George Harrison Valentino
George Harrison Valentino is a Holstein mix who was meant to be a veal calf, but he was so cute and sweet that a UF student (thankfully) rescued him. He was hand-raised by kind people, but he eventually got really lonely and started to break out of his pasture looking for other cows. That led his family to find CCFS, where he could become part of a herd. He’s obviously a giant puppy, just watch out for his horns!
Lemmy is a black angus and our second rescue. He was hand-raised at a friend’s farm by his daughter-in-law, Simone, but unfortunately, Lemmy didn’t belong to them. When he was about six months old, his true “owner” came to collect him and take him to market to sell him. Simone, devastated about the prospect of losing this sweet grass puppy to such a cruel fate, contacted us in a panic and begged us to intervene. We were happy to help, and contacted the owner of the stock yard, who allowed us to bring Lemmy to CCFS. He’s one of our most affectionate critters and loves to come up and ask for pets and brushes.
Rocky is a really sweet Holstein steer who likes being pet. We received an email from a woman named Tammy informing us that her kids brought home a calf to their house in a neighborhood. Her kids saw a man selling discarded male dairy calves from a trailer in a parking lot. Rocky was particularly skinny and they were worried for him, so they brought him home. Tammy was not thrilled when Rocky arrived, but she took the situation in stride and stayed up all night researching how to care for the baby, all while trying to hide him from the neighbors. She then set out to find him an appropriate home, and that’s when she contacted us. We gladly agreed to bring Rocky to CCFS, where he has fit in wonderfully since day one.
Philomena’s crew were the first three cows to arrive at CCFS. These three girls—who are still best friends—were rescued as babies from a stockyard shortly before they were to be sent to market to be sold.
Philomena is the herd’s second sergeant. This sweet, friendly girl is always one of the first on the scene any time something is going on in her pasture. She never hesitates to guard her herd or whack an insolent newbie with her horns. Indeed, she still intimidates George Harrison Valentino, who outweighs her by a good 700lbs.
Sienna is a laid-back, affectionate teddy bear who will stand around and let you pet her for hours. And if you stop petting her, she's liable to use your leg as a scratching post for her head. Often referred to as the "Golden Retriever" of the herd.
Alexis is very smart, and as a result, very suspicious. It took us fully a year to be able to pet her, and she still isn't a big fan of being touched.
The Feral 12
This herd of 12 cows lived in a neighboring field. They had basically been put there and left to fend for themselves. As a result of their very limited contact with people, they were essentially feral. They were also starving, as their “owners” didn’t bother to feed them, even in winter when no grass was growing in a field that was already mostly brambles. They were also drinking out of a swamp, as they had no water. We couldn't bear to see them slowly waste away, so they became our next set of residents. Some of the herd lives at Critter Creek, and the others who are not as fond of humans reside at our Critter Hills facility. The ones listed below are residents of Critter Creek.
Claire is the herd leader (matriarch) and can often be seen lurking in the back of the herd, watching over everyone, making sure no funny business is about. She isn't a fan of being pet, but she might come up for cow cookies. She is more than likely a brangus cow, but more braman than angus.
Ace is Claire's massive son, and even though he is a big boy, he is cautious like his mama. Ace is curious and loves to play, and much like a cat, will let you pet him when he feels like being pet.
Astraea was born September 4, 2018. She is a sweet and curious girl, and can be pet if approached slowly. She love hanging around for treats!
Fawn is a big, beautiful Jersey girl with gorgeous eyes. Not a mean bone in her body. Likes to be pet, but may not like strangers. She also likes to moo with her mouth closed. Fawn is good friends with Claire, but not allowed to push her around. Due to her, umm... roundness, many ask if Fawn is pregnant. She is not. She has just always been a full-figured moo-person. Cows come in all shapes and sizes, and we love them all!
Bruce is a little doofy but sweet. He hasn’t quite been the same since he lost his mom. Bruce is a friendly steer who enjoys cow cookies, but he’s not as outgoing as he used to be. He, Ace, and Astraea are the best of friends.
This group of six moos was rescued as part of a neglect case by the South Florida SPCA Horse Rescue. They were incredibly skinny and unhealthy when they arrived. Sadly, Flora didn't make it, but all others are alive, happy, and well.
Hazel is the matriarch of her crew, and probably part black angus. She is very kind, but not crazy about being pet. Her back and hips still look skinny, but her belly is big—our vet says it’s just because she really likes eating and she gains weight unevenly. Think of it as being like a beer belly. Hazel is a beautiful cow with a unique pattern of white spots on her belly.
Iggy is Otis and Hazel's adorable son. He is cute, but shy. He may be hesitant to receiving pets from strangers, but he'll definitely take a cow cookie from anyone!
Violet is Hazel's granddaughter. She lost her mom and was devastated. Thankfully, Hazel adopted Violet and fed and raised her. She and Iggy are best buddies, and she is just the sweetest moo friend. She will let people pet her, but must be approached gently.
Otis is a giant jersey steer and the dad of Violet and Iggy. Mellow and sweet, but not a big fan of being pet. Won’t get mad about it, but will look at you like, “Must you?” Many guests ask about his horns and if they will grow “into” his head. Otis was born with a congenital defect in his horns where his cartilage does not connect to the bones. His horns are actually “floppy” and can be jiggled back and forth. They rest on his head but do not grow properly, so they will never actually grow into his head.
Myrna is the herd busybody with an adorable underbite. She knows all the juiciest herd gossip and is constantly suspicious of everyone and everything. She won't let anyone pet her, but will take treats from you.
Sammy was rescued as an abandoned day-old calf with a badly broken leg. He was cared for by a kind young woman, but she was moving and couldn’t take him with her, so she brought him to us. We continued to cast his broken leg until it was fully healed, at which point he was adopted by Hazel and her crew. He is best buds with Violet and Iggy and will let anyone love on him.
Ozzy and Buttercup's Story
Ozzy is a male Holstein steer who was picked up at 10 months of age, along with baby Buttercup, wandering in the Everglades by the South Florida SPCA Horse Rescue. How he ended up in the Everglades is something of a mystery. We figure he was probably meant to be a veal calf, as male Holsteins are considered useless by the dairy industry and are either killed upon birth or sold to be veal calves. However, Ozzy is something of an escape artist, so he must have managed to escape his confinement and escape into the Everglades of south Florida. How Buttercup—who is at least five months younger than Ozzy and a Brangus, not a Holstein—ended up with him is another mystery, but somehow, they ended up together, and this male calf took care of this young female baby while they tried to survive on their own in the wild together. They remain very tightly bonded to this day.
Ozzy is very smart, clearly good at figuring out how to get out of pastures, and very sweet. He loves people, loves the babies of the herd (he is one of the only males the moms will allow to babysit the kids), and absolutely adores eating palm trees. Indeed, he has destroyed many a fence trying to reach an inaccessible palm tree. You can always find Ozzy front and center for treats during moo-kets.
Buttercup is extremely sweet, a herd soldier, and babysitter. She had always been on the smaller side, so the babies thought she was a baby, too. This led her to assume the role of herd “governess.” Although she has grown in size, she is still looked upon as the babysitter of the group by her herd-mates.
Millie and Lucille were found as strays in the Everglades, having likely escaped their prison. Grover was found abandoned in an avocado grove and was so sick and emaciated he couldn’t stand. All three were rescued by the South Florida SPCA. After Grover was nursed back to health (they didn’t think he would make it), he was adopted by Millie and Lucille, and they are now a tight family unit.
Millie arrived pregnant with Buddy Holly. She is friendly, but not a big fan of being pet. She will come around for treats and can usually be spotted hanging out with Lucille.
Buddy Holly is Millie’s adorable son. He’s a sweet, friendly steer who loves treats and enjoys pets most of the time.
Lucille is friendly and curious, but iffy on being pet. Somedays she welcomes pets, while other days she wants nothing do with being touched. She will gladly take treats though.
Grover is a cute little dude, but shy. He will come up to take treats, but isn't a big fan of being pet. He is missing his tail due to congenital deformity that is similar to spina bifida in humans.
Cinnabun, Valentina, and Prince
We were contacted by a veterinarian whose parents had retired to a small farm where they rescued a few cows, promising them safety for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, her father had fallen ill, and they urgently had to move to be closer to medical care. This meant they finding homes for their cows as quickly as possible. Feeling desperate, they decided to rehome two of them—Valentina and Cinnamon—at a dairy farm. They knew it wasn’t ideal, but they figured the cows would be safe. Well, we all know what happens to cows on a dairy farm—they are anything but safe. These kind people had promised safety to these cows and didn’t realize what the cows’ fate would be at this dairy. We immediately knew we had to give them a safe, forever home.
Cinnabun is a very friendly, lovable girl who enjoys treats and loves being pet. She and Valentina are the best of friends.
Valentina is a sweet, friendly girl who loves cow cookies and enjoys being pet. She arrived pregnant and gave birth to Prince in August 2022.
Prince is Valentina’s sweet, shy baby boy. He isn’t quite sure about us notcows yet, but he's beginning to warm up to us.
Dio, Josephine, and Penelope
The three zebus came to us from another sanctuary that needed to rehome them. Zebus are a different subspecies of bovine from the other cows we have. All three are very shy but will usually come up for cookies. Just don't try any of that petting funny business!
Eli and Marley
Marley made a daring and dangerous escape when she jumped from a transport truck and was brought to Sisu Refuge in North Carolina. Eli was rescued from the dairy industry by Jason Bolalek of Destination Liberation. Both Marley and Eli were just babies when they were rescued due to the cruel industries that they were born into. They formed a special bond on their car ride down to Florida and it has grown stronger ever since.
Eli was born on a family-run, organic dairy farm. Like all calves in the dairy industry, he was taken away from his mother at birth. He was going to meet the same fate as most male babies born on dairy farms-he was going to be sent to slaughter the day of his birth. Fortunately, he was rescued by Jason Bolalek of Operation Liberation, who brought both Eli and Marley to CCFS. Eli is a sweet steer who loves cow cookies! Friendly and will let you pet him, just watch out for those horns!
At just 1.5 weeks of age, Marley was taken from her mother and loaded onto a truck to be taken to a “nursery". Had she survived the nursery, she would have been moved to a finishing farm. At 3 months, if she were too small or too sick, she would have been sent to the gas chamber. Otherwise, she would have been allowed to live to six months, then loaded onto a truck and sent to the slaughterhouse. Marley either jumped or fell from the truck on its way to the "nursery" and luckily survived the fall, managing only to get a few scrapes, bumps, and bruises. She loves attention, food, and rolling in the mud with her new piggy friends at CCFS.
Lionel and Amos
Lionel and Amos were rescued by the South Florida SPCA Horse Rescue last year as part of a large cruelty case. They were living in disgusting, filthy conditions covered in their own excrement. Authorities believe the animals at the home were being sold for Santeria rituals (live animal sacrifice). It’s likely both were pulled from their moms as soon as they were born. They were then kept in isolation in literal boxes. Lionel was likely the first friend Amos had ever known, and he bonded to him strongly. That bond is even stronger today.
Lionel is such an outgoing, sweet boy. He loves treats and really enjoys being pet.
Amos is such a sweetheart. He enjoys treats but tends to be a bit shy around strangers. Once in a while, he enjoys being pet, but most of the time, he wants you to admire his adorableness from afar.
Boomer and Potato
Boomer and Potato were found in North Carolina, one of the factory hog farm capitals of the country. Potato (our pink boy) saved his own life by jumping off a transport truck and fleeing for freedom. Boomer similarly saved his own life. We aren’t certain, but he was likely an FFA pig and decided he had other plans for his life (i.e., to keep it). These two brave boys wound up in the custody of animal control, which contacted Sisu Refuge. Sisu had been overloaded with pig intake requests, and Sisu’s founder, Erika, contacted us for help. We just couldn't say no when we saw the boys’ photos.
Boomer is the most lovable, friendly, outgoing pig we have ever seen. He loves to be pet and, of course, loves treats. There’s not a shy bone in this precious boy's body. The second he sees you, he comes running to give and get all the love!
Potato is such a sweet, smart boy. He loves apples and, much like a dog, will sit for them. It’s the cutest thing! He’s outgoing and loves belly rubs, but he can be shy sometimes. People often admire Potato’s ears, saying he has “butterfly ears.” Of course, we agree that everything about him is adorable, but the notches in his ears tell a darker story. Those aren’t natural notches. Instead, they are a universal ear-notching system used by farms. The notches tell us Potato’s litter number and his position within the litter: He is the 8th piglet from litter 31. They are cruel reminders of what his fate could have been.
Beans jumped from a factory farm transport truck when he was just a few weeks old. A kind woman took him in and gave him a home for about a year, but she realized he needed other pig friends. She contacted Sisu Refuge in North Carolina, but they were busting at the seams with new rescues, so they called us. When Beans first arrived, he wasn't so sure about his new mud mates, Boomer and Potato. This was Bean's first time around other pigs since he was taken from his mother as a baby. He quickly warmed up to them, though, and now they are an adorable, inseparable trio!
In mid-January 2023, Sisu Refuge in North Carolina received a call about a little piglet the sheriff's office found during a meth lab bust. As you can imagine, Noodle wasn't living in the greatest conditions. Sisu was at capacity (and then some) at the time of his rescue, so we gladly offered to be his forever home. Upon his arrival, he immediately bonded with Potato, and the two have been inseparable ever since. Noodle is an absolute sweetheart and loves to be pet. Watch out, though... he's a shoe nibbler!
Pigs - The Big Boys
Albert, Oliver, Rupert, and Hog Solo came from the NC42Save operation. They were “cull” piglets — meant to be pulled from their factory farm home at 3 months of age and sent to the gas chamber and thrown in the trash. The reason? They were too small or sick to bother to continue feeding, so it was more profitable to simply kill them. They have no tails because the factory farms remove their tails with no anesthesia. Pigs in factory farms are stuffed in entirely dark, cramped, unsanitary conditions, and they sort of go crazy because of it and bite at each other’s tails. Rather than make conditions better, farmers simply cut their tails off.
Rupert is the largest pig out of the four big boys. He is a gentle giant and total love, but watch your toes when he’s around! Getting stepped on by a 900-pound pig doesn't feel so great!
Oliver is the second largest of the big boys, and while sweet, he can be somewhat of a troublemaker. We're pretty sure his love language is light bullying and biting. Oliver likes to nip at fingers, legs, shoes... anything really. He's easy to tell apart from the other big boys because he’s the only one out of the four of them with ears that stand straight up.
Hog Solo is an intelligent, happy guy. He and the three other big boys are Yorkshires, a breed of pig that’s been selectively bred and genetically manipulated to have accelerated growth rates so farmers can slaughter them at just six months of age. This genetic manipulation makes them prone to cancer, especially skin cancer. We noticed an odd spot on Solo’s neck, and our vet determined it was squamous cell carcinoma. Sadly, his prognosis is not good.
Albert is the smallest of the big boys and is mostly deaf and blind. You’ll notice he swings his head back and forth when he walks. He’s a total sweetheart, but because of his lack of hearing and sight, he startles easily and may nip. Approach him slowly and gently touch his back to let him know you’re there.
Rita, Ruthie, and their Babies
Rita and Ruthie were rescued as part of a cruelty and hoarding case in Maryland from an operation marketed as a “Mom and pop, farm-to-table, humane” family farm. If you ask Rita and Ruthie what they think, they’re likely to have a lot of words to describe such farms, not one of them being “humane." These terms are often used to make people feel better. The idea of the small family farm somehow makes it more palatable to some, as they envision the animals running freely and happily in wide, open spaces. Yet for Rita, Ruthie, and the 100+ animals seized by The Humane Society, it was anything but that. They were confined to small, feces-filled mud holes. Many animals were sick and denied medical care; most females were pregnant, and none had ever known kindness. Rita and Ruthie were both pregnant when The Humane Society rescued them, and we had initially planned to adopt out some of the babies (they had 13 in total) to other sanctuaries; however, that idea was scrapped the minute we witnessed the bond Rita and Ruthie had with their sweet piglets. They even “sang” to their babies while they nursed. We immediately decided to keep the big, happy family together here at CCFS. Sadly, one of the babies passed from a congenital heart defect shortly after birth, and another passed in December of 2021, shortly after surgery, likely due to the same heart defect.