Cows find new home in Columbia

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COLUMBIA — The six steers that made a mad dash out of a St. Louis slaughterhouse in March are being treated and temporarily housed at the University of Missouri's veterinary center in Columbia.

Jay Weiner, co-founder of The Gentle Barn Foundation, says the six cattle are being kept together to reduce their anxiety.

The cattles' escape generated national attention and online fundraising efforts, such as a gofundme account, to pay for the cows’ freedom. A GoFundMe started by Adam Brewer raised $17,230, all of which went to Gentle Barn. 

Gentle Barn is a Tennessee based national nonprofit organization helping children and animals through donations.

Former St. Louis Blues Captain David Backes contacted Weiner wanting to get involved on behalf of the animals.

Weiner said the Backes family has started to raise money for the cows, "they've actually just recently decided to match for 15 thousand dollars so that they can motivate people to really jump in and help." 

The cows crossed Missouri state lines and were destined to be slaughtered so they did not have health documents, but now the rescued cattle need a complete set of health records. The medical care, feed and boarding is expensive, which is why Weiner set up a seperate GoFundMe to raise money for the care at MU. Weiner's gofundme has raised over $12,5000 in one day. 

“It always feels good to step in and rescue animals in need,” Weiner said, “especially when it’s a life and death situation.” 

Weiner says the cattle sustained injuried from their escape and one of the cows underwent surgery on Friday afternoon.

Weiner said after the escape that the cattle might go to a sanctuary in Tennessee or California. But he said Thursday he prefers keeping the cattle local and partnering with a Missouri farm sanctuary might be an option.

[Editors note:this story has been updated with more information]