Winchester the bull was about to be homeless and possibly sent to a slaughterhouse had it not been for a few kind people dedicated to finding the lovable farm animal a new home.
His troubles started three-and-a-half years ago when the farm he was born at, Norwalk Dairy, closed shortly after his birth. Winchester's caretaker continued to look after him for years while new homes were found for other farm animals.
As of late, the farm where Winchester lived was going into new hands with the sale of the land. Winchester's need for a new home became desperate without anywhere to go. The bull described as being "like one of the dogs," was the last one left on the farm, and no one seemed to have a place for him.
The Voice of the Animals Foundation first heard of his plight when their Community Cat Coordinator Anne Macleod was working with Winchester's caretaker and former owner of Norwalk Dairy, John Vanderham.
Vanderham had worked on the farm since his parents owned it, and was on the farm when Winchester was born, said Alex Brodsky, a staff member for the Voice for the Animals Foundation.
As a calf, Winchester, or "Winnie" as Vanderham often called him, would follow Vanderham around like a dog.
During children's tours of the farm, Winnie used to be "the star of the show," said Macleod.
After the Voice for the Animals Foundation got involved with finding Winchester a home, staff members like Macleod called farms and sanctuaries throughout the area, but no one wanted him because they didn't have the means to take him or to transport him to their farm, Brodsky said.
One farm in Central California said they couldn't take Winnie because of the new water restrictions from the drought and the necessary water it would require to care for bull, Macleod said.
However Stephanie Ward saw an ad in a magazine about Winchester, and offered to give him a new home.
Winchester was taken to Ward and her husband's private sanctuary called Friendship Farm in Merced Thursday morning.
His transport fees were paid by one of the Voice for the Animal's Foundation's donors.