On March 30, six cows escaped from a slaughterhouse in North St. Louis, leading local law enforcement and animal control on a five hour chase throughout the city.
Hours later, the “St. Louis Six” were re-captured and sent back to the slaughterhouse to await their fate; however, people throughout the state began rallying together and raising funds to rescue the steers and find them a forever home.
“Once they had escaped there was a group of people in St. Louis and around St. Louis that rallied around the cows and stopped the slaughter,” said Ellie Laks, co-founder of The Gentle Barn.
The community raised more than $20,000 on a GoFundMe page to allow The Gentle Barn Foundation to purchase the animals and provide them with medical care and rehabilitation.
“They were treated for two weeks in the hospital and then we moved them to a temporary foster home where they are very happy,” Laks said.
Now, The Gentle Barn is launching a campaign called the St. Louis Six to give Chico, one of the steers, and his brothers a forever home in Missouri.
To support the facilities and operations of a new Gentle Barn location, the organization is seeking donations totaling $500,000. The donations will support the purchase of land in St. Louis, the construction of barns and structures, the hiring of Gentle Barn staff and the naming of each one of the cows.
“We started a campaign at GentleBarn.org to start a Gentle Barn in St. Louis and serve the St. Louis community,” Laks said. “There is no donation amount that is too small.”
The campaign kicked off with a $100,000 donation from a major donor who named one of the cows Chico.
There is also an honorary funding opportunity for one of the cows, Spirit, who died after suffering internal and physical injuries following his escape and re-capture.
“We’re still calling them the ‘St. Louis Six’ because we want him to be remembered and included moving forward,” Laks said.
If individuals are unable to donate to the cause, Laks said they can still participate in the campaign by sharing videos and photos online with the hashtag #StLouisSix.
“There are so many ways the community can get behind this,” she said. “There are memes they can share, they can share things on social media and get involved to support to St. Louis Six.”
On Twitter as @_ChristinaCox_