With the enormous number of farm animals in need — and more than nine billion of these animals slaughtered each year in the United States alone — it is sadly impossible to save them all. What we can do, however, is make every rescue count. That’s because we owe it to farm animals like Dale — a young bull who narrowly avoided slaughter this summer — to ensure that they never again experience the horrors they once faced. Once in our care, we make a promise to these animals to help them live the happy, peaceful lives they deserve, whether at one of our shelters or in a loving adoptive home.

We cannot do this work alone. Dale, for example, came to Farm Sanctuary as a temporary stop on the way to his forever home at Sage Mountain, a member of our Farm Animal Adoption Network (FAAN). The efforts of FAAN members are a vital part of our rescue and sanctuary work; they help us place more farm animals in loving forever homes, while freeing up the space and resources to help those who need us most. And in Dale’s case, we knew that Sage Mountain was perfectly suited to his needs.

We first learned about Dale from a friend and fellow rescuer, who had learned that Dale’s “owner” planned to send him to slaughter. Dale is a Jersey — a breed typically used in dairy production — and since as a male he would never produce milk, his owner felt that she had no use for him. Thankfully, a relative urged her to send Dale to a sanctuary, and she agreed to relinquish the 10-month-old bull if we could quickly take him off her hands.

We found Dale haltered and tied to a floorboard in a small pen, located just outside a chicken plant in Southern California. To add insult to injury, Dale’s overgrown hooves made it difficult for him to move around in what little space he had. He was starving, sick, and covered in flies — and though cattle are herd animals, he was sadly all alone.

We took Dale to our large-animal veterinary hospital for routine health testing and immediate care. Tests revealed that he had pneumonia and a mild case of giardia, for which we quickly started treatment. Dale also had his hooves trimmed and was neutered to get him ready for his new life in a herd. We then cared for Dale at Farm Sanctuary until he was recovered and ready to begin his new life at Sage Mountain!

Dale is very playful and sweet, and he fit in with his new friends from the start. We are so excited to see where his journey takes him! Dale will always be a treasured member of the Farm Sanctuary family, and we’re so grateful for his new family at Sage Mountain as well. Thanks to FAAN members, thousands of farm animals like Dale have found the happy homes they deserve.

To learn more about FAAN and how you can help farm animals like Dale, visit farmsanctuary.org/home-adoption!