A calf that spent several days on the loose in Massachusetts is the new companion of a blind cow left heartbroken when it lost its playmate of eight years, a spotted pig, according to their caregiver.
The calf was brought on Tuesday to Don't Forget Us Pet Us Sanctuary, in Dartmouth, the home of the blind cow, named Baby.
Baby "had never been by herself for so long. She was all alone," said Debbie Devlin, owner of Don't Forget Us Pet Us Sanctuary.
The escaped cows were destined for the slaughterhouse when they escaped last week, according to Devlin. The other two cows were hit in driving accidents, one dying immediately while the other was severely harmed and subsequently euthanized. But the calf eluded danger.
"She really became a famous escaping calf," Devlin said. "She was on her freedom run."
It was Jennifer Ferreira who originally spotted the missing calf on the side of the road, dusted in snow. Ferreira posted a photo of the missing calf on Facebook, which sparked interest in the small community, the shelter said in a Facebook post. Local news stations and the Dartmouth Police Department tracked the calf, which was eventually returned to the livestock yard, but not for long.
Jean Briggs, a supporter of the sanctuary's, saw stories about its escape and called up Devlin on Thursday to find out if she was interested in the calf. Devlin was, so Briggs used her tax refund to buy the calf from Robinson's for $450, Devlin said. She turned the calf over to the sanctuary on Tuesday.
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Devlin said the timing is perfect. The cow at her shelter, named Baby, lost her companion pig, Lulu, on Sunday.
"She would walk frantically in circles, mooing away," Devlin said.
That soon changed. Within seconds of arriving at her pen, adjacent to Baby's, the corralled calf burst through the 8 foot-tall gate to be beside Baby, Devlin said, leaving the gate off its hinges.
"She ran to the blind cow and hasn't left its side," Devlin said.
Devlin has owned Baby for 10 years and the sanctuary is home to many animals that people either don't want or can't afford to keep, according to Devlin. Don't Forget Us Pet Us also has a duck with no feet, a one-eared chinchilla and more. The pig, Lulu, became Baby's companion after horses and ponies proved too aggressive for the bovine.
"It was so helpful having the pig to be able to show her when we had to move things around or make changes," Devlin said.
This duty will now likely fall on the calf that has taken to Baby, Devlin said.
The sanctuary still hasn't named the calf — Devlin said she is considering running a naming contest on the Don't Forget Us Pet Us Sanctuary Facebook page. The sanctuary also plants to raise funds for "super strong fencing" for the calf.