struggles we have faced, the lives we have lived, or the sizes of our bodies. I also hope his passing can be a reminder of how incredible roosters are, and how much love and respect they deserve.

To our beautiful Santiago, we love and miss you so much and we all hope to see you again someday. Thank you for being a part of our lives for as long as you could be. We are so incredibly lucky and grateful to have known you. You will live on in our hearts, forever and always


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