Ryan Phillips rescued a 3-day-old calf, Jenna, that was deemed useless by the dairy industry and marked to head to the slaughterhouse.
Phillips loaded the calf into the back of his Subaru and brought her home to his animal sanctuary, Life with Pigs Farm Animal Sanctuary. The sanctuary was founded in 2016 when Phillps received a call about Pumpkin, a former breeder pig, that needed rescuing. It’s now a safe haven for all animals, but especially “the animals most abused by human society.”
“Already spray painted on her back and marked for death at just 3 days old, Jenna certainly made a very narrow escape,” recalled Phillips.
Jenna is infertile and unable to produce milk, so she’s useless in the eyes of dairy farmers. Phillips took her in and bottle-fed and cared for her just like any amazing dad would do. “I know she sees me as her dad in the truest and most genuine sense and I could never think of her as less than my daughter,” he wrote on Facebook.
The now 1,000-pound cow shows her gratitude by giving her rescue dad hugs, every day.
She is a special part of her dad’s life and considered his ‘bestie’, so of course she was involved when Phillips proposed to his girlfriend, Mallory Sherman. Phillips proposed to Sherman in the cow barn next to Jenna, so Sherman of course said yes.
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Jenna now spends her days grazing and hanging out with another rescue cow, Maisie. She isn’t shy about demanding attention from her parents and will moo until she gets what she wants.
“Jenna needs lots of hugs. And if she doesn’t get them she will definitely let me know she’s waiting impatiently. She will find me at a window and moo or stare longingly. She is truly just a giant grass puppy. I love my baby Jenna!”
The couple hopes to educate people on the “injustices faced by animals and how we can better coexist,” and encourage more people to view these sentient animals as companions not food.
“For Jenna, Maisie, and all the wonderful giant grass puppies like them, let’s end this cruelty and #ditchdairy! The only ones who should be drinking cows’ milk are baby cows 🐮,” wrote Phillips.
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