When animals at the California Shelter require veterinary procedures that cannot be administered in our barns or hospital building, we take them to the University of California-Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, where they receive expert care in state-of-the-art facilities. We often rescue animals in dire condition, and many of them have undergone lifesaving procedures performed by UC-Davis staff. It is not only Davis’ veterinarians, technicians and nurses, however, who save lives at the hospital. Some special animal residents also do their part. For several years, two cows named Prissy and Knobby were among them, providing crucial aid to ailing cattle.
In 2004, Prissy, a Charolais was brought to Davis for a major operation to ameliorate a hip injury. She later became a blood donor there. Knobby, a Holstein whose original role at Davis was to teach veterinary students how to work with cattle, became a blood donor in 2005. A friendship grew between the two. They spent most of their time relaxing together and enjoying TLC from the staff, but when blood was needed for emergency transfusions to bovine patients, Prissy and Knobby patiently allowed their caregivers to extract donations from them. They were, of course, amply rewarded with treats afterwards.
After several years of saving lives, the time came for Prissy and Knobby to retire. The hospital wanted to make sure that these two special girls had a wonderful retirement, so they contacted us to help find a home where they could live in peace and safety for the rest of their lives. We were excited to be able to arrange for such a home: Sanctuary One at Double Oak Farm, a care farm in southern Oregon “where people, animals, and the earth work together for mutual healing,” and where some adoptees from Farm Sanctuary were already living the good life. We also gladly agreed to be Prissy and Knobby’s chauffeurs to Oregon.
So we drove to Davis to pick up the two retirees. Though neither had been in a trailer in a long time, they both calmly climbed up and settled in for their road trip. Starting a new life can be scary, but it helps to have your best friend with you: Prissy and Knobby stayed close by each other’s sides all through the journey. Upon arrival at Sanctuary One, they climbed down and immediately began exploring their new home together.
Now named Cookies and Cream, the cows are living it up among the horses, llamas, pigs, goats, sheep, ducks and geese who also call Sanctuary One home. Cream is fond of head scratches, and both girls love to lick treats from the hands of their caregivers, who are thrilled to look after these two who have helped so many others.
This is just one of the many happy endings made possible through our national Farm Animal Adoption Network (FAAN), through which we connect needy animals with safe, loving, permanent homes. The collaboration made possible when we work with the amazing individuals, families, and sanctuaries that make up this network, the largest of its kind in North America, magnifies what any of us could do alone. Together, we are giving the gift of a happy life to so many animals. If you’d like to learn more about joining FAAN, please visit our website today!