The saga of a white cow that escaped from a slaughterhouse just outside of Philadelphia on Saturday, June 18, continues.
The creature was being transported from the New Holland Auction to Madina Slaughterhouse in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania when she decided to make a break for her life. The bovine roamed city streets for a half hour or so, until local police corralled the animal and returned her to Madina Slaughterhouse. Reports from local residents indicate the bovine was in search of freedom.
Marianne Bessey, from Animal ACTivists of Philly lives nearby and has taken up the cause for this determined creature. She spoke with an employee of the slaughterhouse who agreed to sell her the cow for $800. She also sought out a sanctuary to take in this freedom-loving animal.
On Thursday morning last week, Bessey arrived at Madina Slaughterhouse with the money. A truck from Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary (WFAS) was already en route. But she was told the animal will not be sold to her. Although she was never given an explanation by the slaughterhouse employees, she found out later that the slaughterhouse did not have a license to sell live animals. Kayli had been sold for slaughter so she had to be killed within 10 days of sale under Pennsylvania law. Being an attorney, Bessey quickly filed a breach of contract suit in an attempt to prevent the bovine’s slaughter.
By this time, there were several articles about this bovine’s plight that hit the local news. The cow — since named Kayli — is now a minor celebrity. Governor Tom Corbett, along with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, agreed on Friday to spare the life of the white bovine by issuing a “pardon.”
As long as the animal remains in quarantine for two weeks and passes a physical examination, she will be sent to live out life at WFAS in New York. And yes, that is Woodstock, New York where the famous Three Days of Peace & Music was held in August 1969.
“WFAS is driven by the simple philosophy that kindness and respect to animals is our moral duty and that all the creatures that share this earth are here with us and not for us. Like our faithful dogs and lap-sitting cats, farm animals are feeling individuals who deserve to be treated with compassion and to live free of fear and suffering,” reads part of the WFAS mission statement.
“Saving the bovine was achieved with the help of so many dedicated animal activists,” Bessey told me. “Not the least of which was Moein Khawaja.” Khawaja, Executive Director of the Philadelphia chapter of Council on American-Islamic Relations read about the cow’s flight and plight and decided to intervene.
He became the go-between of the Madina Slaughterhouse’s owner, animal activists and state officials on food safety. Still not sure of the final outcome Friday morning, Philly.com quoted him as saying “We’re all rooting for the cow. But this isn’t Disney.” By Friday afternoon Bessey was searching for a place to keep Kayli in quarantine for the required two weeks. ”Mr. Khawaja was instrumental in saving the bovine,” said Bessey.
So, how did the bovine save the chicken?
When the truck from WFAS arrived Thursday afternoon to pick up Kayli, Bessey and other animal activists who were at the slaughterhouse caught a glimpse of a chicken hiding nearby. Bessey reports the chicken was leery of humans and gave great chase to all the people trying to rescue the little creature.
Once caught, the chicken slept quietly in the lap of workers all the way back to Woodstock. Sanctuary and an opportunity to join the flock of 19 other chickens will also be offered to the spirited, feathered creature now named Philly.
Watch the video of the chicken, later named Philly, being caught by WFAS staff.