Minnie came to Uncle Neil’s Home with her best friend Daisy on July 30, 2020. We were sent a photo of two cows who found themselves in an abusive situation on a farm in Shippensburg, PA, after they were on their way to the slaughterhouse, and for unknown reasons, did not make it there. The photo showed two emaciated cows huddled together in a corner, and we knew at that moment that we had to step in. We did not yet have any cows, nor did we have a pasture set up for them as we had recently purchased the sanctuary, but that didn’t stop us. We went to the farm and picked them up to bring them home that day.
When Minnie first arrived at UNH, she was very scared of us, and standoffish. During the first week at the sanctuary, we let her decompress in a cozy stall with Daisy. She received lots of treats, hay, fresh straw each day, and we played soft music with hopes of easing her fear and anxiety. We worked quickly to fence in their pasture, knowing it would be the first time they would be stepping on grass. When we were finally finished setting up the pasture, we opened their stall door, and Minnie stood in the doorway for a few moments before stepping onto the grass. Once she saw Daisy step outside and realized that she was safe, Minnie took her first steps. After a few seconds of standing in place, she took off and ran around the pasture after Daisy! It was so beautiful to watch her first steps of freedom. From that day forward, she slowly became happier and more confident as time went on.
Minnie is doing wonderfully at UNH, and she has become a very independent cow as time goes on. She spends her days grazing with her herd, her new family, and she has always been the cow to be the most inviting when new calves join the herd. She takes the babies under her wing and makes them feel safe and at home- That is how she found her herd boyfriend, Hugo. Minnie and Hugo share a very close bond. He is Minnie’s little shadow and follows her around all day, every day. They absolutely love each other, and it has been amazing to watch their relationship develop. Her best friend is still Daisy, though, bonded over the trauma that they endured together, and how they’ve managed to overcome it together, too.
Minnie’s absolute favorite thing in the world is snack time! Each night before we put the little members of the herd to sleep, we feed everyone carrot treats. As soon as Minnie sees us approaching the pasture, she begins sprinting to us from acres away to be first in line for snack time! It’s incredible to think that less than a year ago, she was terrified of people, and now she runs to us every time she sees us outside.
Minnie has only been with us for 9 short months, but she has completely transformed compared to the day we first met her. Her resilience is one of the qualities that we admire about her most, and she will live forever at UNH very loved, respected, and cared for.