Poncho and Jasper arrived at the sanctuary as babies, only 10 months old. Unwanted spawns of the dairy industry, which forcibly impregnates cows and then takes away their calves so that people can take the milk that was meant for them, Poncho, Jasper and four other calves were tied to a tractor and left to die. Thankfully they were rescued by Farm Sanctuary—and just in time. Jasper spent several days in intensive veterinary care receiving fluids, medications and a blood transfusion. Luckily, their will to live was stronger than the neglect they suffered and both of these calves are now healthy and happy at VINE Sanctuary.
Here’s how caregiver Cheryl Wiley described them shortly after their arrival:
“Poncho loves the world and never passes up an opportunity for attention—even from the vet! Irrepressibly curious, Poncho looks for chances to explore new things, often demonstrating just how “helpful” he can be with projects. He is also perhaps the most athletic cow we have ever seen. He can jump a four-foot fence from a standstill and will take the most difficult path around any obstacle, always arriving safely on the other side.
“Jasper is a sweet and shy. He tends to be reserved with strangers but loves treats and never forgets those who have brought him a carrot or (even better) an apple. He can spot a vet in a heartbeat, though, and keeps his distance despite bribes! Jasper loves to play in the chickens’ water dish and is fascinated when it slides across the ice. Jasper loves to have his head and ears rubbed and makes it clear that he does not want the scratching to stop.”
Poncho and Jasper were among the first cows to come to VINE as we expanded onto an adjoining property and began to fulfill our intention of rescuing survivors of the dairy industry. In the months since, they’ve grown along with the sanctuary and its bovine population. They’re both big, gawky yet graceful, good-looking cows. And their personalities have stayed the same!
Poncho remains a high-spirited, irrepressible trouble-maker. Jasper is the quiet thinker of the duo. We’re convinced that he thinks up the hi-jinx Poncho gets up to. Poncho remains the more out-going of the two, as evidenced by the video below.
Jasper remains hungry for physical affection. While shy at first, he will become downright sulky if scratching ends before he is ready. They’re both very flexible, often doing what we call “cow yoga.” Once, when Jasper was upset that someone had switched to scratching a different cow, he looked the person right in the face and very deliberately kicked the back of his head with his back hoof before stalking away. The motion looked exactly like somebody making a rude hand gesture!
Jasper and Poncho both tend to assume what can only be described as a skeptical expression when looking at people—which would be entirely justified, given what people did to them before they came to the sanctuary. But they trust and seem to be fond of their regular care-givers—who feel very affectionate toward them. We’re happy for that and even happier to see them expressing their unique personalities as part of the growing herd here at VINE.
Jasper and Poncho are each available for sponsorship. Click here to learn how to sponsor one of them or another sanctuary resident.