Calf finds home in B.C. sanctuary after it’s saved from slaughterhouse

You can see Rusty Brown at Arion Therapeutic Farm in Kelowna

Sarien Slabbert makes a face with baby Rusty Brown during the trip from the Lower Mainland to the Central Okanagan. Rusty now has a home at Arion Therapeutic Farms. - Contributed

A Kelowna animal sanctuary has rescued a calf that’s fate was the slaughterhouse.

Heather Henderson, founder and director of Arion Therapeutic Farms, said the farm decided to take the calf.

“I’m a sucker and I love animals,” she said.

The calf was one of 10 destined for a slaughterhouse on the Lower Mainland, before an employee had a change of heart.

Eleven-week-old Rusty Brown arrived at the farm on Boxing Day.

“We’ve never been offered a cow, ironically enough. We’ve been around for 10 years and people often ask ‘why don’t you have a cow?’” Henderson said.

READ MORE: B.C. animal sanctuary rescues three calves scheduled for slaughter

It wasn’t a rescue in the sense that the calf was abused or neglected, she said, it was a standard industry practice. The cow came from a dairy farm.

“It’s a big undertaking. People don’t realize cows can be bigger than horses and eat as much as a horse. When taking in an animal this size you have to consider the habitat,” Henderson said.

Henderson said the dairy industry isn’t sustainable long-term because of the amount of space and resources used to produce dairy products. She said it’s also unsustainable for sanctuaries to take care of the animals.

“These are all the bigger picture things that fall into it, people think when they’re rescued they’re being abused… in this case of this particular scenario it’s just an everyday thing that happens,” she said.

Sarien Slabbert is a volunteer organizer who helped connect the calves with their forever homes. She also set up a GoFundMe for the sanctuaries to provide them with medicine and other supplies.

She, along with her husband, transported the calf to Kelowna in the back of their minivan, driving the Coquihalla during a snowstorm.

“I’ve always had a soft spot for animals, and getting more involved with the farm animals, there isn’t an SPCA for farm animals, and unfortunately there’s nobody to help if someone is willing to surrender and give freedom to (them),” Slabbert said.

She also helped rehome a pig that fell off a transport truck headed to the slaughterhouse.

Three of the 10 calves were homed at Critteraid in the South Okanagan.

Originally, volunteers from different parts of the community saw a post on Craigslist to home the calves.

Fabia Marlatt saw the post online and contacted Amy Soranno for help. She posted it on her Facebook which is where Slabbert saw it and then contacted Carrie Shogan from Little Oink Bank Pig Sanctuary for help. All four women started a group chat to co-ordinate with sanctuaries.

To find Slabbert’s GoFundMe visit https://www.gofundme.com/saving-5-babie-calfs.

@carliberry_
carli.berry@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: Langford man battling cancer honored with hot rod, motorcycle procession

Friends and family support Patrick O’Hara on his 73rd birthday

‘Seven baths in two days’: Homeless adjusting to life in hotels

Victoria passes motion to allow camping 24-7 in parks until June 25

Langford Fire calm mother and daughter after being trapped in elevator

Three-year-old girl given stuffed animal to calm nerves

Capital Regional District prepares to reopen regional campgrounds

Camping will look different at Island View, Sooke Potholes, Jordan River sites

Victoria traffic stop yields drugs, case full of weapons

Police seize firearms, swords and flares

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

POLL: Do you agree with the provincial government’s decision to increase the minimum wage?

B.C.’s lowest-paid workers will be getting a few more dollars to try… Continue reading

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto vying to be NHL hubs, but there’s a catch

The NHL unveiled a return-to-play plan that would feature 24 teams

As SD84 schools look to reopen, Kyuquot and Zeballos opt out

Schools in Tahsis and Gold River will open on June 1, with 30 per cent students expected to come in

B.C. sees 9 new COVID-19 cases, one death as officials watch for new cases amid Phase Two

Number of confirmed active cases is at 244, with 37 people in hospital

Illicit-drug deaths up in B.C. and remain highest in Canada: chief coroner

More than 4,700 people have died of overdoses since B.C. declared a public health emergency in early 2016

CMHC sees declines in home prices, sales, starts that will linger to end of 2022

CMHC said average housing prices could fall anywhere from nine to 18 per cent in its forecast

B.C. Paralympian named to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

Three-time world and Paralympic gold medalist Sonja Gaudet is part of 11-member class

Most Read