Giving Stories: Charles the Steer

Rescue Stories That Inspire

The animals are what inspire us to remain dedicated to our cause. This November we share their stories with you and hope they inspire your #GivingStory.

Charles was found in a moment of crisis by a woman—the neighbor of a local farmer—who saw him at the mercy of his previous owner, about to be shot and killed. She saw a scared animal and saved his life before the farmer pulled the trigger, and then called Barn Sanctuary.

Raised on a farm in Caro, Michigan, Charles was treated by his previous owner as a product and nothing more. Charles was cruelly castrated through a commonly known practice called “banding” (a forced strangulation of his testicles), and prodded with pitchforks. When he was one year old, Charles attempted escape one evening after getting loose from the local farm where he lived. The farmer was having a difficult time getting Charles back so he pulled out a gun, prepared to shoot him.

Jenny, a neighbor who had witnessed the incident, ran across two fields in her nightgown to save Charles. A kind and loving person—Jenny is a perfect example of how one concerned person and one act of bravery or kindness can make an enormous difference for an animal in need. Charles would have been senselessly killed that night if not her. Now he lives a peaceful life on our farm with friends and humans who treat him with kindness, respect, and compassion.

In Charles we witnessed a true and beautiful transformation of character. He’s come a long way from the day he was saved to the animal he is now.

When we picked up Charles he was so afraid of getting in a trailer that it took us hours to coax him into the trailer. He was untrusting, shy and terrified. His eyes would bulge out in fear and he would poop every time he got too close to the trailer. Jenny told us that he would run away and hide in the trees when his old owner would visit their property. He remembered who his last owner was and would flee when he saw him. It was clear that Charles never forgot the way he was treated. It took three hours to get him into our trailer that day, and months before he would let a human approach him to pet him.

After being at Barn Sanctuary for three months, Charles is finally at ease around humans. He is still shy, but far more calm and trusting. He acts as a protector for his friends, Cora and Henry, always keeping an eye out for them and staying close. When he lays down, our staff can now sit next to him, pet him and even lay our heads on his. He knows Barn Sanctuary is a safe place and has blossomed into a new, calm and composed personality. For the first time in Charles’ life his future and safety is secure, and he can now relax and be himself. 

In honor of Charles and the millions of cows beaten down and slaughtered every year, we ask you that you save the date this Giving Tuesday and set an intention to make his cause your #GivingStory.

→ Join Barn Sanctuary for Giving Tuesday! ←


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