Wantage's 'Cow Guy' rescues Wisconsin calf

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  • PHOTOS PROVIDED BY SKYLANDS ANIMAL SANCTUARY AND RESCUE Trevor, safely at the hospital after a long rescue journey from Wisconsin.

  • Trevor in the back of the car along his journey.

A calf that was born unable to walk or nurse is safely recovering thanks to a call to Wantage's “The Cow Guy.”

Trevor, the calf, was born in Wisconsin last Friday, Jan. 25. Because he couldn't stand, he couldn't nurse, he would have been a goner had T.J. Dercks not been friends with Mike Stura, who founded and runs Skylands Animal Sanctuary and Rescue.

She called him, and Trevor's multi-state journey to rescue began.

“We could tell he needed immediate medical assistance,” Stura said, “It was already 9:30 p.m. and we are almost 1,000 miles away, so the next morning T.J. picked him up and drove him halfway (about an hour) towards a hospital, then she met our friend, Rachel Gosulinski who drove him the other hour and got him admitted for us.”

The hospital said his legs could not be fixed. Tests confirmed that he had not gotten enough colostrum, and Stura said they were advised that he should be euthanized.

“That was not really an option for us since he was not in severe pain and we hadn’t seen him up close yet. We had him given plasma and IV antibiotics to help make sure he didn’t get an infection and was stable enough to make the ride home,” Stura said.

On Monday, Jan. 28, Stura left early and drove 950 miles out to Wisconsin to get him as the “Polar Vortex” descended on the region. He arrived fairly late at night and got a room, then Tuesday morning, he met Trevor and immediately knew they had made the right decision by not euthanizing him.

“He was extremely bright and lively and definitely had a strong will to live,” Stura said. “So I picked him up and the two of us drove back east to a safe place for sick animals.”

Trevor is now at Cornell Large Animal Hospital in Ithaca, N.Y.. Stura got him there after a long day of driving and witnessing many many accidents about 2:30 a.m.

“He's had his first surgery and now it's up to him to see how well he heals,” Stura said. “He still has stretching to do of his front tendons, but we are very hopeful he will soon come to reside at Skylands Rescue.”

“There aren't a lot of rescues in Wisconsin for animals like this,”Stura said. “They're production animals. A little calf like that is not worth a lot of money. I didn't think there was anyone capable of getting him the care he got. The women who helped would have but didn't have the money or place for him.”

Skylands Animal Sanctuary & Rescue footed the bill.

Stura started started Skylands Animal Sanctuary and Rescue four years ago with one tiny piece of land and a few small animals. That tiny piece of land grew to become an entire farm full of rescued souls. These animals are rescued from slaughterhouses, live markets, farms, extreme neglect, abuse, religious ceremonies, abandonment, and are even found wandering streets.

“We've grown to have four employees but depend on volunteers and donations to run the Rescue & Sanctuary,” Stura said.

No matter where they are from or from what dire circumstances they escape, they are provided with proper veterinary care, the best foods, water, a safe place to live, eat and sleep as well as lots of love around the clock.

“Every animal requires room to run and live unencumbered by the threat of harm and each one gets exactly what they need here at the Skylands Sanctuary,” Stura said.

Skylands Animal Rescue and Sanctuary is known for its rescue of Brianna, a pregnant cow who escaped a cattle truck en route to a New Jersey slaughterhouse, in December. A police chase ensued and eventually, Brianna was taken to Skylands Rescue. Despite her eight-foot fall off of the cattle truck on route 80, she was fine and gave birth to a calf named Winter.

Since then, Stura has been known as “the cow guy.”

He said, “The Brianna story might be the single biggest farm animal rescue ever. People have shown me clips of the news from Greace, Vietnam, Iceland, Austraila and South America.“

“We welcome Trevor to our family and Skylands Rescue will continue rescuing, rehabilitating, advocating on behalf of, and providing lifelong homes for animals,” Stura said.

Skylands Animal Sanctuary and Rescue is located at 50 Compton Road in Wantage.

To make a donation or for further information, call (973) 721-4437, visit https://skylandssanctuary.org/ or find them on Facebook.

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