An animal lover, I envy the people who are into saving animals- especially in this
case of a rescued goat and calf. Each animal has his or her own story and here are
two of them which I read about today in All-creatures.org's Animal Story Page.
In August 2007 The Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary was informed that a young
goat was found wandering in Prospect Park. As there are over 100 live-kill markets
in the NYC area, there are bound to be unclaimed escapees. So the van was dispatched
to pick up this little white goat along with 4 chickens and 2 ducks who were lucky
enough to escape the slaughterer's knife and death. They were also very fortunate
to come to a place of sanctuary where they would be loved and cared for unreservedly.
I loved that they named the little guy Albie after the great compassionate philosopher
and humanitarian Albert Schweitzer. For a while I found a magazine picture of him
and taped it to a place where I could look at him gratefully many times as I sat before
my computer. But finally, I reluctantly had to untape it from my small wall which had
suddenly inadvertently become a picture gallery.
Albie was not in the best of shape. He was underweight and undernourished. He also
had the worst case of Orf they had ever seen. Orf is a condition in which lesions
cover the mouth and nose making it difficult and painful to eat. But something even
more ominous was his left leg and hoof which were infected and very painful for poor
Albie. Enroute to the live market, he probably had been hogtied which is a routine
procedure for transporting young goats. This lack of circulation caused a large
portion of his hoof to come off.
While Albie's Orf problems cleared up, his hoof problem did not, and it required more
help than from the vet's daily wraps and homeopathic remedies. He was taken to the
Large Animal Hospital at Cornell University where a part of his outer leg and hoof
had to be amputated.
This hospital stay was expensive and Martin Rowe, co-founder of Lantern Books
decided to run for Albie in his very first New York City marathon in order to raise
money for the costly treatments. A great effort was made by him which netted over
$11,000 to help with the medical expenses. What a great guy! I think he was pleased
too that he had done so well in his first marathon race for such a worthwhile cause.
Sadly though, Albie's first surgery did not take well because his residual bones were
too fragile to support his weight. So by Christmas it became apparent that he needed
more surgery, and he was taken once again to Cornell in January. This time his left
leg was amputated just above the knee.
The decision was especially difficult for co-founder and director Jenny Brown who was
herself an amputee. She was only 10 when diagnosed with a fast-moving bone cancer.
Her right leg had to be amputated just below the knee. She also had to endure
chemotherapy and then learn how to live with a prosthetic leg ever since.
It makes me think of a family member who also lost his leg at a very young age.
However, he probably never got use to a prosthesis because today -a grown man, I
still see him climbing up the many steps to our church on one leg and a crutch.
But Albie did not let his amputation slow him done. He was no longer a terrified
little guy but now managed to roam the farm- greeting people and looting the food
bins with his goat pals when opportunity beckoned. He has been fitted with a prosthetic
leg and is motivated to walk with it as Caretaker Kilboune lures him with carrots
and alfalfa cubes. Albie is now one happy success story - thanx to loving, caring
Oreo the Calf. Patty Shenker wrote in an introduction to the story of Oreo: "Rows
upon rows of dairy cows - the reason Oreo came into our care in the first place as an
unwanted male calf birthed to one of these mothers whose milk would go to humans
rather than her calf."
In 2005 Patty Shenker and Lori Houston founded a farm animal sanctuary called
Animal Acres. Just outside of Los Angeles, Ca. 300 rescued farm animals have
found a new home- freed from abusive situations. Recently, they had rescued three
calves from the cruel veal industry. However, Oreo one of the 3 never fully recovered
from losing his mother and her much need colostrums. He died shortly after though
not before much effort was made to make him whole and well.
Cameron O'Steen, the Education and Outreach Liaison at Animal Acres recalls the sad
events in June 2011. June is a sad month for me too, because in June 1989 I had to put
down my beloved Peaches. But I live for the hope that at the end of the world when
God will restore whatever has been before-I will see her again as well as the rest of my
animal family. And who knows, I may even meet up with Oreo as well. I have always
loved calves. When at a boarding school for my last year of high school, I would always
sneak into the barn to see the calves. Little did I know then, that they would be
slaughtered for their veal. The only good thing was that they weren't in the horrible
veal crates which are so much in use today.
Oreo had been one of three calves rescued after being dumped alive in a stockyard dead
pile sometime during February. At first Oreo exhibited hopeful signs as the treatments
he received seemed to be working. An antibiotic regimen saw the listlessness he
demonstrated during his first week disappear, and his persistent cough was gone as well.
He even started to play with his herd brothers Peanut and Cocoa and even to interact
with sanctuary visitors.
But these hopeful signs were only temporary, when one Wednesday his uncertain health
took a turn for the worse. He had trouble breathing and his evening temperature was
104.5. He needed special medical help, and it was decided that the 6 and a half hour
drive to UC Davis was warranted. Alicia, a volunteer, would help Cameron with the
They arrived at the Davis complex at 3:30 AM and were met by a veterinary team
prepared with an oxygen tank to hopefully help Oreo's labored breathing. But even
with the oxygen mask, he struggled to breath. He was brought to their spacious
examination room and both Cameron and Alicia, though very anxious about this
small calf's chances of recovery, still hoped that he would be helped here. They knew
that he was in good hands. Now, the only thing they could do was to drive the 6 and
one half hour trip back to the sanctuary -believing in their hearts that Oreo would
be made well.