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Beef Cow Rescued From Hurricane Florence Flood Waters Finds Forever Home.

by | September 23, 2018

A lucky beef cow named Red was rescued from the Hurricane Florence flood waters a few days ago. The newly freed farm animal has a forever home with Mike Stura at Skylands Animal Sanctuary and Rescue in Wantage, New Jersey, where she will live out her days without the fear of being eaten.

Stura, the founder of Skylands, has a deep love for cows. The longtime animal rescuer started the sanctuary and rescue for farm animals after rescuing for an ailing veal calf that no one else wanted.

Stura drove to the Houston area when Hurricane Harvey hit last year to see if he could help. So when the Hurricane Florence flood waters hit the Carolinas last week, he didn’t hesitate to help again. A truck driver with a vast collection of rescue equipment and experience with large animals and mechanical expertise, he has the skills, resources, and personality to follow his devotion for animal activism.

“I didn’t go with a plan,” says Stura

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A local woman named Carolyn informed Stura of about 20 beef cows caught in the hurricane Florence flood waters of a nearby farm. The concerned citizen jumped into a boat with Stura and his volunteers and led them in the right direction.

After one mile of treacherous floodwaters the boat reached the submerged cattle farm. There they found 10 cows standing huddled on the porch of a farm building, while others were caught in the flood frantically treading water and bobbing up and down for air.

Stura and his companions were given permission from the farmer and owner of the animals to rescue and take any of the animals that were drowning, but not those on the porch.

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Unused to human handling, the cows swam away from Stura’s rescue boat, but with a little patience and luck, one of the animals came close enough to Stura that he was able to get one end of a rope lassoed around the cow and the other end secured to the boat.

Stura and the other volunteers then carefully towed the cow back to dry land, where the exhausted animal, now named Red, didn’t have the energy to stand.

With the help of some local meat farm workers, Stura was able to load Red onto his trailer and take her home.

Red had some company for the ride to his forever home: the rescuer also happened upon three malnourished, mange-covered puppies cowering on the side of a North Carolina road after the hurricane Florence flood waters had hit.

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“It was clear they had been through the whole storm and that likely no one had been taking care of these dogs,” Stura explains.

A rescue run by Stura’s friend has taken in the dogs. The rescue has vetted the puppies and placed them in a foster home together while staff works on finding the pups the perfect forever home.

Shortly after arriving at Skylands, Red met the 18 “middle kids,” a.k.a. Stura’s medium-sized rescue cows,  including a cow rescued from the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Although the smallest among her new herd, Red is already fitting in.

“You could see her demeanor change within one minute,” her rescuer says.

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Julie Nealon

Associate Editor, New York USA | Contactable via [email protected]

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