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Sanctuaries that care for abused and exploited farm animals work tirelessly to give them a good life. They can’t do it alone. They need donations, volunteers, and most importantly, they need veterinary care to ensure the health and wellbeing of the animals in their care. Saved animals may already have health issues from their previous living situations or they can naturally develop health problems.

Unfortunately, two vets in Minnesota do not care for the lives of farm sanctuary animals. The vets at Lester Prairie Veterinary Clinic refused to help Spring Farm Sanctuary when Pete, a steer, slipped on ice and hurt himself. Spring Farm Sanctuary director Robin Johnson always called them for veterinary care. They are the closest vets at just 38 minutes away from the sanctuary, but the vet who usually attended the Spring Farm animals is no longer working there.

Johnson was understandably concerned for Pete because his brother, Scruffy died from a fall the previous year. But when she called for medical assistance, she was told: “We do not come out there for emergencies – you are just too far away. We’re also not really in agreement with the advertisements that are posted there. So we are not the vet there any longer.”

The advertisements they were referring to are the posters at Spring Farm Sanctuary that reveal facts about animal agriculture. They’re educational posters informing people of the horrors and suffering that animals face in the food industry like the separation of calves from their mothers on the same day they’re born.

Another veterinary clinic, Buffalo Equine, refused to help but wouldn’t say why. In Minnesota, the law allows vets to pick and choose who to treat, but as Johnson says, they’ve taken an oath “to use [their] scientific knowledge and skills for the prevention and relief of animal suffering.” Not having a vet around that can make emergency calls puts the Sanctuary in danger. Pete turned out okay thanks to volunteers putting down padding to help him up, but how will he and other animals receive medical care if something goes wrong or in case of emergencies?

If vets care about the lives of animals, they should treat farm sanctuary animals even if they disagree with the humans involved about animal agriculture. The animals were saved from suffering in those cruel environments; they shouldn’t still suffer as a result of the same industry that exploited and abused them or their families.

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