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Fawn’s Rescue and Recovery

Friday, December 19, 2014

[Fawn has been moved to her permanent page here, which includes the news story below and further updates.]


PlayVideoFawnFawn’s mother was confined and chained in a milking stall where she couldn’t turn around or lie down. She was forced to give birth to Fawn standing up. In the process, Fawn fell into the concrete manure pit behind the row of cows. This tiny calf hit her face and front knee hard. I can’t imagine how incredibly anxious and desperate this mother must have been, unable to reach her newborn baby.

The farm’s manager discovered Fawn swollen and injured in the pit, and decided to call a local woman named Jennifer who had expressed interest in raising a “pet cow.” He told her that the calf probably wouldn’t make it, but that Jennifer could have her.

Fawn the young cowJennifer kept Fawn inside the house, wrapped her in blankets, and bottle-fed her. But because the veterinarian didn’t correctly diagnose and treat Fawn’s fractured, infected knee, it didn’t fully heal. Despite Jennifer’s love and attention over the next year, Fawn’s “good” front leg could not support her increasing weight and unable to stand up properly, Fawn started hobbling around on her front knees. At that point the vet told a heartbroken Jennifer that it was hopeless, that Fawn would never walk again. He recommended having a neighbor come to shoot the calf.

That’s when we met Fawn. Jennifer was desperate to give her one more chance and reached out to Woodstock Sanctuary for help. We soon learned first-hand how sweet and affectionate Fawn was and understood why Jennifer loved her so much. We had the equipment and resources to get Fawn to the experts at Cornell Veterinary Hospital, but after watching her shuffle around on her knees, legs horribly twisted, we fully expected the vets would tell us that the kindest thing to do would be to euthanize her. The situation looked beyond hope.

IMG_6043“I think we can help her,” the vet told me. We couldn’t believe our ears! To restore her ability to walk, they would operate on both front legs, not only repairing the damaged bone and knee but also the shortened ligaments in her other leg. It wouldn’t be easy—her recovery would be slow, and the cost would be substantial — but we knew that our supporters would help us save Fawn’s precious life. So we took a deep breath and said, “Okay, go for it.”

FawnIt has now been four months, and many trips back and forth to Cornell, but I am so happy to tell you that Fawn is on the road to recovery. She has moved from plaster casts to soft braces, and receives daily physical therapy. Throughout her ordeal, Fawn has remained incredibly friendly and affectionate. She just loves people and other animals, and has become her doctor and vet students’ all-time favorite patient!

Fawn’s life began in tragedy. But at Woodstock Sanctuary, she is now guaranteed a life of freedom and loving care. She is living proof of how an individual farm animal, one who normally would have ended up discarded and killed, can inspire so much love and compassion.

As you might imagine, Fawn’s veterinary bills have been tremendous. As an animal with special needs, her ongoing care will be time-consuming and costly—but her happiness is priceless. She joins our family of hundreds of other rescued animals, all with varying levels of need. Your support helps us meet those needs; it’s what makes this work possible.

So please—give today to help Fawn and all the amazing survivors in our care. Your end-of-year gift of $50, $100, or $250 would make such a difference and sustain our work helping animals in need


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