Hi everyone, Mina here. 3 weeks ago my boyfriend, Alex, and I visited a pumpkin patch that also had a petting zoo. What we saw in the petting zoo was not for the faint of heart. The majority of the animals looked severely malnourished and extremely exhausted. Many of the animals' water bowls were either empty or had dirty water. When we went to a staff member to let her know that some of the animals needed water, she condescendingly replied with, "How about you guys do it then?” We did.
There were unsupervised kids running around from animal to animal - one child nearly stepped on a two week old piglet (who had been separated from the mother shortly after birth). One of the worst sights, however, was this Jersey calf. At only 10 days old he was frighteningly thin, and for the hour that we spent there, the calf didn't move a muscle. His eyes were slightly open but did not even budge upon touching/scratching his back. Alex's sister, who was also with us, thought the calf was dead - that's how bad it was. He had also been stripped from his mother, and when I asked a staff member about how he was getting his milk, she told us that since store-bought milk by the gallon is cheaper than milk replacement, that's what he was getting twice a day. It takes 10 seconds to Google and see that regular store-bought milk is NOT a suitable alternative for a calf.
I turned around to see a sign that read “All animals here are available to purchase for either pets or food.” It was then that Alex turned to me and said, “we are putting our name down for this cow.” We approached the same staff member and let her know we wanted to adopt him and she took our contact information down, but unfortunately there was already someone who had inquired before us who planned to take him to his dairy/meat farm, where I’m confidently assuming he would have been slaughtered.
All three of us (Alex, Alex’s sister, and I) couldn’t bear another minute in there. We left in tears. I immediately filed a complaint with the city’s Animal Services department, leaving a very detailed message of what we encountered, to no avail. I have followed up twice and have yet to receive a response back.
Just two days ago, a staff member from this farm texted me and let me know that the previous person interested in this calf could no longer take him. She asked if we still wanted him, to which I replied, “Yes, of course.” We would pick him up less than 48 hours later. I spent the day before running around to get all the supplies needed to nourish this calf, in every sense of the word. Toys, blankets, food, buckets, hay, feeding bottles, a portable heater, etc…
Alex and I picked up this calf on the morning of November 4th. Inside his pen at the farm (in a barn) was nothing but some food, water, and hay - not even a single blanket. There was no heat source for the cold nights, and he is still skin and bones. We also learned that in his one month of life thus far, he had never stepped outside of his pen. The first time he saw the sun, the sky, grass...was when we brought him out of the pen to put him in the car. He just arrived at our home, where Alex and I plan to give him nothing but love, attention, nourishment, peace, and stability. We also named him Moo.
We are still unsure if we will be able to handle Moo once he reaches full-growth (male Jersey cows can get up to 1,600 lbs), but I have all the necessary people and resources available to me to help find Moo the perfect permanent home in the future (if necessary).
Until then, we are going to do everything we can to ensure Moo grows up to be a perfectly healthy and happy cow, which of course…involves vets, regular checkups, vaccines, shots, food, etc.
If you choose to donate, please know that every cent is going towards giving Moo, who was starved (both metaphorically and literally) of what he needed since birth, the best chance at having a beautiful life.
Even if you do not have the means to donate, thank you for taking the time to read this. Know that Moo is being given so much love and care right now. Thank you so, so much.