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

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

The CVRD introduces new app to contact residents during emergencies, a tool that chairman Aaron Stone says will improve communications. (File photo)
CVRD launches new app to spread information during emergencies

Cowichan Alert is a free app that can be downloaded onto smartphones, computers

A B.C. Centre for Disease Control map showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 25-May 1. (BCCDC image)
Vancouver Island’s COVID-19 case counts continue to trend down

Fewer than 200 active cases on the Island, down from highs of 500-plus earlier this spring

The Malahat SkyWalk will open to visitors in July 2021. (Malahat SkyWalk photo)
Malahat SkyWalk will open to visitors this July

Highly anticipated attraction will take guests 250m above sea level

FILE PHOTO
Editorial: Time to roll up our sleeves and pitch in

They’re just not quite sure they want to get a vaccine — yet

Brian Thacker, owner of Cowichan Bay’s Pacific Industrial & Marine, is disappointed the province didn’t provide funding for a proposal from PIM, in partnership with the Cowichan Tribes, to remove derelict boats from local waters. (File photo)
Application for funding to remove derelict vessels in Cowichan area fails

Province announced $4.5 million for new program on April 28

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Victoria police say the photo they circulated of an alleged cat thief was actually a woman taking her own cat to the vet. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Victoria police photo of suspected cat thief was just a woman with her own cat

Police learned the she didn’t steal Penelope the cat, and was actually taking her cat to the vet

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Louis S. St-Laurent sails past a iceberg in Lancaster Sound, Friday, July 11, 2008. The federal government is expected to end nearly two years of mystery today and reveal its plan to build a new, long overdue heavy icebreaker for the Canadian Coast Guard. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver, Quebec shipyards to each get new heavy icebreaker, cost remains a mystery

Vancouver’s Seaspan Shipyards and Quebec-based Chantier Davie will each build an icebreaker for the coast guard

Findings indicate a culture of racism, misogyny and bullying has gripped the game with 64 per cent of people involved saying players bully others outside of the rink. (Pixabay)
Misogyny, racism and bullying prevalent across Canadian youth hockey, survey finds

56% of youth hockey players and coaches say disrespect to women is a problem in Canada’s sport

People line up outside an immunization clinic to get their Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in Edmonton, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Hospital investigating whether Alberta woman who died after AstraZeneca shot was turned away

Woman was taken off life support 12 days after getting vaccine

People line up for COVID-19 vaccination at a drop-in clinic at Cloverdale Recreation Centre on Wednesday, April 27, 2021. Public health officials have focused efforts on the Fraser Health region. (Aaron Hinks/Peace Arch News)
B.C. reports first vaccine-induced blood clot; 684 new COVID cases Thursday

Two million vaccine doses reached, hospital cases down

Allayah Yoli Thomas had recently turned 12 years old when she died of a suspected drug overdose April 15. (Courtesy of Adriana Londono)
Suspected overdose death of Vancouver Island 12 year old speaks to lack of supports

Allayah Yoli Thomas was found dead by her friend the morning of April 15

Most Read