They thought it was trash…until she moved

They thought it was trash…until she moved

Aug 7 2015 Shelby smbDriving down the highway, a driver initially took little notice of what appeared to be trash on the side of the freeway…until the lump moved. Afraid the creature was a dog or cat who might get hit by a car, the two immediately pulled over.

And found an emaciated, petrified calf!

With no farm in sight, the two believed the calf fell from a transport truck taking calves to auction for sale to dairy farms and slaughter.

She must have hunkered down on the side of the highway and waited. Wounded and vulnerable, days passed without help, food, or hope. What little weight she had, rapidly disappeared. She became infested with parasites, pus oozing from open sores on her legs and side.

When her rescuers figured out she was a calf, their reaction was no different than if she had been a dog or a cat – the two guided the weak calf into the back of their vehicle…and called us. We knew time was of the essence and offered to take in the calf.

Her rescuers drove the calf 8 hours to us.

Our animal care team rushed into action when they saw the car pull in the driveway. Caregivers immediately fed the vulnerable orphan a prepared bottle of warm milk replacer, gave fluids for her dehydration, and monitored her throughout the night, to ensure survival.

The rescuers named her Shelby.

Aug 7 2015 Shelbe sma
Shelby had a body condition score of 1.5 out of 9.

Our veterinarian diagnosed Shelby as severely emaciated, labeling her body condition score a 1.5 out of 9 (where 1 is the most emaciated.)  She weighed 83 pounds but should have weighed 120 pounds — almost 40 pounds underweight!

Shelby is on the road to recovery but is not out of the woods yet. It will take months for her to gain weight and recover from this trauma.

She loves playing with her bouncy ball and is learning to trust humans once again. We may not know her history completely, but her future is secure. Unlike calves on dairy farms, Shelby will never be forcibly impregnated just so her calves can be stolen and her milk sold to humans. She will never face the slaughterhouse at a fraction of her lifespan.

As a resident of Animal Place, she has value beyond measure. It is in the way she moos at the other cows across the way. Or how she races across her pasture, then collapses exhausted. It is how she curiously investigates everything within eyesight and nose. Or how she cracks acorns open and spends fifteen minutes crushing one into oblivion. It is in who she is, not how she can benefit humans.

Join us in crafting a more just, compassionate world…where calves like Shelby are seen as unique individuals who have value beyond a forgotten meal.

How you can help:
Try vegan! We can help! Join our Sanctuary Sweets recipe list! Being vegan is joyous and is a stand against cruelty and social injustice.

Donate! Helping Shelby recover from her trauma and neglect has required several veterinary visits, antibiotics, de-worming, vaccines, and of course daily bottle feedings. Any gift is appreciated to provide Shelby the best lifelong care she deserves!

What are ways you can help animals like Shelby?

Join our Moo-News and stay informed on the happenings at Animal Place as well as ways you can help make this a kinder, more just world for farmed animals!

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