Critteraid, an animal sanctuary based in the South Okanagan, said they have rescued three calves from a dairy farm in Abbotsford.
After finding out an employee from a dairy farm was desperate to find a forever home/sanctuary for three calves, instead of sending them to a slaughterhouse, Critteraid stepped in to help.
On Dec. 23, Critteraid volunteers picked up the three-day-old calves — now named Dancer, Prancer and Vixen.
“That is how quickly things happen when it is an animal rescue. I saw a post from Amy Sorrano, of Okanagan Animal Save, about the dairy farmer having a change of heart and our animal director saw it as well. Before I knew it we picked up the three calves,” said Jade Dittaro, social media co-ordinator for Critteraid. “When it is an animal rescue, we mobilize fast. Then volunteers drove from Summerland to Abbotsford and transported them in the back of their vehicle, just as they would if it were three dogs.”
Now the volunteers are caring for and bottle-feeding the little calves every four hours over the holidays at the Critteraid pasture sanctuary (located in Trout Creek) in the newly renovated barn space.
They will eventually spend time with Gabriel, Annabelle and China, three cows already at the sanctuary.
“They are adorable. It goes to show that when we see calves we often think, oh, aren’t they cute. When you pair that with the fact they are a byproduct of the dairy industry and the suffering they, and others like them, go through — it should give you a second thought,” said Dittaro.
Left with a mounting bill of unexpected transportation costs, vet bills, bottles, formula and other expenses, a GoFundMe account was established by Sorrano to help with the costs of taking on the immense task of caring for the calves.
As of Wednesday morning, the GoFundMe account has raised $3,923 of the $5,000 goal. Originally set at $3,000, the amount was quickly surpassed and re-adjusted.
“We really need bodies on the ground right now. All our volunteers are 100 per cent maxed out with everyone putting their undivided attention to the calves. While it takes specialized volunteers to do that work, we still have alpacas, pigs, roosters, ducks, the cat sanctuary cuddlers and cleaners and other animals to care for,” said Dittaro. “Currently, we need help to take care of that work. We are asking people to help spread the word to their friends and family about Critteraid and joining our Facebook and Instagram pages. We are a sole entity, not part of a bigger organization, working on areas such as education, outreach, and helping people that have pets with issues.”
Critteraid said they are planning to announce soon on how Dancer, Prancer and Vixen can be sponsored by the public, so funds can chip away at the monthly expenses of raising the three animals.
“We want to give a huge thank you to the public for rallying to support these calves. We hope the momentum stays, not only for the calves and other animal’s welfare, but to stimulate really healthy conversation about what we can do day-to-day to not contribute to animal suffering,” said Dittaro.
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