Princess came to VINE Sanctuary from an agricultural college, where she was the subject of agricultural experiments. We don’t know exactly what was done to her, but we do know that she was bred repeatedly, suffering both forcible impregnation and the grief of having her calves taken from her. We first suspected, because of the deep and heartbreaking flinch we have seen on her face when she sees someone carrying a pole-like object, that an object of pain (such as a cattle prod or whip) was used to control her movements or perhaps even to punish her. We have learned that this would be a violation of that college’s standard practices, but we also know that animal abuse can happen behind closed doors if adherence to animal welfare policies is not rigorously monitored and enforced.
The flinch looks like this: She squinches up her face and squeezes her eyes shut while holding very still as she awaits the pain.
Happily, we have not seen Princess flinch in a long time. And we are delighted to report that her overall relaxation, sociability, and apparent happiness have increased significantly over time. Princess used to keep apart from the herd, interacting only with Buddy (who is affectionate to everybody). Now she’s close friends with Luna, takes a strong interest in the calves, and just generally socializes more frequently with the other cows. She still spends some time alone each day, as many of us like to do, but Princess is now fully a part of the cow community. She even approaches human visitors, which she never used to do!
Princess has a placid, steady energy that seems to be soothing to other animals. The sheep like to lie down near her, and many of the chickens like to roost on her broad back.
Here’s a video of chickens roosting on Princess, which happens almost every day. She’s definitely their favorite: The barn can be filled with reclining cows, but Princess will be the only one with chickens on her back!
Princess is available for sponsorship. Click here to find out how to sponsor her or another resident at VINE.
(A VINE staff member has stepped up to sponsor Princess.)