Farm animals rarely receive the chance to live out their regular, natural lives, since they are often grown as commodities instead of being raised and cared for as individuals. Despite being confined for most of their short lives and having a number of their natural instincts repressed, farm animals will rise to the occasion and their unique personalities will shine through, if only given the chance.
Fargo the steer is one of these special animals who one day found that luck was finally on his side. En route to the slaughterhouse, Fargo somehow managed to escape his sad fate and made a “mad dash for freedom,” as KX News reports.
He ended up spending a few hours walking through the calm streets of Casselton, N.D., where some residents watched him wander around in their yards.
“For those 4 hours, he probably had no idea he would be caught and eventually sent back to the slaughter house. He was a somebody at that point until he was tranquilized and taken back. Then he went back to being a something, a commodity in the eyes of the farmer,” as Assistant Director of SASHA Farm Animal Sanctuary, Christine Wagner, tells OGP.
Fargo’s break for freedom quickly made it onto local news stations in and outside of N.D., and this coverage is what ended up saving him.
Duane Thumm watched Fargo’s story unfold on his local Chicago news channel and felt “compelled to do something,” says Wagner.
Thumm managed to track down Fargo’s owner, who had already brought him back to his Durbin-based farm.
Thumm was able to convince the owner to surrender Fargo to a sanctuary. Once he agreed, Thumm immediately contacted SASHA Farm Animal Sanctuary in Manchester, Mich.
However, Fargo’s owner wouldn’t let him go without a little fight, wanting compensation for the steer. Thumm’s sister, Brenda Kocim, ended up footing the $2,300 bill. But despite this pricy stumbling block, the real goal was never put out of sight – to give Fargo the freedom he has long deserved.
SASHA Farm answered Thumm’s call for help and arranged for co-founder Monte Jackson to drive the 14 hours to North Dakota to pick Fargo up.
Jackson found Fargo in “fairly good condition,” Wagner tells us, and loaded him up in a trailer and headed back on the 14-hour drive home to Michigan.
Once Fargo arrived at SASHA Farm, he was greeted by staff and volunteers, who happily welcomed him into his new home.
SASHA Farm staff immediately set to caring for sweet Fargo, offering him a nice indoor enclosure to explore…
…and some delicious food to munch on.
Not long after, Fargo had the chance to meet SASHA Farm’s other residents, many of whom were also runaways.
“Initially, the others followed Fargo around and sniffed him. After about 30 minutes, it was like Fargo was always one of the group. He has blended right in,” Wagner tells us.
Luckily, Fargo will now have the chance to experience the full length of his life — an opportunity that farm animals rarely receive.
He will always have a family around him of loving people and animals, and perhaps most importantly, he will be “a somebody and not a something,” as Wagner says.
Lead image source: SASHA Farm