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In late August 2005, we got a call from friends of the Sanctuary that were concerned about the treatment of just-born calves at a neighboring dairy farm in upstate New York. As is the norm in the industry, adult dairy cows are kept continuously pregnant to maximize milk production. This little newborn was separated from his mother after just 48 hours. As a male, he had no future at the dairy farm, and as a Holstein (dairy) breed he had no future to become beef. His destiny instead was to be killed for veal. He was found tied to a post, a day away from being auctioned off, so they talked the farmer into giving him up and gave us a call.


Dylan as a baby

When Dylan first arrived at Woodstock Sanctuary, he seemed frightened and alone. But it wasn’t long before he blossomed in to the 1800-pound social butterfly he is. Now, as an adult, he spends his days happily munching away in the cow pasture with our senior herd. For the past 12 years, he’s charmed our visitors with his outgoing personality and isn’t shy about asking for an alfalfa treat or two.

We are heartbroken over the loss of Dylan on March 19, 2019. He lived in sanctuary for 14 years, which is not the case for so, so many like him. It’s been said that remembering one’s stories makes them immortal — we know that the silly, triumphant Big Dyl will live on through all of our stories and our memories, so please keep sharing them.

We love you so much, Dylan. You are why we will continue to get up in the morning, be strong, and do the work that we do. We are so grateful to have had you in our lives. Rest in power, big friend.

Dylan, Kayli and Maybelle charming our visitors

Dylan and Kayli—always the first two cows waiting for breakfast