WILLIAMSBURG — It has been one year since Annie, the blind dwarf cow, got her second chance at life.
When Annie, a blind Angus calf with dwarfism, was born on a Virginia beef farm, she was not expected to survive.
One year ago on May 16, Annie was brought to Life With Pigs Farm Animal Sanctuary, a nonprofit animal sanctuary in Williamsburg.
Ryan and Mallory Phillips are the managers of Life with Pigs, 195 Maxton Lane, founded in 2018.
The sanctuary runs entirely on donations and takes in animals in need in order to give them a second chance at life.
WYDaily first covered the story of Annie, originally named Ginger, shortly after she was brought to Life With Pigs. Now the animal sanctuary is looking back as they celebrate Annie’s one-year anniversary of the day she got her second chance.
“In the past year, she has become nearly unrecognizable from the shy, confused little calf she was when she first arrived,” Life With Pigs said in a release Friday. “She learned to overcome her disabilities, made friends, discovered treats (and how to demand them from anyone she suspects of hiding them from her), learned to frolic around the yard, and blossomed into a spunky happy little girl who loves life.”
When Annie first arrived at the sanctuary as a year-old teenager, the Phillips’ worked to make her space as safe as possible as she paced around her barn, bumping into walls and fences.
She eventually warmed up to the two other rescue cows who live at the sanctuary, and the Phillips’ soon noticed Annie’s improvement.
“She no longer bumped into fences, which could be attributed to her getting to know the layout of her home,” the release said. “But she was also able to navigate around new objects she hadn’t seen before and would follow her favorite humans with her eyes.”
Annie was taken to an animal ophthalmologist and a neurologist at the University of
Pennsylvania Veterinary School for an exam, and other than her poor eyesight and small stature, Annie was found to be in good health and could see all along.
In the past year, Annie has found a love for carrots, befriended two sheep, and is “nearly unrecognizable from a year ago.”
“Annie’s disabilities were actually her saving grace — had she been born without them, she likely would have been slaughtered this year on the beef farm where she entered the world,” the release said. “From a quiet lonely girl to an exuberant, joyful, and playful cow with so much to live for — Annie’s story is one of hope for a second chance.”