BOULEVARD, Calif. — A small ranch owner in Boulevard wants you to reconsider everything you think you know about cows. In this Zevely Zone, I headed to the East County to take Cow 101.
In celebration of two rescued calves, Libby Lou's Safe Haven is celebrating the first birthday of Auggie Norman and Snowflake for the entire month of March. If you're wondering what kind of person celebrates a cow's birthday more than their own, meet Lori Biewen.
"This is Daisy Bell, this is Fleetwood, this is Auggie Norman," said Lori. In 2016, both of Lori's parents passed away within three weeks of one another.
"I was really having a hard time with my mental health," said Lori who was an only child. "It was three of of us and just me. For pretty much six months I didn't want to leave the house," said Lori.
Throughout that grief, Lori leaned on the comfort of a cow. "This Libby Lou. She was my rock," said Lori. "How do you repay something like that? If it's a person you can write them a thank you note, you can take them out to dinner, what do you do for a cow? You start a sanctuary."
Libby Lou's Safe Haven is where Lori learned to love again. The public is invited to make an appointment for a tour to meet the cows. Visitors learn fun facts about cows and get a little hands-on with them. A wonderful opportunity to gain a greater understanding and learn just how much cows are like dogs.
"We have 12 cows, eight chickens, and three donkeys," said Lori whose husband, Adam, is the definition of a supporting spouse. "I knew nothing about cows growing up here in Southern California," said Adam. "I didn't know it was going to grow so much. But it makes her happy, so it makes the rest of us happy."
Lori wants you to enroll in her new class called Cow 101. "Did you know that cows can swim?" asked Lori. Every Sunday is a meet and greet with her grass puppies. "They are just giant dogs that moo," said Lori. "They wag their tails, they are very affectionate, they like to play chase, they burp and also toot."
Lori's wears a T-shirt with a slogan she lives by. "Soul mate, not steak, it's a good message," said Lori. A vegetarian for decades, after Libby Lou's love, Lori went vegan. "They want to live, they want what we want," said Lori. "They are my life. Bottom line. I say to everyone, she saved me, so you have to show your gratitude when someone saves you or you are a jerk, right?"
"They snapped her out of a really bad time, so I couldn't be happier for that," said Adam who used to be Lori's one and only. From now on, she'll share her heart until the cows come home. "Now I'm kind of number two on that list. They are the love of her life, and I am just here," laughed Adam. I asked Lori is that was true. "Yeah, ha, ha, ha," Lori responded.
Libby Lou’s Safe Haven was established in 2019 as a 501(c)3 tax-exempt non-profit to provide permanent refuge and kindness to cows and friends. The facility also offers humane education and invites conversations about compassion. Libby Lou’s Safe Haven is among just a handful of sanctuaries in the United States whose main mission is to help cows that have been abused, neglected, have special needs, uncertain futures or have otherwise been letdown by humans.
For more information, please visit the non-profit online by clicking here or find them on Facebook and Instagram. The sanctuary is are open by appointment on Sundays from 11am-2pm. A donation of $50 per adult and $25 per child is suggested but not required.
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