A calf that escaped a barn fire but suffered horrific burns over 65 per cent of its body is on the road to recovery.
Andy, a four-month-old Holstein cow, managed to flee after being caught up in the night-time inferno but was severely injured, losing both his ears and an eyelid.
The farm owners attempted to care for the calf, which had sustained second degree burns, but became overwhelmed when his health wasn’t improving.
A month after the blaze in March, they enlisted the help of Dan McKernan, 28, who drove almost 300 miles to rescue Andy in Jackson, Ohio.
Dan, who runs non-profit Barn Sanctuary, helped to get Andy the medical care he needed at Michigan State University’s Veterinary Medical Center.
The recovering calf has been in recovery for three weeks so far and is rubbed with ointment and given eyedrops several times each day.
He has also been fitted with leg braces, as his front legs were also damaged in the fire.
Dan, of Chelsea, Michigan, is preparing to welcome Andy to his new home next week, where he is expected to live out the rest of his days with 31 other farm residents.
Dan said: “Andy was the only animal involved in the fire but luckily he managed to escape.
“Unfortunately about 65 per cent of his body was covered in burns.
“He didn’t actually catch on fire, but the heat of the blaze meant that he had second-degree burns covering most of him.
“We got a call to take in Andy and about a month after the fire I packed the van and drove down to pick him up.
“When I got there, I could see that even though he had been well cared for, he was in quite bad condition.
“His ears had fallen off and his eyelid had burned – he will need to have plastic surgery on this in the future.
“He also has a deformity in his legs because he sat down a lot after the fire and his muscles are weak.
“When I picked him up I first drove him to Ohio State University which was about an hour away from the farm just to make sure he was okay to make the journey to Michigan.
“He’s been at Michigan State now ever since being treated. They had never seen a case like this.
“Every day he needs to take a shower which is quite painful and twice a day ointment has to be applied to his burns.
“Because his eyelid has been damaged, we have to apply drops four times every day.
“But he is slowly getting better.
“He’s walking around and eating a lot.
“We have braces on his legs to help him stand up.
“We think he might be able to come home in a week.”
Dan said he received criticism online after he shared videos of Andy’s recovery, from followers who said it was cruel to keep the calf alive.
Dan said although Andy has been through a lot, pain management has always been the priority and the calf is working towards a full recovery.
“We’ve had a bit of criticism from people saying he should be put down, but he is comfortable.
“He’s on medication to manage his pain and he is thriving.
“There is a light at the end of this tunnel.
“We’re expecting to bring Andy home any day now.
“We’re also in the middle of preparations to finally open our sanctuary to the public on June 15, which is so exciting for us.
“We have 31 animals now, pigs, sheep and cows so Andy will feel right at home.”
For more information visit: https://www.barnsanctuary.org/