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Sparky the Cow

We rescued Sparky when he was just 3 months old. He’d been suffering with a truly horrible leg injury, where his foot was almost cut off. Once we got him safe, Sparky had to have a major operation, constant treatments, multiple bandage changes every day for over a year, more operations, etc. We were originally told he could not possibly survive… but Sparky ended up being with us for 11 happy fulfilled years.

Sparky was a black angus, and he grew to be massive. A full tonne! But he was truly a gentle giant. People were often intimidated by his size when they first met him. Yet within a short time they’d be hanging all over him, giving scratches and getting cuddles. Sparky taught visitors from all over the world that cows are wonderful, affectionate, intelligent animals. Many people have told me that they stopped eating meat after they fell in love with Sparky. He was a true ambassador for his species. When he passed, we received messages of love and beautiful memories from all corners of the globe.

Words cannot capture how much Sparky meant to me, and how much I miss him every single day. I call him my ‘soul animal’ because our bond was so incredibly profound. I take comfort from knowing that his life was filled with absolute love and happiness, and that he’ll be at the head of the herd when I meet him one day on the other side.

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The Animal Sanctuary is an animal refuge run by Shawn Bishop and Michael Dixon in Matakana, New Zealand. We provide a safe haven for abused and neglected animals, and care for injured or orphaned native birds. A charitable trust has been established for this purpose.

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