Teenager behind cow sanctuary wants people to see the animals for more than meat – Stuff.co.nz

Jasmine Hubber, 19, has rescued 78 sick and injured cows.

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Jasmine Hubber, 19, has rescued 78 sick and injured cows.

A philanthropic teenager who has devoted her life to rescuing cows has saved hundreds from slaughter on her own dime.

Jasmine Hubber, 19, runs a not-for-profit cow rescue and sanctuary near her rural home of Cust, 40 kilometres north of Christchurch.

Til the Cows Come Home was established in July 2017, with the aim of rescuing cows from slaughter and allowing them to see out their days happily. It’s funded by Hubber’s full-time grocery store work and donations. 

“(Cows) are so much like us — they feel happiness, sadness, loneliness, fear and love,” she said. “They make friends, enemies, and mourn the loss of their loved ones just like us, yet they are one of the most exploited creatures on earth.” 

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The cow sanctuary in North Canterbury proved a logistical nightmare when 300 cows were taken in at once.

STACY SQUIRES/STUFF

The cow sanctuary in North Canterbury proved a logistical nightmare when 300 cows were taken in at once.

Hubber now has 78 sick and injured bobby calves and retired dairy cows which had been destined for the works; all are named and she has no trouble telling them apart.

“People do think it’s a bit strange, in fact I get told that a lot, but anyone who knows cows knows that they are just like big dogs really.”

Having grown up on a huge beef and dairy grazing farm in Amberley she always dreamed of spending her life helping animals. 

As a child Hubber remembers there would always be an animal rescue going on at home, from hedgehogs to sparrows, but her affinity has always been with the bovine species.

She had her first herd of three cows aged seven, and by the time she was 10 she knew saving cows was what she wanted to do. That same year she gave up eating beef and organised a petition for her friends to pledge the same.

Jasmine Hubber works full time to support the cow sanctuary.

STACY SQUIRES/STUFF

Jasmine Hubber works full time to support the cow sanctuary.

Mum Ruth said her daughter had caused them a few logistical headaches, in particular the time she rescued 300 bobby calves in one go.

“In the end, as a parent, when you see your kids with such a passion you just don’t want to stifle it.”

The whole family has been vegan for a year, and her parents have given up farming. As well as her own funding, donors can contribute, including one Thailand restaurant who donated $6500 “which was just amazing”. 

Each cow can be sponsored for $10 a week ($4 for babies), and sponsors receive a photo and updates of their cow. Donations can also be made through the Til the Cows Come Home Facebook page or Givealittle. Hubber is also keen to hear from anyone in North Canterbury with grazing land.

“I just want to offer them a place where they can live out the rest of their lives in one big furry family.” 

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