When six cows escaped a slaughterhouse in St. Louis last week, they likely knew that making a run for it was their only chance to forgo what was ahead for them. The cows took police and animal control officers on an exhausting five-hour chase through the streets of St. Louis … and we can’t blame them. The brave cows wanted what all animals want: love and freedom.

But even after the dramatic chase, their freedom was not ensured. They had been waiting at the slaughterhouse in limbo since last Thursday, as many locals and farm animal sanctuaries desperately pleaded with the slaughterhouse to spare them. And the pleas worked: the steers have been picked up from the slaughterhouse and have been taken to a local area farm. The six will stay at the farm for a couple weeks to rest and then will make the journey to a farm animal sanctuary, most likely, The Gentle Barn animal sanctuary.

Jay Weiner, co-founder of The Gentle Barn said, “They’re scared. They’ve gone through a lot. But they are destined for good things.” And with the many animals already living their lives in peace at both of The Gentle Barn’s locations in California and Tennessee, we know these six steers are in good hands.

The six were rescued thanks to a crowdfunding page started by Adam Brewster. He raised a staggering $16,500 and donated all of the money to The Gentle Barn so that they could purchase the steers and transport them. The decision to buy the cows was met with opposition by Farm Sanctuary, however, who wanted the slaughterhouse to donate the steers to a sanctuary, believing that paying for rescue animals perpetuates abuse in the industry. While there have been concerns raised on either side, the cows have been saved from slaughter, most importantly, and are on their way to a happily ever after.

Cows are extremely intelligent and emotional animals. Like humans, cows develop strong bonds with their children and have best friends. They even have special calls for the ones they love – the same way we give our friends and family nicknames. Most cows are treated like commodities and are unable to live their life with the love and understanding they deserve, but for the six cows who took a chance and made a dash for freedom, they are now in caring hands!

Lead Image Source: werner22brigitte/Pixabay