Trevor, the calf, recovering thanks to 'Cow Guy'

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  • Trevor, the calf, is safely recovering at a hospital after a multi-state rescue journey, thanks to Skylands Animal & Rescue. (Photo provided).

  • Trevor, the calf, in the back of the car that took him to safety. (Photo courtesy of Skylands Animal & Rescue).

By laurie gordon

A calf that was born unable to walk or nurse is now recovering, thanks to Wantage's “Cow Guy.”

Trevor, the calf, was born in Wisconsin on Friday, Jan. 25. He couldn't stand, therefore he couldn't nurse. That meant he would have been a goner had the calf's owner, T.J. Derks not known to call Mike Stura, who founded and runs Skylands Animal Sanctuary and Rescue.

“We could tell he needed immediate medical assistance,” Stura said, “It was already 9:30 p.m. and we are almost 1,000 miles away, so the next morning T.J. picked him up and drove him halfway (about an hour) towards a hospital, then she met our friend, Rachel Gosulinski who drove him the other hour and got him admitted for us.”

The hospital said his legs could not be fixed. Tests confirmed that he had not gotten enough colostrum, and Stura said they were advised that he should be euthanized.

“That was not really an option for us since he was not in severe pain and we hadn’t seen him up close yet. We had him given plasma and IV antibiotics to help make sure he didn’t get an infection and was stable enough to make the ride home,” Stura said.

On Monday, Jan. 28, Stura drove 950 miles to Wisconsin to get the calf. By Tuesday morning, Stura knew they had made the right decision by not euthanizing the calf.

“He was extremely bright and lively and definitely had a strong will to live,” Stura said. “So I picked him up and the two of us drove back east to a safe place for sick animals.”

Trevor is now at Cornell Large Animal Hospital in Ithaca, N.Y. after Stura arrived with the calf at about 2:30 a.m. after witnessing weather-related motor vehicle accidents along the way.

“He's had his first surgery and now it's up to him to see how well he heals,” Stura said. “He still has stretching to do of his front tendons, but we are very hopeful he will soon come to reside at Skylands Rescue.”

“There aren't a lot of rescues in Wisconsin for animals like this,” Stura said. “They're production animals. A little calf like that is not worth a lot of money. I didn't think there was anyone capable of getting him the care he got. The women who helped would have but didn't have the money or place for him.”

Skylands Animal Sanctuary & Rescue footed the bill.

Stura founded Skylands Animal Sanctuary and Rescue four years ago with a few small animals on a small swath of land that eventually brimmed with animals rescued from slaughterhouses, extreme neglect, or religious ceremonies. Some had even been found wandering streets.

“We've grown to have four employees, but depend on volunteers and donations to run the Rescue & Sanctuary,” Stura said.

No matter the circumstance, the rescued animals are provided with the best foods, water, and 24/7 loving care.

“Every animal requires room to run and live unencumbered by the threat of harm and each one gets exactly what they need here at the Skylands Sanctuary,” Stura said.

Skylands Animal Rescue and Sanctuary is known for its rescue of Brianna, a pregnant cow who escaped a cattle truck en route to a New Jersey slaughterhouse, in December. A police chase ensued and eventually, Brianna was taken to Skylands Rescue. Despite her 8-foot fall off of a cattle truck on route 80, she was fine and gave birth to a calf named Winter.

Since then, Stura has been known as “the cow guy.”

He said, “The Brianna story might be the single biggest farm animal rescue ever. People have shown me clips of the news from Greace, Vietnam, Iceland, Austraila and South America.“

“We welcome Trevor to our family and Skylands Rescue will continue rescuing, rehabilitating, advocating on behalf of, and providing lifelong homes for animals,” Stura said.

Skylands Animal Sanctuary and Rescue is located at 50 Compton Road in Wantage.

To make a donation or for further information, call (973) 721-4437, visit or find them on Facebook.

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