Mama Joy, a remarkable Jersey cow, embarked on a transformative journey that led her to Sale Ranch Animal Sanctuary. In March of 2021, we received a heartfelt plea from a compassionate farmhand at a dairy farm. This farmhand had developed a fondness for Mama Joy, a 14-year-old dairy cow who faced an uncertain fate. Determined to save her from slaughter, the farmhand contacted one of our animal rescue contacts for assistance.
The situation was dire. The farmer agreed to relinquish Mama Joy, but there was a catch—she had to be gone by the following day, or she would face a cruel end after years of producing babies and milk for the farmer’s gain.
We knew that time was of the essence, and a miracle was needed to save Mama Joy. Bringing her to the sanctuary presented various challenges. We had less than 24 hours to raise the necessary funds—$10,000—to cover Mama Joy’s transport from Northern California, her medical expenses, and the construction of a new stall or barn for her at the sanctuary. Additionally, we needed to coordinate transportation arrangements for her journey, as it would be too strenuous for her to travel the entire distance in one go.
Despite the obstacles, we sprang into action, launching a fundraising campaign with a massive ask. We shared Mama Joy’s story and the urgent need to save her, even without a photo to display. The response was nothing short of incredible. People’s kindness and compassion flowed abundantly, allowing us to raise the total amount needed to bring Mama Joy to safety.
Transportation logistics were the next challenge. Thanks to the collaboration of another sanctuary, the first leg of Mama Joy’s journey was secured. They graciously agreed to personally pick her up from the farm and drive her south, where she would stay with another sanctuary for a few days to rest before continuing her journey to Sale Ranch Animal Sanctuary. Meanwhile, Founder Jen Sale and a Ranch employee took on driving to retrieve Mama Joy.
Seven hundred miles, two sanctuaries, countless generous donors, and the unwavering dedication of a compassionate farmhand—all these elements converged in the most remarkable ways to bring Mama Joy home to Sale Ranch Animal Sanctuary. With gratitude and joy, we named her Mama Joy to symbolize the happiness and contentment she will experience for the remainder of her days.
Mama Joy’s presence at Sale Ranch Animal Sanctuary serves as a reminder of the kindness and respect that all animals, including sweet and sensitive beings like her, deserve. Her story inspires us to continue our mission of providing a safe haven for farm animals and promoting a world where their inherent worth is recognized and celebrated.