Fawn was born in inhumane conditions in a milking stall. Her mother had to give birth standing up, so Fawn fell and injured herself just as she was coming into the world. She developed an infection and couldn't fully walk — she'd just hobble around on her front knees. Eventually Fawn ended up at Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary, where she was connected with experts at Cornell Veterinary Hospital.
Some people thought Fawn would never walk again, but this calf knows how to make lemonade out of life's lemons. The sanctuary staff describes her as "incredibly friendly and affectionate" to all humans and animals, despite her hardships.
Fawn's joie de vivre practically explodes from her little body. No wonder she's the favorite patient of her doctor and vet students!
The team at Cornell did what seemed impossible: They fixed Fawn's damaged bone and knee as well as her other leg's shorter tendons. Thanks to lots of hard work and physical therapy, Fawn made it from plaster casts to soft braces over the course of four months.
A few months later, Fawn has permanent braces to wear for physical therapy — and they sort of look like fancy boots! Sanctuary founders Jenny Brown and Doug Abel tell The Dodo that Fawn is "building up to wear them longer each day, and with her frisky behavior it's clear she LOVES these sessions."
Being able to walk all by herself, even in the snow and ice, is pretty magical. Shelter manager Dawnell Kilbourne says the braces not only help Fawn to walk but also help to gradually straighten and strengthen her muscles and tendons. As Fawn continues to get stronger and grow into her legs, she'll need adjustments made to her boots, but for now she's just having a ball frolicking in the last snow of the season!
Fawn loves wearing her faux boots, Kilbourne says. "She becomes giddy, playful and does happy cow dances and prances," she says. "It's been an amazing transformation." Hopefully all that snow is melted soon so she and her pals can play in some fresh spring grass!