Urgent Report from National Shelter Director Susie Coston
When I entered the stockyard to witness the live animal auction, I knew it would be disturbing and a terrible reminder of what happens each and every day to innocent farm animals.
But I wasn’t expecting to save three terribly sick newborn calves who were otherwise destined for a garbage heap or slaughterhouse rendering system. I couldn’t turn my back on them – and I know that after I tell their story, you won’t either.
Please help Farm Sanctuary care for these newly rescued calves and stop the cruelty they endured with an emergency year-end gift.
Within moments of entering the crowded facility, I was overwhelmed by the staggering number of animals at the sale. Trucks were driving up filled with calves, a by-product of the dairy industry. There were hundreds of these babies, some less than one day old, frantically looking for their mothers.
Their cries and confusion were met with fierce blows from wooden canes on their backs as workers tried to force them into different pens.
One of the newborns was a “downer” too sick to make it to the sorting area. No more than a few days old, the poor little calf had collapsed near the loading dock, filthy and shivering. It was less than 20 degrees outside and the barn wasn’t heated. But no one helped him.
As I vowed to help this tiny downed calf, the auction began. You could see the terror in the animals’ eyes as each one was run through the pen, being pulled and shoved by the workers for better viewing by those who were bidding. That’s when I saw two other helpless, suffering calves that I would save from the industry that day.
One was especially frantic. He was very sick and his weak legs kept buckling under him as he made his way into the auction pen. The stockyard workers prodded him to try to get him to stand, but he could not. The audience mocked him.
The buyers laughed even louder when they saw the other calf I would soon rescue. At just 37 lbs, this little one is literally the smallest calf I have ever seen. But what you and I see as a helpless baby in need, agribusiness deems worthless.
The bidding on both these calves went down to $0.
The people called them “trash.”
But, you and I know that these animals are not garbage. They are living, feeling individuals. So I claimed these “worthless” animals – as well as the downed calf still trembling at the bottom of the loading dock – and rushed them for urgent veterinary care.
Please donate now to help Farm Sanctuary save these neglected newborn calves and work to stop this cruelty for those who are still suffering.