NORTH HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The internet (or at least most of it) has fallen in love with JD — a weeks-old calf at Road To Refuge Animal Sanctuary.
The North Haven nonprofit rescued him when he was just two days old. Megan Pereira, the sanctuary’s founder, said they rescued him from terrible conditions.
“He was chained to a wall in his own filth,” she told News 8. “He’s thought to be blind in one eye, but the vets aren’t 100% sure yet.”
She said the calf didn’t get enough colostrum from his mother because he was taken away from her too early.
“He started to have what’s called ‘failure of passive transfer,’ meaning he didn’t get enough antibodies from his mama to be able to support a healthy immune system. Because of that, he became ill, and we treated him supportively as best as we could.”
While they thought the treatment was going well, JD had taken a turn.
“We thought he started to go septic due to an underlying respiratory infection because of the lack of antibodies. They treated him with antibiotics, lots of love supportive care, and he slowly just started to improve. About a week after that, he broke with terrible diarrhea and started to become extremely dehydrated, and again, we were nervous about his survival. We treated with a different course of antibiotics and supportive care, electrolytes fluids, and so far he has not looked back!”
Pereira said JD is now “thriving” and being his goofball self.
“He’s really coming out of his shell and is the funniest little guy ever,” the organization said in a Facebook post. “He’s getting stronger and SO much more lively.
The organization started posting about JD’s progress on Facebook and the little calf gained a whole team of supporters.
In fact, one of the organization’s supporters bought JD a stuffed teddy bear, which he loves to snuggle up next to.
But it’s not just the hearts of internet users that he’s captured, Pereira said he’s always taken a very large chunk of her heart.
“My heart is melting,” she said. “I’ve recently gone full vegan for him…He’s opened my eyes to the cruelty of the commercial dairy industry. Seeing it first hand…He really did inspire me, and I thank him for it.”
She said he’s changed her for the better.
“There’s been a lot of animals that have come through our sanctuary. Unfortunately, some who have left us and some leave bigger marks than others, but he will certainly be one that’s changed my life for the better.”
So, what’s next for JD?
“He will be living at the farm forever in sanctuary,” Pereira said.
He is currently in quarantine from the other animals, but Pereira said he will be able to meet the rest of the herd next week.
Those interested in making donations to the nonprofit can do so on its GoFundMe page.
Pereira said they will also be having a fundraiser at Hops on the Hill Farm Brewery on Oct. 11 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.