HomeNewsLocal rescue group raising money to help handicapped calf

Local rescue group raising money to help handicapped calf

Redemption Road Rescue is known for being a haven of safety for horses rescued from unsafe or unstable situations throughout West Tennessee.

But horses aren’t the only animals the organization helps.

“We have goats and geese and donkeys and all sorts of animals, mostly farm animals,” said Lori Collins, the founder and director of Redemption Road.

There are a few cows who have lived on the farm on the northeastern edge of Jackson, and one young calf in particular is getting extra attention in her first year of life after arriving at Redemption Road earlier in the summer. Her name is Apple.

“Apple came to us from a farm in West Tennessee, and her two front legs were severed just above the knees,” Collins said. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Exactly how Apple’s legs were severed is unclear, but the fact she’s still alive is reason enough for Collins and the rest of the crew at Redemption Road to work hard to give her as good a life as possible.

From what Collins was told when they took her in, Apple was born late last fall. And when a worker on the farm was surveying their animals during one of the cold snaps that hit this past winter, the worker discovered Apple had lost the bottom part of both front legs and was bleeding. The theory is she somehow lost her legs in an accident with a gate in the pasture.

“Apparently she was bleeding out, and the farmer thought about having her euthanized, but instead decided to let nature take its course considering she was bleeding so heavily and it was really cold with a big winter storm coming,” Collins said. “So the farmer left her alone expecting her to mercifully die within hours.

“But the combination of cold temperatures allowed her the chance for her legs to stop bleeding and heal without infection or parasites setting in. She really is a miracle and proof that sometimes nature can heal in certain situations.”

The farm takes up a large area of land, and it was apparently a few months before any of the workers on the farm made it back to the area where Apple was until the weather turned warm, but they received a surprise shock when they did.

“There was Apple in a low spot or a creek bed or ditch,” Collins said. “Because there are also coyotes and bobcats out there that would easily have had her for a meal, but her mom and other cattle in the herd took care of her.

“She stayed in that ditch and pretty much leaned on the side of the area to nurse from her mother. And the entire herd stayed with her and protected her for six months or however long it was.”

When the farmers found Apple, they contacted Redemption Road to ask if they could help her before having her euthanized.

“They were going to do that, and we’ve had people ask us if maybe that would be the right decision,” Collins said. “Because she’s a cow missing her front two legs, so it’s understandable to ask what qualify of life can she have.”

But there’s an organization that can help her, and Collins reached out to them to see what it would take to help Apple.

Bionic Pets is an organization in Virginia that manufactures specially-made prosthetics for animals in similar situations to Apple.

Collins is running a fundraiser on Facebook. The page is called “Lori’s fundraiser for Redemption Road GIVING APPLE THE COW NEW LEGS!!!!!!”

The goal is to raise $3,000, as that should be enough for Bionic Pets to size Apple, build two prosthetic legs and place them on her. Giving has surpassed $1,200 so far.

“A silver lining to this situation for Apple is because of her situation, her growth seems to be stunted,” Collins said. “So if she doesn’t grow much more, then she won’t need to be fitted for bigger legs at sometime in the future.”

Until then, Apple stays in one of the barns at Redemption Road. She’s got a steady diet of hay and water, but she’s still getting accustomed to humans entering her living space each day to refill her trough and clean out her stall each morning.

“This isn’t her permanent home, but Apple will probably live here for awhile until she gets her legs and gets used to them,” Collins said. “And when she gets her legs and becomes more mobile, hopefully she’ll get more used to humans and become more friendly.

“Then after that, there are a few farms out there that exist simply as a place for animals like Apple who are different from everyone else for one reason or another. But for now, Redemption Road is her home, and we’re her family. And we’re glad to help her.”

Brandon Shields, brandon@jacksonpost.news

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