NORTH HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Social media users have fallen in love with a weeks-old calf at Road To Refuge Animal Sanctuary in North Haven, Connecticut.
The nonprofit rescued him from terrible conditions when he was just two days old.
“He was chained to a wall in his own filth,” said Megan Pereira, the sanctuary’s founder. “He’s thought to be blind in one eye, but the vets aren’t 100% sure yet.”
She said the calf didn’t get enough colostrum from his mother because he was taken away from her too early.
“He started to have what’s called ‘failure of passive transfer,’ meaning he didn’t get enough antibodies from his mama to be able to support a healthy immune system,” Pereira said. “Because of that, he became ill, and we treated him supportively as best as we could.”
When they thought the treatment was going well, JD took a turn for the worse.
“We thought he started to go septic due to an underlying respiratory infection because of the lack of antibodies,” Pereira said. “They treated him with antibiotics, lots of love and supportive care, and he slowly just started to improve. About a week after that, he broke with terrible diarrhea and started to become extremely dehydrated, and again, we were nervous about his survival. We treated with a different course of antibiotics and supportive care, electrolytes fluids, and so far he has not looked back!”
Pereira said JD is now “thriving” and being his “goofball” self.
“He’s really coming out of his shell and is the funniest little guy ever,” the organization said in a Facebook post. “He’s getting stronger and SO much more lively.
The organization started posting about JD’s progress on Facebook and the little calf gained a whole team of supporters.
In fact, one of the organization’s supporters bought JD a stuffed teddy bear, which he loves to snuggle up next to.
But it’s not just the hearts of internet users that he’s captured, Pereira said he’s always taken a very large chunk of her heart.
“My heart is melting,” she said. “I’ve recently gone full vegan for him. … He’s opened my eyes to the cruelty of the commercial dairy industry. Seeing it firsthand. … He really did inspire me, and I thank him for it.”
She said he’s changed her for the better.
“There’s been a lot of animals that have come through our sanctuary. Unfortunately, some who have left us and some leave bigger marks than others, but he will certainly be one that’s changed my life for the better.”
So, what’s next for JD?
“He will be living at the farm forever in sanctuary,” Pereira said.
He is currently in quarantine from the other animals, but Pereira said he will be able to meet the rest of the herd next week.
Those interested in making donations to the nonprofit can do so on its GoFundMe page.