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2011 Animal Rescues: Farm Sanctuary Shares Heartwarming Stories (PHOTOS)

Posted: 12/29/11 05:32 PM ET

The year of 2011 saw many heartwarming animal rescues, from a kitten rescued from a pipe on Thanksgiving day, to the oil-drenched penguins in New Zealand saved and set free.

Puppies arrived in Washington D.C. after being rescued from a puppy mill and a curious baby seal wandered into a woman's apartment in New Zealand to chill out for a bit before returning to the wild.

Unlike some pigs in China, most animals can't make their own escape, so there are organizations like Farm Sanctuary who have worked to add more rescue stories to the list this year.

Farm Sanctuary is a group that focuses on combating the abuses of factory farming, including fights to save battery hens stuffed in 16-inch-wide cages, sows kept in cages that are too small for them to turn around and cows that are artificially impregnated throughout their reproductive life.

The group has some great stories to tell from the past year about saving farm animals from similar fates. Check out some of these rescues in the slideshow below.

Photos and captions courtesy of Farm Sanctuary unless otherwise noted.

Tweed The Calf
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This is Tweed, the tiniest of five recently rescued calves. Once pneumonia-stricken and emaciated, these former cast-offs of the dairy industry now live a healthy and happy life of grazing and frolicking with friends. Their fate could easily have been different. Cows, like all mammals, must be kept pregnant in order to continue lactating. The production of milk therefore also requires the regular production of calves. The many male calves born to the industry are regarded as useless and sell at auction for only a few dollars each. These rescued calves were among 11 purchased by a man looking to raise cheap beef. Also inexpensive is the treatment for pneumonia if administered early: For all 11 calves, it would have cost around 20 dollars. Their purchaser decided instead simply to kill the young bulls. By the time authorities intervened, he had already shot six of them. The man was arrested, but not for animal cruelty - he had violated his probation by discharging a firearm. Read more about how these five calves narrowly escaped death.
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Filed by Bonnie Christian  |