Hand-raised as a 4-H project by a Pennsylvania dairy farmer’s grandchild, Faith was daily tended to by a young girl as a calf, primed to grow into a fertile and profitable adult dairy cow. But when the child’s grandfather fitted Faith with a numbered ear tag and put her into the herd to become another face among hundreds after the county fair, a sobering truth came out: the young cow was far from a dairy farmer’s ideal.
A freemartin (a sterile cow who cannot become pregnant and therefore cannot produce milk) Faith was written off as a loss when she failed to bear a calf and was subsequently culled from the herd. Only the attachment the farmer’s granddaughter had to Faith kept the cow from slaughter, giving her an almost unheard of reprieve for several years. But when the girl grew and left for college, Faith’s days became numbered once again … that is until another sensitive child found a special place for the cow in her heart, too.
As a regular visitor to the farm along with her mother, a local rescue worker who was helping the farmer care for a feral cat colony at the dairy, 12-year-old Jacinda naturally gravitated toward Faith, spending countless hours caressing and talking to the gentle cow. Perhaps finding in Jacinda a friend not unlike the other little girl she once knew, Faith trusted and loved back, eventually befriending Jacinda’s friend Cassidy, as well.
And so it was together that Jacinda and Cassidy, driven by their shared bond with Faith, came up with the ultimate plan to save her life … with a little help from Animal Rescue Inc., the local group their mothers worked for. After learning from the farmer that the cow’s time was running out, they pled with him for a chance to find her a home, a place where slaughter wouldn’t be in her future. And, lucky for Faith, Jacinda, having recently attended our Country Hoe Down, also knew just where to turn to save the imperiled cow.
Thanks to Jacinda and Cassidy, Faith now has a special place of her own at our New York Shelter, where she has joined a happy herd of more than 40 other cattle who are loved and cherished as the unique individuals that they are. Affectionately known as the “exfoliator” for her endearing habit of excitedly approaching her caregivers and licking their hands and faces when she sees them, Faith remains a natural at making friends.
A sweet, social cow like Faith can never have too many friends, and though she is now safe from harm, she still needs special people like you to help us provide for her bedding, food and veterinary care at Farm Sanctuary.
Our supporters allow us to care for animals like Faith — precious individuals in dire circumstances. If you aren’t yet a Farm Sanctuary member, won’t you consider joining this compassionate community?