Sanctuary Spotlight


Fifteen years ago, an awkward, wobbly calf arrived at the sanctuary. He had been born on a cow-calf operation raising cattle for slaughter. His mom died giving birth. The farmer drove the day-old calf to a local animal control and shoved him into the night drop box. Imagine their surprise when shelter staff opened up the box and found a bovine instead of a cat or dog!

Originally, the shelter planned on raffling him to 4-H kids to raise and slaughter. If you ever wonder how powerful the actions of one person can be - just ask Howie. A volunteer at the shelter was outraged. She contacted us and the local media. It became evident the shelter had no recourse but to give up the calf to a sanctuary instead of a slaughterhouse.

Howie has become a superstar at the sanctuary. In his younger days, he had to be locked away from visitors because he thought of them as fun play toys. At 2,000 lbs, this was certainly dangerous!

One of his favorite games to play involved waiting until an animal caregiver filled up a wheelbarrow after cleaning and was heading to the compost pile. He would see them, laboring and huffing up the hill, and come over to "help". His assistance included flinging the straw-laden wheelbarrow in the air! Staff learned to wait until Howie was off in the hills grazing before emptying the wheelbarrow.

Now Howie turns fifteen. He has slowed down a lot. He no longer needs to be locked up for tours - people can interact with him directly. And he does not have the energy to upend wheelbarrows.

Instead, he spends his days with his best friend, Sadie. Where she goes, he will follow and vice versa. Both suffer from arthritis and avoid going too far with the other cows. It's been a joy watching him mature and sad watching him age.

You can help Howie in a variety of ways. First, reduce or eliminate meat, dairy and eggs! Howie is a herbivore and he'd love for you to try it out!  He loves cantaloupes and carrots...he bets you will too. You can foster Howie - for the month of February, you'll also receive a FREE 2011 AP Calendar (Howie is Mr. August). Foster Howie now!

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