July 3, 2017

WATKINS GLEN N.Y. (WENY) -- Following a police investigation with Pennsylvania-based "Large Animal Protection Society," in June the Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen helped to rescue 10 cattle from a "hobby farm" in Chester County, PA.  

The cows, previously accustomed to a very different lifestyle, were struggling to even stand amid the muck.

"Ayrshire is the main breed - that's the red and white ones - and so they were used as show cattle so they had been, at one point and time, pampered...but then for whatever reason they were locked in a barn, along with 8 calves. And of the 8 calves that they were locked in with, all but three of them drowned in feces," explains Susie Coston, National Director of the Farm Sanctuary. 

Some of the cows went to Skyland's Animal Rescue in New Jersey. Others taken in by Farm Sanctuary had to be treated at Cornell University for warts and other ailments. They are now learning to live their new lives. 

"We took in the two adult mothers, four yearlings, and one little Holstein baby who the two adults are actually producing milk for and nursing for even though that's not their son," Coston says, with excitement. 

"If you saw the pictures from the rescue, he's the baby that was actually alive putting his head on top of a dead baby in the mud and in the feces," Coston

And the rescue mission saved more than what meets the eye; one of the adult females had a little (big) surprise! 

"Yea she's pregnant! She's very pregnant! She's far along in her pregnancy - probably about 5 months into her pregnancy. They carry for 9 months. And she is such a very nurturing mother -- since she's already taking on someone else's baby -- and I think this will be really nice because she'll be able to have the baby and they'll get to grow up and live together for their entire lives, which is something that animals in these situations just don't get to do so it's going to be wonderful for all of us to watch as well," a joyful Coston says. 

For Coston, every animal - regardless of their purpose - deserves compassion. 

"Anytime an animal is suffering - and these animals clearly were - if you see something like that, that's not normal, for anything, no matter what the end result for that animal is supposed to be. Suffering is not and should not be the norm," says Coston. 

The Farm Sanctuary has a blog where you can "virtually" meet the cows who were rescued. That link can be found here: