Though you might never know it by looking at her now, Fawn, the cow, has had quite the difficult life. Fawn was born into the dairy industry to a mother who was chained and confined to a small, concrete milking stall where she could not turn around of even sit down. Because of these extreme restraints, Fawn’s mother was forced to give birth standing up. Without supervision, Fawn was allowed to fall into the corner manure pit located behind her mother’s stall upon birth. A terrible way to come into this world, Fawn hit her face and front knee on the concrete during the fall and was left in the manure pit until the next morning when she was discovered by the farm’s manager.
“This tiny calf hit her face and front knee hard. I can’t imagine how incredibly anxious and desperate this mother must have been, unable to reach her newborn baby.”
Because of the extent of the injuries she sustained, she would never be useful as a dairy cow, so the farmer gave Fawn to a local woman who wanted to raise her as a pet. Though this woman took Fawn in and provided her with the best care she could, Fawn’s injuries soon proved to be too extensive for her to handle.
While Fawn received good care from the woman who adopted her, over the next year, her fractured knee didn’t heal. Her “good” knee couldn’t support her weight and her caretaker was told that Fawn would never walk again. The vet recommended having a neighbor shoot the calf to put her out of her misery. This answer was certainly not an option that her caretaker wanted to consider, but thankfully, Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary stepped in.
“We fully expected the vets would tell us that the kindest thing to do would be to euthanize her. The situation looked beyond hope.”
With the equipment and resources necessary to care for Fawn, Woodstock was more than happy to take help the calf. Upon arrival, Fawn was taken to the veterinarians at Cornell, and despite the severity of Fawn’s condition, they felt they could help. Fawn had an operation on her front leg to reset a broken bone. Another operation was needed to repair the damage that had been caused to her other front leg that had been strained from trying to compensate for the broken leg.
Though the vet bills were substantial, both Woodstock staff and the vets at Cornell had both fallen in love with the sweet calf and were more than willing to take on the expense of her surgery.
Though the road to recovery is going to be a long one for this sweet calf, she is well on her way.
“Fawn has been going through physical therapy each day to try to strengthen the tendons that have collapsed in her fetlock (pretty much the equivalent of her ankle),” Lila explains. “She has been back and forth to Cornell’s veterinary hospital to work with the surgeons, farriers, and prosthetists there, as well as with a local farrier to try to manufacture a brace that will help support her legs and improve her mobility.”
Through it all, Fawn has remained sweet and friendly, her loving demeanor has even won her the spot as “vet’s favorite patient.”
“She is made out of sugar,” Lila, assistant farm manager at Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary tells One Green Planet. “She is the sweetest, most mellow girl.”
Fawn is currently waiting on full leg braces to be made by an orthopedic prosthetist. These will be a tremendous help to improve Fawn’s walking ability. However, as she grows, her braces will have to be adjusted on a regular basis.
Though Fawn will never be able to live with the main herd at Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary because of her injuries, she loves the other animals. She has made a friend in another Jersey calf, Maribeth, who also suffers from leg injuries. Cows are very affectionate and emotional creatures, so having a friend who can sympathize with her struggles will surely help Fawn to grow up nice and strong, regardless of her many set backs.
In addition to her new animal friends, Fawn has completely won over her caretakers.
“She LOVES chin scratches and treats like bread, grain, and apples,” says Lila. Given all the hardships this little calf has faced, it is about time that she got to experience the love and care she has always deserved.
Though she may never fully recover, she is guaranteed to have a home at the sanctuary. She is living proof of how one farm animal, who could have easily been tossed away, can inspire so much love and compassion from so many different people.
“I hope that the empathy readers feel for Fawn can be extrapolated to feelings of concern for all animals living in factory farms,” Lila tells One Green Planet. “She is no different than the billions slaughtered in this country alone every year. They are all beautiful sentient individuals deserving of care.”
How You Can Help
If it wasn’t for the kind people at Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary, Fawn would not be here today. Although she will need care and attention for the rest of her life, we are confident that she is in the best hands possible. Every farm animal deserves the love and protection that Fawn has been given.
Fawn’s medical bills are expected to be quite extensive, but you can help Woodstock ensure this little calf gets all the help she needs by making a donation, here. If you are interested in volunteering at Woodstock you can visit their website, here.
Image source: Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary