Refuge RR Saves two cows
Written by Sylvie Leboeuf   
Tuesday, 25 February 2014 20:52

Before the New Year, we received an emergency call for a five-year-old cow that was headed to her death at the slaughterhouse. Quickly Refuge RR rescued her from a brutal ending to her life. The cow named Abbey with a red paint stripe down her back (to indicate slaughter-bound) was brought here to the Refuge to live peacefully for the remainder of her lifetime. Being a dairy cow that had never been outside, we kept her indoors almost for a month and a half until we had a break in our frigid temperatures. Once the weather was suitable, we bought her a winter coat and she finally went outside. She was excited and ran and jumped and sniffed everyone around her. Finally she met Jazz and Boobie, our other resident cattle. They gently nuzzled over the fence and when the time was right she entered their field. Smelling, running, following and adventuring, all three cattle became fast friends.

Just after we saved Abbey, we were notified about another cow from the same farm that turned out to be Abbey's mother. She was emaciated, lame and blind and was to be shipped to slaughter the following week. Refuge RR immediately began negotiations to rescue her and set out to find her a loving home.  We could only take Abbey since we did not have the space with over 250 residents at the Refuge. We sent out a plea looking for a home for Sweety and one was found in the USA at a sanctuary that already had a blind cow that needed a companion.  We immediately set to work to see what was needed to get Sweety over the border. Vets were called to assess her health and take blood samples.  The first vet that was called said "She will never pass over the border." and left. Discouraged, we called one of our veterinary clinics and made arrangements to have Sweety brought to their hospital to do all that was necessary to make sure she qualified to cross the border.  Daily baths, good food and a soft quiet stall where she could relax, were terrific remedies for healing. Her foot had now healed and the veterinarians proceeded to take all the necessary blood tests that were required to cross the border. Constant Calls to the CFIA, Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, US Customs, and the USDA were made. Once the blood tests met the required criteria, we needed approval signatures from a CFIA veterinarian plus one other veterinarian, in order to go through customs.  Three weeks passed and after all the preparations and red tape, we were finally ready to transport Sweety to her new home. We left the Refuge around 6:30 am, went to the Veterinary Hospital to pick up Sweety, and then proceeded to transport her to the Kingston border. She was to be inspected by the USDA Veterinarian, whom we had called the week earlier, to prepare him for whom he was about to see. Skinny and forlorn, but passed all her tests, we spent over an hour with the USDA Veterinarian assuring him that she was going to live in a sanctuary and he finally stamped her papers. Then it was on to see if she would pass at the border guards. We were greeted happily by the border guard to whom we had also spoken to before. He was glad that all went well and that we finally made it this far and said Sweety was “good to pass”.

Finally, just after 5 pm, we arrived at her new home. In her cozy stall, Sweety could hear her new "friend to be" across the hall. How exciting it was that she, "Sweety", who was as expendable as an old pair of shoes, would find love and friendship. They said it couldn't be done, but we did it.  A 21-hour drive and 1,200 kilometers for us was worth it. The border is no barrier for Refuge RR when finding good homes for rescued animals - Sweety is the first rescued cow ever to have been able to pass over the US/Can border!

Like all dairy cows, Sweety and Abbey endured an unrelenting cycle of inseminations and pregnancies. All of their babies were taken from them just moments after they were born. Because they are of no use to the dairy industry, their sons were sold for veal or cheap beef. Their daughters were raised as replacements for the dairy herd, but none were ever allowed to remain with their mothers. They lived on concrete floors with no bedding and were never even able to go outside. Cows are usually sent to slaughter by the age of about four years.  They have been so “over used” - they can no longer produce as much milk as before and are no longer considered profitable. Sweety and Abbey are now safe from further abuse and slaughter. The Associated Press covered the Story of Sweety and her story has since been told by hundreds of thousands of news outlets around the world.

Click on image to enlarge.


Abbey,Jazz and Boobie's first meeting


Abbey made friends with Jazz


Abbey best buddies with Boobie


Sweety doomed to be shipped to slaughter


Sweety rescued and brought to veterinary hospital


Sweety en route to the USA being brought to her new home


Sweety meeting Tricia another blind cow who will is now her loving companion

Some of the local media stories about Sweety

Please consider making a donation so Refuge RR can carry on its vital work to continue helping all animals in need. Abbey is also looking for a sponsor to help cover her daily expenses.