Rescued from a slaughterhouse, a sheep named Elvis is dubbed ‘Pet of the Week’ by Newsweek

August 31, 2022

Becky Schub had been volunteering for a non-profit that rescued sheep from slaughter and, when one sheep was rejected by its mom because of a latching issue, she instantly offered to bottle feed it. The little lamb was named Shiloh, and Schub instantly fell in love: “It all kinda fell into my lap from there,” she told Newsweek.

“Everyone knows that, with herd animals, once you have one, you’re going to need a friend for it—and that’s where my lengthy search for Elvis began,” said Schub.

Elvis, like Shiloh before him, was rescued from a slaughterhouse when Schub took him back to the ranch. A feral sheep at first, Elvis wanted nothing to do with humans, but after just a day spent with his new barn-mate, he was sold on Shiloh: “I was on cloud nine,” she explained: “I had finally found a companion for my lamb.”

He got his name Elvis from the first moment I saw him because he had the black pompadour and white body which resemble the Vegas-style coats the Elvis impersonators wear,” Schub remarked.

“When I picked up Elvis, he was in some pretty hard-to-see conditions. He was waiting to be sold for slaughter and they were fattening the lambs up tremendously to sell at the feed store.”

During his short life, Elvis already had been through three rounds of pneumonia, which had left permanent scarring on his lungs. He was later diagnosed with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) and allergies, which continue to be treated by Schub and a medical team.

She describes the sheep as the “star of the show—but in a modest way,” explaining that Elvis doesn’t take center stage or demand the limelight—but seems to love making people smile.

“He loves dressing up for each holiday,” explained Schub: “He hates when I have to take the costumes off. It’s hysterical.”

Schub hopes that sharing more about Elvis will help people to understand more about sheep: “They have just as much personality and spunk as a dog,” she explained.

“Oftentimes I find myself referring to Elvis as my Labrador. If only humans would give these creatures much more of a chance, … I think this world would have a lot more insight on a species that makes hands-down one of the greatest pets I’ve owned.

Research contact: @Newsweek