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Meet the Bull Who Broke Into the Sanctuary

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People Pets: California Cow Dodges Slaughter by Breaking into Animal Sanctuary

This is Davey, and he is perhaps the luckiest bull around. After two years living at the farm next door, Davey decided it was time to integrate into a new family. He broke a fence down and meandered over to our male bovine herd. By morning, he had fully integrated himself. When animal care director Hannah Beins went out to feed the herd, she was surprised to find a small, hairy, black bull gazing casually back at her.

When you find a lost dog or cat, you check for tags, a microchip, post on social media, put up flyers, and as a last resort, transport them to the local animal shelter.

A 1,000-lb bull needs to be handled differently! Farmers do not microchip and (luckily) Davey had never been cruelly branded with a hot iron.

The penalties for not attempting to find Davey’s “owner” were too high – possible revenge from the rancher, criminal charges filed for theft…we had to try and find the farmer so we could negotiate Davey’s release to us.

We called neighbors, posted flyers on neighboring gates, and notified the local shelter.

After a month of fruitless searching, we received a tip that a property bordering our land had cows. Accessing the property meant driving four miles away…exactly what Hannah did.

A neighbor directed her to a locked gate…and soon after a truck raced down the driveway to meet Hannah.

“I hear you’ve got my cow,” was the first thing the man said. Heart sinking, Hannah described Davey to him. “Yep, sounds like one of my bulls.”

We had all fallen in love with Davey and were terrified the farmer would want him back.

The man had a herd of 17 cows, calves, and bulls and  planned on sending all to slaughter the following morning. Time was of the essence.

Hannah explained how well Davey integrated into our herd and asked if Animal Place could be Davey’s new home. She held her breath and waited…until he finally said yes!

Phew! Davey, now neutered, is one lucky bovine. He will live out the remainder of his life safe and sound at our sanctuary. That is not the case for the remainder of his family, who we were unable to save.

If you are moved by Davey’s escape from slaughter, consider that no cow wants to die. You can help cows like Davey by adopting a vegan lifestyle and donating toward Davey’s care!

Yes, I’d like to help cover the costs of Davey’s care!

A $25 donation helps cover the costs of Davey’s neuter:

A $100 donation feeds the cows for a day: 

Donate what you can ($5 covers the cost of a vaccination, $50 re-supplies the Rescue Medical Fund) 




61 Responses so far.

  1. Carola says:

    God Bless you for saving Davey from certain death! Carola Tschiemer

  2. Linda Perry says:

    I’m glad Davey is safe

  3. i’m so happy davey could stay with you. i have several dogs of my own. i love them all dearly. i am retired and cannot afford donations. please understand. thank you for what you do.

    • Barbara V says:

      Kudos to you, Gayle, for the good you are doing. We each have our own ways of helping save animals–and their upkeep is based on what we can afford. Nonetheless, no cat in need has ever come to my door and not been adopted. I have been well-rewarded in love from them as I am sure you have been with the dogs you’ve helped.

    • Like you Gayle Chapman I live animals but on a tight fixed income. I am 90 years old but do what I can. I am so proud of people like the folks that took this bull in. Wish I could do the same.

      • Robert Goldman says:

        I like your post RoseMarie. Most everyone can give at least a little bit once in a while and to such a worthy cause. I’m relatively young and still working and give to animal causes regularly, including my time, in addition to money.

  4. Jan Schreiber says:

    Smart & wonderful guy.

  5. Mimi Hoffer says:

    Beautiful story! Thank you!!

  6. April Silverman says:

    Lucky Davey!!! Lucky you! A beautiful story!

  7. April Silverman says:

    Lucky Davey! Lucky you!

  8. This story is both beautiful and sorrowful! Thank you for saving Davey!

  9. Don Cornell says:

    Now can I break into the sanctuary to escape this good-for-nothing American society?

    • Joan Kotker says:

      Loved your response re Davey and if you find a safe escape route, let me know.

      • Mary says:

        04.07.2017 – I am very happy for Davey! That smart bovine was able to find a caring and kind sanctuary all by himself! Davey is now in good hands and will be safe for the rest of his precious life. Thank you, Hannah! May I also escape to your sanctuary with Don and Joan?

    • Terry Colon says:

      This society as a whole, has a definite disconnect with the cycle & impact of farm animals, not only to the animals, the enviornment, & those who consume their bodies & secretions(dairy). This ALONE is my biggest soul-wrenching hurdle in this life. I do not eat red meet. I’d rather go hungry. This has been my plight for sever decades. I buy organic eggs [with round green USA emblem. I am of age 62, I want to do my part, to eat humainly. I know & I welcome the cold hard facts & Truths also about the impact & astronomical costs of Farming God’s Creatures. I often wonder what He’make of all this. Thank you for the inspiration to respond to you. Be Blessed, anď Safe, and Thank you for your sentiments, and all you do for any of His Creatures!

    • Ted S Herrle says:

      Yikes! I hope your future events help you recognize this place we live and thrive in isn’t that bad.

  10. Nancy Ellner says:

    Davey & Animal Place, you made my day! I hope to meet you on March 18th at the “Meat-out!”

  11. Ingrid Kingaard says:

    Good for Davey! If only he could have led the rest of his herd to safety. Nevertheless, one very brave bull. God bless them all.

  12. Amanda Ehrenford says:

    Smart and wonderful guy!

  13. Laurie says:

    I wish all 17 cows, bulls and calves could have been bought by Animal Place…although that would have been cost prohibitive. I imagine it would be very tough to leave the others behind to face such a horrible fate. A life of rescuing animals is difficult to say the least, but at least for Davey, life will be long and happy.

  14. Prudence Wyeth Brooks says:


  15. Mary Kuhnley says:

    Thank you, SO MUCH, 4 giving Davey his future life in your sanctuary. Cows are such Peaceful animals. You are the BEST!

  16. Lolly says:

    I am desperately trying to adopt a vegan lifestyle. I love you, davie. Keep up the determination.

    • Virginia says:

      Hi, Lolly.

      First: Thank you for turning your compassion into action and going vegan. Second: Keep trying! We know people sometimes slip up, but don’t let that deter you! There is lots of support out there. Look for vegan meetup, Facebook, and other groups (including us).

  17. I really feel for animals that go to slaughter I pray that everybody decides to go vegan or at least vegetarian it’s hard for me to become vegan but it’s well worth it and there’s some good substitutes out there I am so glad there’s a place like an animal place with all the sad stories it’s nice to have a happy story or a change

    • Donna Gumm says:

      Today, I was watching Animal Planet from Busch Gardens, Tampa They have apes roaming freely. One ape seemed to know he was being filmed. He grabbed a palm frawn and placed it in his head! He looked as though he was smiling???

  18. What a great story, Davey is one smart bull, he knew what he had to do to survive. And the farmer is a nice guy he could have been a real jerk.

  19. What a great story, Davey is one smart bull, he knew what he had to do to survive. And the farmer is a nice guy he could have been a real jerk.

    • Christopher Owen says:

      I cannot agree with you about the farmer being “a nice guy” Were he a nice guy he might have considered the rest of his herd’s lives and making an effort to see them saved as well. The money he would have lost by not selling them for slaughter could with some effort been raised by compassionate individuals and families in and around his community, along with the help of “Animal Place”.

  20. Great story – glad it had a happy outcome since so many don’t. Thanks for taking care of some of our animals friends and for giving them a good home.

    • Nancy says:

      I love everything about this story! I’ve been a vegetarian since 1996 and make continued attempts to go full vegan. Davey’s survival instincts and his intelligence led him to you. I am so grateful you were there to receive him and that the farmer ?‍? showed compassion ahead of profit. He could teach some corporate CEOs a few things.

  21. Tisa says:

    Thank you for saving Davey. What a sweet boy he must be.
    Animals are a true joy.
    I have done a lot of cat rescues.
    I long for the time when we will all be vegan. And no animal has to feel pain or fear.
    Thank you , thank you.

  22. Johanna Stone says:

    Mahalo for saving Daveys life, all of you and even the rancher! And of course Davey himself! Beautiful story keep sharing!! Daveys so cutie 🙂

  23. brian girard says:

    sweet Davey, I wish we could save all animals from being killed and abused. We have so much work to do. I pray and hope everyone helps out any way they can to free wildlife from the chains humans have put around them.They deserve to live their lives just like we do.

  24. Elizabeth Rangel says:

    I read the e-mails that are sent to me and I find them all very touching. I truly commend you all that are putting your foot forward to accomplish something in saving these animals. Which somewhere in their hearts I know they too truly appreciate what you do for them. Each and every one. I would like some day to visit what you call Animal Place and see all the hard work that you put to saving these animals and make a home for them. You are to me someone who truly has a caring heart. I Thank you so much……..

  25. Michael Ames says:

    Davey’s story is one of the most heartwarming I’ve read in a long time. Thank you and thank you for sharing this story, which is going to help me sleep better tonight and bring warm comforting thoughts whenever I think back on this.

  26. Silvia abare says:

    I’m glad the boy escaped from being Slaughter and I’m glad that somebody got him saved I hope he stays in a safe place and never get slaughtered or kill

  27. Sheri DeOrio says:

    Davey is so lucky! The only solution to end this madness is if everyone would stop eating animals and stop using all animal products. Thank you so much, Animal Place, for taking care of Davey and all your animals.

  28. Bonnie Dugan says:

    I am happy for the deserving bull. How sad that others can’t be saved. Humans continue to murder every animal possible, it seems & cruelly.

  29. God bless you all!! We need more people in the world that care about animals and that do something to stop cruelty to all.

  30. Gerard Ange' says:

    Society has led us All to the point….Where we… weather we know it or not we are “all” like Davy.. ~ We are all trapped in the same enormous machine Davy is in… A Machine that tries to snuff out our core personal connection with all life and our mother earth…. A Machine that tries to blind our eyes to our core connection with all living things and all creatures and tries to replace that sense & of the magic and wonder of all life around us with the Machines own cold empty consumerism & greed. The Human race had been molded, trained & brainwashed 24X7 by our media to accept the machine as our core and Capitalism as our god. But The Machine is a Lie ~ We All need to reject this Machine thinking and Break the Chains the Blind our eyes and Bind our minds… As a member of this “so called Human Herd… I chewed off my media leach years ago!!!! My eyes are wide open now…. I see clearly where the Deep State Machine is headed,,, it is not good a good place!!!! Like Davy… as people and creatures we all are in search of Sanctuary! My Deepest Congratulations to Davy!!!

    Thank you AnimalPlace.org for doing what your are doing providing that Sanctuary.

    Gerard Ange’

    First they tried to ignore us…

    Then they ridiculed and made fun of us…

    Then…. They tried to bury us….

    ~ They didn’t know we were seeds!!!!!!!!

    ~ GA@17 ~

    • MS says:

      I love the “seeds” portion of your comment! —

      Keep in mind that an open-market, free-market, capitalistic society is BETTER than any other system.

      We have the freedom to CHOOSE — choosing to be vegans, choosing to be vegetarians, choosing to operate Rescue groups for animals, choosing to do the right thing by all animals is the way to go!

      It’s about choosing your own beliefs and value system — it’s about spreading rationality & compassion.

  31. VIRGINIA FRICK says:

    Thank you for saving Davey !!!! WONDERFUL —

  32. Myra Rodriguez says:

    This is a warmhearted true story.
    If only people would understand how often of ALL animals feel pain, and anguish when abused and neglected.
    We have to continue speaking for them!
    We are making progress in the rescue and providing sanctuaries for them.
    Specially these farm animals that are
    so often forgotten and neglected.

  33. Dianne Buck says:

    Thank you for saving Davey! Wish that the rest of his family could have had that same good fate.

  34. Gerald Mann says:

    So glad Davie was saved , wish the whole heard could have been saved as well , the farmer soundes like he has a heard maybe letting him visit may help further ..

  35. Fran Leard says:

    God bless you for saving this beautiful animal. When will brainless people realize that these animals have feelings and emotions too.

    It’s so heartbreaking to read all the misery and inhumane treatment they have to endure. God help and bless our animals.

  36. Thanks for saving Davey!!! Smart bull indeed!! I have four rescues from four different states…I love each dearly! My babies mean the world to me… First thing I see in the morning and last thing at night, they give such sweet kisses!! Please keep saving all you can, you will be rewarded for your good deeds!!!

  37. vegan for life says:

    1. Davey is NOT a “cow”, he is either a bovien or steer.

    2. when confronting people “claiming” a lost animal, NEVER describe the animal to them. THEY need to describe the animal.

    If you describe it, most will say, yep, that’s my dog, cat, steer, etc.

    But if THEY have to describe it, out of thin air, if it is not actually theirs, you’ll know.

    Always say “found lost dog, cat, steer, etc please DESCRIBE to claim.

    The claimer, will then have to come up with the right…

    color – coat color, and SPECIFIC details, white spots, type of color, such as brindle, specific color patterns, etc.

    Gender – male/female – castrated male/nursing female, etc.

    Size – lap dog, small, med, large

    breed/body details (long ears/short ears/smooth coat/shaggy coat/black lab/mutt

    age – puppykitten/calf? adult dog/cat/bovine? elderly dog/cat/bovine

    Behavior – friendly, nervous, any traits or unique behaviors, like obeys had signals, comes to name or a whistle, fears men, cars, storms, etc

    Any personal details the animal may have, such as horns/no horns, curvature (paralell/curve up, or toward the face, etc) /or lack of horns, any collars, leashes on the animal, etc.

    Only if the claimer get most of the above quiz answers correct, them, can they earn a “meeting” with the animal.

    When they meet, (at a local vet’s office, or Police station parking lot) if the animal is overjoyed, then it probably is theirs, if the animal shrinks and hides, it’s best NOT to give them the animal even if if they did pass the test.

    The burden is on THEM, to PROVE ownership beyond a doubt.

    Most people cannot. Some can, such as adoption papers, photographs with the animal, and vet records. If they don’t have those, they can NOT make a valid claim, solely based on their testament.

    It was the duty of the “farmer” in this story, to PROVE OWNERSHIP, by some kind of document, such as birth records, purchase receipts, etc.

    They’re so lucky. This bull, was probably NOT the farmers, but he KNEW they couldn’t find his “owner”, so he simply agreed with her that is was his bull, by word only, and no proof, so he could get some “free” money, by having her buy his freedom, or taking him and selling him for slaughter.


  38. Jen C. says:

    Thanks for introducing Davey! He’s a sweetheart. I’m so happy his life was spared and he can live freely among your herd.

  39. MS says:

    Thank you a million times — what a nasty & cruel industry of raising cattle for slaughter — I couldn’t do it! — I wish these ranchers chose another career path – e.g., growing beans, lettuce, arugula.

  40. Henrietta KOmras says:

    Yes there have been several stories of cows jumping out of the slaughter line that I read about
    We “humans’ don’t deserve that name until we realize that we are in this soup together; all of us may be different species but we all feel and we all die.

    Good for Davey but there are billions of innocent animals led to slaughter for no reason except human greed and gluttony. We are monsters and just like the Nazis.
    Please read “Eternal Treblinka” written by Charles Patterson who rightly compares the constant brutal slaughter of animals to the murder of Jews during the Holocaust.
    As Isaac BAshevis Singer, Nobel winner for Literature wrote, “For animals we are all Nazis. For them it is an eternal Treblinka.”
    For those of you reading this who do not know what Treblinka is; it was one of the many death camps for the mass extermination of Jews conducted by the Nazis under a madman named Hitler and the means of transporting the Jews to the gas chambers were cattle cars; the same that are used to transport billions of trusting, innocent animals at a very early age to be slaughtered and turned into McBurgers rather than living out their natural life span and enjoying the sunshine and the time on earth that they were allotted.

    Anyone who participates in this by eating the flesh of a slaughtered animal that was killed by someone else for your digestion is guilty by association If we eat animals or use them , we are all Nazis.

    • DAVID AARON says:


      I concur, Harriette.
      “the meek shall inherit the earth”
      Yes…the animals! We’ve been destroying the environment, while the aniamls live in harmony with nature.
      Shame on most of we humans on the neglect!

  41. Les Guzik says:

    My conscience was bothered by eating meat for many years. I never was a big meat eater anyway but about five years ago at age 68 or so I decided to be a vegetarian. Every day since then the thought of killing an animal and eating it becomes more and more horrific to me. No way I could ever do it again. I get criticized a lot by family members but I don’t care what they say, I believe my decision is morally right.

    P.S. I am a donor to Animal Place.

  42. Bless you for giving him peace n life. Im sorry for all animals who are raised for food consumsion. I pray 1 day the horrific killing will end.

  43. Leslie Ellis says:

    By my calculations, it costs you at least $365,000 a year just to feed the cows you save. I am so glad Davey is saved, he is obviously a gentle soul, and smart, as are others who figure out how to escape dire fates.
    But how do you ever raise enough to support your wonderful sanctuary?

  44. Pamela Wallace says:

    Davey is a beautiful boy and I’m so happy that he is well cared for at the sanctuary. You all are doing wonderful things for animals like Davey?

  45. Pat Baxter says:

    It was very nice of the farmer to let Davey stay with you. I am sure that leaving him with you cost the farmer some money. It was also very nice of you to allow him to stay!

  46. Tammy Hill says:

    God bless you for saving Davey! Let’s all remember that God’s original diet was fruits and nuts (see Genesis 1:11). God never intended for animals to have to die until after sin entered the garden (via Adam and Eve). Sin brings death (Romans 6:23). It’s a personal choice as to what people choose to eat; however, I choose to not eat dead animals. I never want another creature to suffer for my appetite.

  47. pam says:

    people don’t realize animals have feelings and can think as well. Perhaps the guy knew what he was in for if he didn’t get out of there. But we need to learn the new vegan lifestyle the meat eating is not compatible with human digestion..need to wake up and stop slaughtering our animals and breeding them like crazy too. It’s inhumane.