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April 8, 2008

HSUS Helps Two Sacred Cows Find Sanctuary at Arizona Ranch

The Humane Society of the United States

By Julie Hauserman 

In keeping with the traditions of Hinduism, two cows were blessed recently during the opening of the Temple of Unity-Ekta Mandir in Phoenix, Ariz. To Hindus, cows represent the giving nature of life. Hindus honor all creatures when they honor the gentle cow.

For the ceremony, the cultural center borrowed the cows from a large dairy farm nearby. But when center officials went to return the cows, they were dismayed to learn that the cows would probably go to slaughter unless they could find a shelter willing to take them in.

That's when HSUS Arizona State Director Kari Nienstedt got a call. The Indian cultural center's spokesman wondered if there was a way to give the two blessed cows a better life.

"This was a unique situation," Nienstedt said. "There really aren't that many places that are able to accept cows."

Fortunately, Nienstedt knew of one: Circle L Ranch in Prescott, Ariz., a few hours north of Phoenix.

"We have 40 acres in Prescott Valley. We do primarily horse and dog rescue," said Dr. Debra Wilson, a surgeon who owns Circle L Ranch. "They had blessed these cows. They felt they wanted them to be in a special place, and I felt we could accommodate that." 

The "L" in the name stands for "Circle of Life." On the ranch's web site Dr. Wilson states, "We decided to name the ranch Circle L Ranch, meaning that we are creating a circle of love and life for our adopted animals. We hope someday to see a world that cherishes animals as much as we do here at the ranch."

Wilson posted the news of the new cows—now named Shyma and Seva—on the Circle L Ranch website:

"Since they are both about 10 years old, they would have soon been slaughtered just as the poor cows at the Chino (California) slaughterhouse were slaughtered … For Shyama and Seva, life will be blessed from now on."

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