[Gentle Barn] – Dudley is one of the two million amputees in the United States. The majority of those amputees are human. Farm animals are more rarely treated with prosthetics. This expensive treatment is typically reserved for humans, while animals with disabilities or injuries are often put down.
With the help of The Gentle Barn, one fortunate cow named Dudley was fitted Friday with a prosthetic foot after suffering for 10 months with a severed foot. His prosthetic was crafted by a man who has something in common with Dudley.
“Ronnie Graves lost his leg in an accident at a fertilizer plant 40 years ago,” says Ellie Laks, founder of The Gentle Barn on Sierra Highway in Saugus. “Since then, he has devoted his life to building prosthetics for animals like Dudley. It’s really amazing to be working with him.”
Ronnie fit Dudley for his newly made prosthetic foot at The University of Tennessee’s Veterinary Medical Center in Knoxville where Dudley has been recovering from his amputation surgery for almost a month. The young calf has been undergoing physical therapy with aid from his temporary prosthetic and will continue to rehabilitate through guided procedures such as pain management, acupuncture, electric-stimulation therapy, chiropractic, nutritional supplements and walking exercises as he adjusts to his prosthetic.
“Dudley is nearing the one-month anniversary of the surgery in which we amputated his damaged foot. He has done reasonably well in his temporary prosthesis, but we anticipate that his recovery will accelerate even more once he has been fitted with his new, custom-built, prosthetic foot,” said Dr. Anderson DVM, MS, DACVS, Head of Large Animal Clinical Services. “We’ve been working very hard to prepare him. He still faces months of recovery and physical therapy, but he is doing very well, and we are thrilled to help him through this process.”
“The Gentle Barn specializes in rescuing abused and neglected animals that no one else will take in,” said Jay Weiner, co-founder of The Gentle Barn, “and through generous donations from donors around the world, we are able to provide them a second chance at life that they are very rarely given.”
Soon, when Dudley is fully recovered, co-founders Ellie Laks and Jay Weiner, will drive him to The Gentle Barn where he will join The Gentle Barn Peace Enhancement Program working with special needs children and adults, who live with similar physical differences. With his upbeat attitude, he’s sure to teach others that in the face of adversity and disability, one can still thrive.
About The Gentle Barn
The Gentle Barn is a nonprofit organization located just north of Los Angeles in Santa Clarita, California that was founded by Ellie Laks in 1999 as a safe haven and place of recovery for abused farm animals. The Gentle Barn’s unique philosophy rehabilitates animals and connects their stories of survival and healing to the personal experiences of inner city, at-risk and special needs children who have suffered physical, mental or emotional trauma. By interacting with The Gentle Barn’s one hundred and seventy animals and taking a hands-on role in their welfare, those who participate in the programs at The Gentle Barn learn empathy, trust, forgiveness and leadership. The mission statement at The Gentle Barn is simple: “Teaching people kindness and compassion to animals, each other and our planet.” The Gentle Barn is run by founder Ellie Laks and her husband/co-founder Jay Weiner, both of whom were healed and supported by animals as children. The Gentle Barn is open to the public on Sundays from 10:00am until 2:00pm. Celebrity supporters of the organization include Ellen DeGeneres & Portia de Rossi, Rondi Reed, Mark Wahlberg, Channing Tatum, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Hilary Swank, Rose McGowan, Tiffani Thiessen, Sierra McCormick and Laura Vandervoort to name a few. More information is available at www.gentlebarn.org.