Ellie Mae was originally born at the University of Connecticut in 2016 and marked with an ear tag that read: H864D.
Mackenzie met her when she was 3 months old when she had to “train” Ellie for her Animal Science course. At the end of the class assignment Ellie Mae was sent to auction. Mackenzie knew she had to do something to save Ellie, so she attempted to win Ellie during the auction, but unfortunately was outbid by a farmer. For the next three years, Billy and Mackenzie would visit Ellie every weekend and eventually the farmer agreed to let them have Ellie Mae. On May 31, 2019 she FINALLY came home to live at the sanctuary. She inspired Mackenzie and Billy to go vegan and to start the sanctuary, hence the name ;) -Ellie’s favorite food is apples and she loves back rubs. This girl is truly magical.
Zee is Ellie Mae’s first and only calf. She was born on September 16, 2018 (the day before Mackenzie’s birthday), while Mackenzie was interning at a farm sanctuary in NY. Mackenzie’s friends at the sanctuary gave her the nickname “Zee” so it felt like a fitting name for Ellie’s new baby after the experience she had there.
Baby Zee is the most outgoing and curious little girl. She has the biggest heart and is extremely playful. She is a picky eater and loves to cuddle with her best friend Billy. One of the most amazing things about Zee is that she will only experience living in sanctuary with her momma for the remainder of her life!
Bunky is a 4-year-old Holstein (common dairy breed) cow. She got a bit unlucky (or lucky for her and us) in her life. She was born onto a farm that participated in 4-H and her original name was “Digger Dump Truck.” I wish I was joking, but she was named by a young boy. After she was done being used for the 4-H fairs, she was sold to a large dairy farm where gave birth in order to produce milk for human consumption. Her baby boy was taken from her and most likely sold for veal – she never got the change to be a mom to her calf. She kept getting mastitis so the dairy farm contacted the family that sold her to them and asked if they wanted her back or they would send her to slaughter. Luckily they brought Bunky back to their farm but when they went to pick her up; they found that she was underweight and dirty. We were told that Bunky unfortunately could not figure out how to utilize the robotic milking system at the dairy farm in Massachusetts and with her history of mastitis, they gave up on her being a ‘milk cow.’ We are so happy to have her at EMFS!
Meet Clarabelle! She is a 4 year old, Jersey heifer (she’s never had a baby). When Clarabelle was 24 hours old, she was taken away from her mommy and was listed on craigslist for $20 by a dairy farmer. Clarabelle’s mother got pregnant later than the rest of the young mom’s and so Clarabelle was born about a month after the other calves. The farmer did not want to bottle feed Clarabelle on her own since he had already done so with a bunch at one time – so he wanted to discard her. A young man was trying to do the right thing, and bought her. He bottle fed her so that she would survive and he did his best to take care of her. When Clarabelle was about three years old, Tony knew that she deserved more. She grew big and unfortunately Tony’s circumstances didn’t allow for him to have a bigger property for her to roam around. He was only able to give her the space in his backyard (like a real suburban backyard). He contacted us and we were happy to provide her a forever home at the sanctuary.
Tillie is approximately 2 years old. We were told that her mom was a miniature Hereford and her dad was a Holstein. She will remain small and oh my goodness she is the cutest baby girl!
We were contacted about this beautiful little girl who had escaped from a transport trailer and had been roaming around in the woods of Ashford, CT. The men that reached out to us were finally able to spot her one night, so they had a veterinarian from Tufts who agreed to use a tranquilizer gun to help them finally catch her. She was such a scared girl and she was determined to be free. The veterinarian ended up hitting her three times to sedate her enough for her to be put on the trailer. When she was safely in the trailer, her sedation was reversed and she became more aware again. She was brought directly to the sanctuary. We kept Tillie inside the barn for a few days so that she could calm down and we could monitor her. Tillie has become so trusting and I cannot imagine the sanctuary without her!
This beautiful girl looks a bit like Zee with her eye patches! I’d like to introduce you to Jovi! Jovi is about 5 years old and she is a Hereford just like Ellie and Zee. Jovi was another rescue that was surrendered to us when we bought the property in 2021. We were extremely excited that she was surrendered to us because she was super pregnant at the time. We moved into our new home and moved the other cows to the property and less than a month later Jovi gave birth to a bull calf, named Ferdinand. Jovi was used as a breeding cow and has had four babies total. Her first two calves were boys and were butchered for meat/beef after they reached about a year old. Her third calf was a girl, but the farmer didn’t want to surrender her and she ended up being moved to his new farm in NY. I wish Jovi never knew that sort of pain. She is pretty reserved and we can tell she doesn’t trust humans much – and for good reason! We are happy to know that she will never be bred again and will get to live out the rest of her natural life with her baby boy.
This is our big, beautiful, Bexley girl! She is about 5 years old and she is a Simmental (similar to Angus but bigger) cow. She is the sweetest lady, super friendly and will eat anything you offer to her. She is definitely a boss lady of the herd.
In March of 2021, we went to go look at a property that was operating as a small beef farm and CSA food share. The first cow I saw was Bexley. She was looking pretty big and we learned that she was pregnant and due to give birth in early May. There were about 15 cows total and she was the only one curious and brave enough to come up to me. We ended up purchasing this property and the farmer agreed to leave Bexley behind. We are so thankful for that. She gave birth to a baby girl right before we bought the property. Now she will never have to be separated from her babies.
Remi girl! She is another surrender who was left on the property that we bought in the summer of 2021. She is about three years old and is most likely a miniature Hereford (forever small Ellie and Zee). We joke that her and Matti are twins, since they are both minis and are always hanging out together. She is the brave one out of the two of them for sure. Though Remi is very shy still, I can tell that she will learn to trust us a little more each day. The farmer left her to us because she is very small and she of course is not growing any bigger. She is a forever heifer (never gave birth) because he did not want to breed any small cows. Now she spends her days with her best friends, sun bathing in the pasture, and zooming around with the other babies. I’m so excited to see Remi continue to blossom and I look forward to the day she realizes that she is in sanctuary, safe and sound.
Looks at those curls and beautiful long eyelashes! Matti is a gorgeous three year old, miniature Hereford. She weighs about half the size of a normal Hereford, so she’s like a forever baby! I decided her name was a perfect fit since my twin sister’s nickname is “Madi” and she too has red girl hair! The farmer we bought our new home from decided to leave her here and we could not be happier. She is the other half to our girl Remi! If you see one, you usually see the other close by – they are constantly together. Matti is much more reserved then the others. To this day I have barely been able to touch her. That is okay, we let our animals move at their own pace and try our best to respect their boundaries. We are able to be close to her, but if we try to reach out she is cautious and tends to back away. She does love apples and sweet feed though and this is the only time I’ve ever had her eat out of my hands. I’m so happy Matti is apart of our family.
This little girl may look like someone else living in sanctuary. This is Winnie – she is Bexley’s baby girl! We first met Winnie when she was still inside Bexley’s belly. The day we looked at the house and the property was when we got to meet some of the cows that the farmer left on the property. Bexley was the only cow that was brave enough to say hi to us and she was super duper pregnant. Winnie was born a little over a month later and a few weeks after that, she was left on the property with her momma! Winnie is growing big like her mom, but her personality is the opposite of her mom’s! Winnie is super out-going and mischievous. It’s almost like she is in her terrible 2’s! She wants to head butt you and play, but she doesn’t realize you are not the same size as her. She will eat almost anything you try to give her – her favorite food is banana’s. Her best friend is Ferdinand, but she seems to get along with everyone. She is so funny!
The one and only… Ferdinand! This little guy is Ellie Mae Farm Sanctuaries very first total sanctuary baby! We rescued his momma, Jovi while she was pregnant with him. One summer day, Billy and I left for work and when we came back home we found Ferdinand laying in the pasture, all cleaned up by his beautiful momma. He was such a perfect baby boy and still is! This little guy has made me laugh every day and to watch him grow up is incredible. He reminds me so much of baby Zee when she was first born and I feel so fortunate to get to experience life with him. He is now over a year old and is still as cute as can be. He has the softest fur and loves butt scratches more than anything! He wags his tail like a dog and doesn’t believe in respecting boundaries of fences – he will just walk right through them! His best friend is Winnie but also loves to hang out with the only other dude cow, Andy! He has only one eye patch (so cute) and loves to run zoomies in the grass. Love this guy!
Andy and his brother, CJ, were the two hardest rescues that we have experienced so far. When they arrived at the sanctuary – they were both in such rough shape. Andy came to us as a nine year old, Holstein steer. He is so so tall (about 6 feet from hoof to head) and overall just BIG! He and CJ were bottle fed as babies together and when they were about five years old, their caretaker could not keep them. He had them living at another farm for a few years and that farm wanted to send them to slaughter. He didn’t understand that they were this old man’s companions. When Andy came to live on the sanctuary, he was underweight and clearly neglected. He was so dirty and his tail hair was matted together. His hooves were so badly overgrown and you could tell it was hard for him to walk. He has bad arthritis and sometimes he gets a slight twitch in his back legs. He has come a long way since he first came to live with us. His arthritis is being taken care of and he has gained weight and can walk comfortably. He does not seem to trust humans and if you go to put your hand out he tends to sniff you and then almost look at you with complete disgust. He allows us to scratch his butt when he wants it, but other than that he keeps to himself. He will literally eat anything you try to give him and is usually hanging out with Bunky and Jojo.
Jojo is our most recent rescued moo moo and she fits right in! Her full name is Josie, but because we have “Jovi” we tend to call her Jojo! She is a beautiful Holstein (like Bunky and Andy) girl who is about four years old. She is a very tall girl and has a beautiful, mostly white, face, and kind eyes.
Josie was initially rescued by a wonderful woman in the Eastern CT area. She was only a few days old when she was rescued from a large animal cruelty case and this woman had to bottle feed Josie since she did not have a momma. Life took an unfortunate turn and this woman had to find a new forever home for Jojo after almost four years together. Jojo is a forever heifer, which is rare at her age. So she has never had to know the pain of her baby being taken from her. We are so happy to have Jojo join our family at EMFS!
Zee is Ellie Mae’s first and only calf. She was born on September 16, 2018 (the day before Mackenzie’s birthday), while Mackenzie was interning at a farm sanctuary. Mackenzie’s friends at the sanctuary gave her the nickname “Zee” so it felt like a fitting name for Ellie’s new baby after the experience she had there.
Baby Zee is the most outgoing and curious little girl. She has the biggest heart and is extremely playful. She is a picky eater and loves to cuddle with her best friend Billy.
Rich is an accomplished Lawyer and is Sr. Vice President, Claims and Chief Counsel at HCC Global. He received his B.A. from Boston College and J.D. from Villanova Law School. He has always had a strong love for all animals and has two companion dogs, Maggie and Ruby. Rich has been a board member from day one and his experience is extremely valued. He also happens to be married to Mackenzie’s beautiful mother!
Billy has always loved animals and grew up surrounded by farm animals on his Mommom’s farm in PA. He is currently a student at Central Connecticut State University, working to obtain his bachelor’s in Management Information Systems. Billy has been involved in the administrative functions and managing the IT needs of the organization since its inception. He is knowledgeable in financial planning, programming, and fundraising. He has experience volunteering with local nonprofits as well as previous work with an emergency response team. He enjoys cooking delicious vegan food and is best friends with Zee.
Mackenzie has been an animal lover her entire life. She was surrounded with companion animals of all shapes and sizes at a young age and fell in love with farmed animals. She graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2018 where she studied Animal Science and Psychology. It was here where she met Ellie Mae, the beautiful cow who would change her entire life. Shortly after graduating she began working to develop Ellie Mae Farm Sanctuary. Mackenzie currently works as a Veterinary Assistant. She spends most of her time with her furry friends eating delicious vegan food and drinking iced coffee.