View Mobile Site
 

Ask the Expert

Signal Photos

 

More than just animals

Public gets a closer look at the progress of critters rescued from neglect

Posted: January 7, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: January 7, 2013 2:00 a.m.

Gentle Barn co-founder Ellie Laks takes some time to show some appreciation to Buttercup the cow, which she says serves at the foundation's "incredible ambassador."

 

Buttercup the cow is all about healing.

On Sunday, the Gentle Barn nonprofit animal rescue foundation on Sierra Highway invited the public to visit some of the animals it has rescued over the years, including its “incredible ambassador” Buttercup.

Four years ago, the brown and white cow was rescued from a ranch in Tick Canyon, the owner of which was convicted seven months ago on animal abuse charges.

Buttercup, pregnant at the time of her rescue, gave birth to a calf that suffered a variety of ailments.

The calf died at 7 months, despite the continued efforts of the Gentle Barn staff to nurse it back to complete health.

“She cried and cried for weeks,” said Gentle Barn founder Ellie Laks.

“She was mooing and pacing, pacing and mooing, and was clearly in distress,” Laks said of Buttercup. “After several weeks she came around.”

“They go through what people go through,” Laks said.

Gentle Barn staffers brought all the orphaned baby calves they rescued to Buttercup who “adopted” and nurtured them, she said.

Not only did Buttercup become the surrogate mother for all the orphaned calves — including a black and white cow named Faith — she became the surrogate mother for “at risk” human youngsters brought to the farm as therapy.

On Sunday, kids with visiting families got a first-hand look at what the “at risk” children experience when they encounter cows like Faith and Buttercup, Laks said.

“Buttercup does an amazing thing,” Laks said, “she inspires the children.”

The “at risk” kids — many from foster homes and the inner city — have experiences filled with violence and hopelessness, she said.

“These kids think they’re the only ones who experience neglect, abuse and abandonment,” she said. “Then they come here and realize they’re not alone in their pain.”

Animal cruelty

In May, Roberto Celedon, 26, of Tick Canyon Road, accused of unlawfully slaughtering animals for sale, pleaded guilty to animal cruelty and was sentenced Thursday to 90 days in county jail, court papers show.

Shortly after his arrest in March, officials from the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control took control of the animals found on Celedon’s property.

The smaller ones rescued, including pigeons and chickens, were turned over to the Castaic animal shelter.

The large animals — a horse, five cattle, 14 goats and nine sheep — were put in the care of the Gentle Barn.

The health of the rescued animals improved in the weeks following their relocation there.

On Sunday, visiting children and their parents had a chance to see many of those same animals in full recovery.

In September, Celedon was ordered to pay $20,391.35 in restitution to Los Angeles County.

And, while the county received restitution for the expense in having to deal with the rescued animals, Gentle Barn operators did not.

“Restitution was made to the government agency — and while I think it’s justified — we were left out,” said Gentle Barn co-founder Jay Weiner, adding animals and the Gentle Barn would have benefitted from any money received to cover expenses.

jholt@signalscv.com

661-287-5527

On Twitter
@jamesarthurholt

Comments

Commenting not available.
Commenting is not available.

 
 

Powered By
Morris Technology
Please wait ...