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

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

You can see Rusty Brown at Arion Therapeutic Farm in Kelowna

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.

Just Posted

Pile of wood mulch ‘spontaneously combusts’ in North Campbell River

Business owner thanks fire department for quick response

Annual paddling event an opportunity to meet neighbours, says founder

Discovery Passage Passage takes place this weekend between Campbell River and Cape Mudge

Local Muay Thai fighters gain experience, win hardware at nationals

Noel wins novice fight by unanimous decision in Edmonton

‘Food recovery program working brilliantly,’ says food bank manager

Campbell River Food Bank program fills community’s stomachs with fresh food, keeping excess out of landfill

Howie Meeker Golf Classic helping Special Olympians realize dreams

31st annual event raises money for Campbell River Special Olympics

Five hedgehogs quickly adopted after being left at BC SPCA

Lucky new owners picked up their pets from Maple Ridge branch on Aug. 20

B.C. cricket players get interrupted by racist remark

Community has had protocols in place for years to respond to prejudice

Groovy B.C. wedding a throwback to Woodstock ‘69

Couple hosts themed wedding 50 years after legendary festival

Nearly 50% of Canadians experience the ‘post-vacation blues’: poll

48 per cent of travellers are already stressed about ‘normal life’ while still on their trip

Vancouver Island senior found safe with help from six search and rescue teams

Wayne Strilesky found safe in thick brush in north Nanaimo

More women may need breast cancer gene test, U.S. guidelines say

Recommendations aimed at women who’ve been treated for BRCA-related cancers and are now cancer-free

Couple could go to jail for taking 88 lbs. of Italian sand

Pair said they didn’t know it was illegal to take the sand, which is protected as a public good

Most Read