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Northwoods Cattle Rescue One-of-a-Kind in the StateSubmitted: 04/30/2013
Story By Kailey Burton


Photos By Kailey Burton

TOMAHAWK - Humane societies care for as many dogs and cats as they can, but what about larger animals-- like cows, or horses? That's where Bill Blemke comes in.

"Some of the situations we take these cattle out of, and horses... No feed, they have no dry place to lay, they're laying in their own feces… for months. No water. It's terrible," said Blemke.

It's clearly illegal to treat a dog or cat that way. Farm animals though, don't have many advocates. Bill Blemke couldn't believe the "Dairy State" had no rescue group for abused cows, so he started one. For now he works with family farmers to place animals he's rescued.

"If Bill didn't bring him I'm sure he would have been dead," said Vi McCrystal, referring to the cow leaning into her to have his face rubbed, When he came to us his knees were bulging, he just really was in a bad way," McCrystal care takes and helps rehabilitate animals for Cattle Rescue Inc.

Bill wants to stop that kind of abuse in the first place. He feels every animal should have a chance at a healthy productive life. Once these animals are healthy, most will go back to agricultural use. To make this rescue work though, Blemke needs some serious fundraising.

"We need $500,000...Times are hard, I know people, it's hard for them to open their pocket. But there's also people out there with big hearts that do have so money, so they might be able to help," he said

In Bill's mind, animal abuse is not just wrong, it's wasteful. He wants his rescue to serve as many purposes as possible.

"There's a lot of hungry people in the state of Wisconsin. If we can take them [older dairy cows] just for hamburger for the food pantries it'll put a big chunk into the economy just for those people alone," he said.

Bill wants high school students interesting in farming to get hands on experience caring for the animals. He also wants to repurpose horses and other animals rescued to therapy barns.


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