People who work at sanctuaries see farm animals in a different way than most humans. While many people can’t bear to deal with the realities of factory farming and all of the cruelty present in animal agriculture, sanctuary workers, like those at Farm Sanctuary, expose themselves to this brutality head-on. They take in the victims of this industry, fully aware of the horrible trauma these animals have been through. Whether it’s a cow, pig, or chicken, sanctuary workers see these animals for the individuals that they are, and are ready to welcome them into a safe place, aid them in recovery, and help them slowly warm up to humans.

Considering these kind folks are in such close proximity to these animals, it’s no surprise that they often form last long-lasting friendships. Cows can recognize faces, are highly emotional (they love kisses and cuddles), and form friendships that last for years! The strong bonds between worker and animal truly highlight the emotional capacity of these creatures that so many fail to see.


Susie Coston, the National Shelter Director of Farm Sanctuary, for instance, has a beautiful relationship with Sonny, a cow she has known for years. Sonny and Coston first met at a calf auction where she found Sonny sprawled on the floor unable to stand. He was one of the many downed calves at a stockyard and Coston was told that if he stood up he would be sold. Thankfully, Sonny never got up and Coston was able to carry the young bovine out of there and back to the sanctuary with her.

Sonny was not in good shape, though. He was dehydrated, needed a blood transfusion, and was being cared for around-the-clock. It was unclear whether the young animal would make it. Luckily, with a lot of care and attention, Sonny is better than ever and is actually celebrating his fifth birthday and his rebirth. And of course, Sonny had Coston there with him the whole time.

“I consider Sonny to be one of my dearest friends and one of the greatest loves of my life, and cannot imagine a world without him,” Coston shares. We’re so glad they found each other.




We’re so inspired by the friendship between these two. If everyone could show just a sliver of the same compassion Coston has shown to Sonny, the world would be a much kinder place. If this story inspired you, share this article to help encourage others to learn about and understand farm animals better. A more compassionate world begins with you.

Image source: Farm Sanctuary/Facebook