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Ontario rescue farm owner badly mangled in bull attack

Meghan Balogh, QMI Agency

Barry Smith is pictured with a cow at his Land o’ Lakes Rescue Petting Farm in Cloyne, Ont., in this file photo. (Meghan Balogh/QMI Agency)

Barry Smith is pictured with a cow at his Land o’ Lakes Rescue Petting Farm in Cloyne, Ont., in this file photo. (Meghan Balogh/QMI Agency)

NAPANEE, Ont. — Barry Smith’s hospital room wall is covered in photos of the farm animals he cares for — even though one of those animals, a bull named Mickey Moo, attacked him so badly he may never walk again.

The brutal attack occurred on Feb. 16, Family Day, at Smith’s Land o’ Lakes Rescue Petting Farm in Cloyne, Ont.

The 2,700-pound Holstein bull, which had lived at the farm for years, spent several minutes attacking the retired pilot before he managed to crawl to safety underneath his pickup truck.

Smith, 65, lay on the icy ground for over an hour while paramedics waited for his family to get the bull contained so they could rush him to hospital.

“I was really badly smashed,” said Smith, who is still recovering in hospital from eight broken ribs, a crushed pelvis, a broken back and several punctured organs. “I was like a china plate that had been smashed on the ground.”

Doctors don’t know if he will walk again.

“When I got here I needed two blood transfusions,” Smith said. “It was a real fight. They lost me a few times. But here I am today.”

He looks over at the wall covered in photos and get-well cards from friends, family and children who visit the farm in the summer.

“There’s my inspiration right there: my family, my kids, my animals, cards from all the children,” he said.

Smith’s wife and three kids have kept him company in the hospital as much as possible. They’re staying positive during this difficult time.

“He had his first outing the other day. We went to the feed store,” his wife Donna said.

She commutes 70 km from Cloyne to the hospital in Napanee each day so she can run the household and farm.

The Land o’ Lakes Rescue Petting Farm has been a labour of love for the Smiths for several years. They house dozens of unwanted and discarded farm animals and open up the farm to visitors — often children with their own troubles.

It costs around $2,700 per month to feed all the animals. Donations and summer visitors help support the farm, but the Smiths dip into their own savings in the winter to cover the costs.

“The community has been really good. There’s been support and they are trying to help out and do what they can,” Donna said.

The Smiths hope Barry can come home soon.

Mickey the bull was sent to live on another farm, with a farmer who is experienced in handling bulls.

“We couldn’t have him on the farm after that. Once he’s done that you can never trust him again,” Donna said.


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