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Libra and the 3 Steer

Elvis, Ralphie & Andy have been with us for all ten years of our existence, thanks to their rescuer Libra Max.

Libra and Andy next to two of the three the steer they rescued more than 10 years earlier

Libra and Andy next to two of the three the steer they rescued more than 10 years earlier (Andy, left and Elvis)

Ralphie as a little calf (his coat was brownish back then)

Ralphie as a little calf in the dark dairy barn (his coat was brownish back then)

They were our very first four-legged residents, and a decade later they are still going strong and helping us teach people about the dairy industry!

Back in 2002 Libra came upon a dairy farm when she heard the heartbreaking bellows of cows echoing from a barn. Upon entering, she found 30 or so dairy cows on one side of the barn. Tied up in a dark, dismal area behind a wall were their young male calves awaiting sale to a veal farmer.

Elvis was tied by the neck to a post

Elvis was tied by the neck to a post

As is the case with all dairy operations, the babies were cruelly taken away from their mothers within a day or two of birth so her milk could be sold for human consumption—an event that leaves both greatly traumatized. “I left that barn overwhelmed with grief by what I had witnessed,” Libra recalls, “but not before promising 3 calves who had locked eyes with me that I would be back.”

2012 with Ralphie

2012 with Ralphie

The very next day, Libra enlisted the help of her friend (and vet) Andy Kaplan and successfully negotiated their release. She named them Elvis, Andy, and Ralphie, and scrambled to place them in temporary homes. In 2004 Libra learned about a brand new sanctuary in Woodstock. Before we knew it, she generously offered $10,000 to fence in a pasture and buy a small barn for the trio. These funds were the seed money needed to give us our start.

In celebration of 10 years and to help us continue our life-saving work, Libra recently challenged our supporters to match a brand new $10,000 gift.  She will match all donations dollar-for-dollar up to $10k before midnight, August 31st.

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Read more about our 10th Anniversary and the doubled donations here.

2004: The steer hanging in their new barn

2004: The steer hanging in their new barn. Form left, Andy, Elvis and Ralphie.