Dear friend of farm animals,
Farm Sanctuary just rescued a newborn calf found at an auction where “spent” dairy cows were being sold for slaughter. It’s a heartbreaking scene that I’ve witnessed many times — Holsteins as young as four years old, so stressed by the industry that they are deemed worthless, are sent off to be killed.
In the midst of this terrible situation, a distraught mother Holstein gave birth in the sale barn. Mercilessly, the workers pushed her through to the auction floor moments after the birth, leaving her newborn son lying on the cold floor.
Still wet with afterbirth, Ari was abandoned in the stall and left to die — an unthinkable fate, but all too common. A worker said that the mother cow had already been sent to the “meat pen.” I can’t imagine her terror and sorrow as she was dragged away, taking one last look at her abandoned baby before she was sold.
Thankfully, a good Samaritan noticed the small black and white shape crumpled on the ground moments after birth. Knowing Ari would surely die without his mother (calves have no immunity at birth until they drink colostrum from their mother), this kind woman lifted him gently in her arms and took Ari home. She made two urgent phone calls: one to her vet and one to Farm Sanctuary.
Ari is now in our care, but the situation is touch and go. Please donate to our Emergency Rescue Fund now to help Farm Sanctuary nurse him back to health.
Veterinarians at Cornell University have examined the infant, who suffers from an eye infection, severe diarrhea, a hernia, and is unusually shaky on his legs. But our gravest concern for Ari is the possibility of contracting navel ill, an infection that goes through the umbilicus and can be fatal. Blood work is being done right now to determine if a transfusion will be necessary to give him the antibodies he did not receive from his mother.
“Watch him carefully,” they’ve told us — and I know from experience that a motherless newborn’s health can turn on a dime. If there is infection that appears over the next few days, emergency surgery, which we’ve performed with many of these abandoned calves, will be necessary.
Please help us provide Ari and the other animals we rescue with the around-the-clock monitoring and care he needs by making a special donation to the Emergency Rescue Fund now.
While we hope for the best, I’m overcome with sadness that Ari will never know his mother who was taken away to be sold for slaughter within seconds of his birth. She did not even have the chance to clean him.
I hope to have good news to share with you about Ari soon. Until I do, please share in our grief over his poor mother, and please help this tiny newborn and all of Farm Sanctuary’s work for farm animals with your generous gift.
National Shelter Director