A young girl’s beloved cataract-stricken cow has been given a second chance at life after he was sold to the highest bidder.
According to the Associated Press, 13-year-old Kendyll Williams was brought to tears when she was forced to sell her partially-blind steer named Oatmeal at the annual Fort Worth Stock Show last month. The youngster has been raising cattle to help build her college fund, but found herself especially attached to Oatmeal. After the steer was sold for $8,000, an online campaign was launched to save Oatmeal from being sent to the slaughterhouse.
After being studied for over a month at Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in College Station, Oatmeal was moved to an undisclosed ranch to peacefully live a long and healthy life.
“He loaded like a champ and hauled like a champ,” Matt Brockman, publicity manager for the Fort Worth Stock Show, said Friday. “It was clear that he had functional eyesight, and in my opinion this steer could have entered the food system. I’ve worked with totally blind steers, and this steer wasn’t that.”
Although it was decided that Oatmeal was still fair game for being “processed” due to its partial eyesight, the Stock Show says he will not be sent to the slaughterhouse.
Renee King-Sonnen, owner of the Rowdy Girl Sanctuary in Angleton, helped organized efforts to save Oatmeal. Over the past few weeks, King-Sonnen says that volunteers collected about $12,000 to go towards relocating and caring for the animal. Now that Oatmeal has been sent to a new home, the money raised will instead go toward scholarships for “young people who indicate they have a change of heart about showing and selling livestock for slaughter.”
“I’m happy if he’s really safe, I just don’t understand all the secrecy,” King-Sonnen explained. “I just hope he never, ever, ever sees a slaughterhouse.”