One afternoon in March, six cows made a run for it. They escaped a slaughter house, meandering the streets of St. Louis for hours before they were caught.
The social media frenzy sparked a GoFundMe page. It raised about $25,000 to save the cows from slaughter.
One cow died from injuries and an internal infection. The rest are in a foster home in Columbia, Missouri.
“They’re on huge, big pastures. They're so happy right now,” said Ellie Laks, who is looking to build a forever home for the animals.
Laks is the founder of The Gentle Barn, a non-profit with locations in California and Tennessee. The goal of the organization is to help rehabilitate abused and neglected animals. When they’re well enough, the animals become a source of therapy for adults and children with special needs.
“During the week, we work with at-risk, special needs, inner city youth as well as a slew of adults who need unconditional love, hope and inspiration,” Laks said.
Laks is hoping to raise the funds to open a Gentle Barn in St. Louis. She said the therapy an animal can provide can be life-saving to humans.
“These six cows in St. Louis clearly wanted to live. We were able to save their lives, with the help of the community, we can open a Gentle Barn here, not only for these cows, but for the people then to come, get hope and inspiration from them,” Laks said.