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A cow named India finds sanctuary at Campo’s Farm Animal Refuge

Creatures comforted

India, son of India
India, son of India

“Trying to bring every animal here would be like trying to empty a river with a teaspoon,” says Jordan Russo, founder of Campo’s Farm Animal Refuge. Because of that, she says, their focus is on education and changing peoples’ perception. She and her co-workers want to create opportunities for people to actually spend time with cows, pigs, turkeys, chickens, sheep, and goats — the animals that are thought of as food by most people, rather than creatures with personalities, emotions, preferences, and relationships.

Place

Farm Animal Refuge

33233 Shockey Truck Trail, Campo

She feels confident that most people don’t make a conscious effort to see farm animals in a different category than the one into which they put their pets, but that often, they haven’t had a chance to see how alike they are. “I think most people love animals, and that a lot of people just don’t have the opportunity to interact with a lamb, or a pig, or a cow.”

Jordan Russo with her first three rescues: roosters Gerald, Sunny, and Ryan.

Jordan works together with co-founder Matt Lieurance — as well as her sister, mother, father, and a team of regular volunteers — to bring this vision to life and share it with people who discover the Refuge through social media, private and public tours, and occasional special events. Jordan says there are “non-stop calls” from farms, labs, and other rescues, and the Refuge takes in new residents as it is able to, but Jordan says that the hardest part of her work is saying no, which she frequently has to do.

She says that the animals come to life in a different way at the refuge. “They feel safe. They know our names. When I drive in the gate here, they come running like your dog would when you get home. When I go into the pig area and say ‘Hi Babies!’ everyone wags their tails. They act like that because they’re treated like that. All pigs and cows would act like that if they were treated like that.” At the Refuge, “cows play ball, pigs sit for treats, turkeys sit in your lap and purr.”

She tells me about a cow named India, who came from a Future Farmers of America student. FFA cows, Jordan mentions, usually go to auction at the end of the Del Mar Fair, and then to slaughter the day after the Fair ends. “His student didn’t want that for him,” she says, and so contacted Jordan’s team. Jordan was intrigued that the cow’s ear was tagged with his name instead of the typical number, and she learned from the FFA student that he was named after his mother. So, she says, “we started cold calling farms all over San Diego asking if they had a cow named India, and we found her. She had just had two twins that year, and we brought her and the twins here.” In addition to those twins, India was, unbeknownst to Jordan, also pregnant when she arrived.

“The second she got out of the trailer, he (India Jr.) knew. People wonder if animals have feelings like we do , but he was across 10 acres of pasture when that trailer door opened, and he was like, ‘That is my mom!’ They hadn’t seen each other in probably seven months. They’re still very close. He stays with her all the time. You can’t catch them apart.”

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India, son of India
India, son of India

“Trying to bring every animal here would be like trying to empty a river with a teaspoon,” says Jordan Russo, founder of Campo’s Farm Animal Refuge. Because of that, she says, their focus is on education and changing peoples’ perception. She and her co-workers want to create opportunities for people to actually spend time with cows, pigs, turkeys, chickens, sheep, and goats — the animals that are thought of as food by most people, rather than creatures with personalities, emotions, preferences, and relationships.

Place

Farm Animal Refuge

33233 Shockey Truck Trail, Campo

She feels confident that most people don’t make a conscious effort to see farm animals in a different category than the one into which they put their pets, but that often, they haven’t had a chance to see how alike they are. “I think most people love animals, and that a lot of people just don’t have the opportunity to interact with a lamb, or a pig, or a cow.”

Jordan Russo with her first three rescues: roosters Gerald, Sunny, and Ryan.

Jordan works together with co-founder Matt Lieurance — as well as her sister, mother, father, and a team of regular volunteers — to bring this vision to life and share it with people who discover the Refuge through social media, private and public tours, and occasional special events. Jordan says there are “non-stop calls” from farms, labs, and other rescues, and the Refuge takes in new residents as it is able to, but Jordan says that the hardest part of her work is saying no, which she frequently has to do.

She says that the animals come to life in a different way at the refuge. “They feel safe. They know our names. When I drive in the gate here, they come running like your dog would when you get home. When I go into the pig area and say ‘Hi Babies!’ everyone wags their tails. They act like that because they’re treated like that. All pigs and cows would act like that if they were treated like that.” At the Refuge, “cows play ball, pigs sit for treats, turkeys sit in your lap and purr.”

She tells me about a cow named India, who came from a Future Farmers of America student. FFA cows, Jordan mentions, usually go to auction at the end of the Del Mar Fair, and then to slaughter the day after the Fair ends. “His student didn’t want that for him,” she says, and so contacted Jordan’s team. Jordan was intrigued that the cow’s ear was tagged with his name instead of the typical number, and she learned from the FFA student that he was named after his mother. So, she says, “we started cold calling farms all over San Diego asking if they had a cow named India, and we found her. She had just had two twins that year, and we brought her and the twins here.” In addition to those twins, India was, unbeknownst to Jordan, also pregnant when she arrived.

“The second she got out of the trailer, he (India Jr.) knew. People wonder if animals have feelings like we do , but he was across 10 acres of pasture when that trailer door opened, and he was like, ‘That is my mom!’ They hadn’t seen each other in probably seven months. They’re still very close. He stays with her all the time. You can’t catch them apart.”

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1

Some of my best friends have been cows. It's true that, if you throw a big inflatable ball into a cow field, the curious and playful critters will start knocking the thing around and inventing games with it. It's very boring to be a cow, that's why they walk over to you if you stop by their fence for a visit - next time you see a cow and have a minute to spare, maybe say hi and give their big ol' cow heads a pat or two!

June 29, 2022

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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