Rescued cow Rufus and his lockdown friendship

Meet our new arrival Rufus the cow and learn all about his heartwarming story

In August 2020, we received an email from a lady named Anna with a very special request…

Her son Ashwin had been living alone during lockdown while completing his final year at university, and during his daily walks had made friends with a young steer he named Rufus, who was part of a herd being reared for beef.

Rufus the cow and friend Ashwin

“It was very easy to from an attachment to Rufus. We soon started to look out for each other and say hello. He was the one in the herd who would come over and enjoy a fuss.

During lockdown, like so many people I had a solitary existence which started to get me down. Seeing Rufus coming over to say hi lifted my spirits and made me smile.” 

– Ashwin

Throughout spring and summer, Ashwin continued to visit Rufus, who would recognise him immediately and walk over to say hello. These regular walks were essential to Ashwin, as they were to so many of us during the full lockdown. Getting out for an hour, for fresh air, exercise, and the chance to wave hello to someone kept the spirits up and helped us through this tough time. 

For Ashwin, they took on an additional meaning when he met Rufus. This young, inquisitive, and playful cow became his friend.

Rufus and Ashwin story

Ashwin would visit Rufus on his daily walks through the city.

Rufus the cow

Sometimes they played hide and seek (Rufus wasn’t very good at it).

The pair formed a strong bond through lockdown.

As more time passed, Ashwin couldn’t bear the thought that Rufus wouldn’t get to see another summer, and so, with the help of mum Anna, he reached out to us here at Goodheart to see if we could help. It was soon agreed with the farmer that Rufus could be transferred to into our care, where he could live out the remainder of his days. 

“Once we heard the story of Rufus, we could not wait to welcome him to our sanctuary. While I wish we could offer a home to so many more farmed animals and ultimately save them from slaughter, having Rufus here as part of our rescued herd will help us tell the story of farmed animals in the UK; and with a personality like his, help us reflect how these ‘food animals’ are all individual, sentient beings”

– Goodheart Animal Sanctuaries Co-Founder, DJ

In December 2020, Rufus arrived safely at Goodheart and was placed under the care of our Sanctuary Manager Dave, who kept a close eye as he adjusted to his new surroundings. 

With acres of pasture to explore and plenty of fuss and attention from our Animal Care Team, he is already adjusting well to his new home. In spring, Rufus will join our herd of rescued cows.

Newest resident Rufus arrives at Goodheart
New arrival Rufus at Goodheart

Rufus enjoying his new home at Nickless Farm.

Once restrictions are lifted and we can welcome visitors freely again, Ashwin is hoping to visit Rufus here at the sanctuary. We’ll post updates all about his visit on our social media channels, to make sure to follow us via the links below.

Reunited at last

In the summer of 2021, we were able to reunite Ashwin with his savour Rufus here at Goodheart Farm Animal Sanctuary in Worcestershire. Watch the emotional reunion here…

Adopt Rufus the Cow

Fancy making a new friend today? Rufus is now one of nine rescue residents waiting to be adopted. 

For just £24 (or £2 a month), you can adopt Rufus and help care for him and his friends at the sanctuary. You’ll also receive a fabulous adoption pack with card, photo and frame, and a coaster with Rufus’s footprint!

Rufus the cow and his lockdown friendship