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Meet Mav

Updated: Dec 31, 2022

Born without eyes and a tail, but with the biggest heart


Mav was born on a dairy farm without eyes and a tail. Most male calves like Mav are sent to a saleyard or abattoir at a few days old. Their bodies are butchered for veal or their skin used as ‘calf leather’.



That wasn’t Mav’s destiny.


At 6 months old he was surrendered into our care.


The week Seymour came home to us, was the same week we brought Mav home.


Why didn’t we tell you about him straight away? Some surrenders are complex.


Mav needed several medical procedures, one of which we believed may have been confronting for some of our audience.


Mav was born without eyeballs, but the eye socket was intact. Dust and debris could collect behind his eyelid and even with extreme care the risk of infection was high.


After extensive research and acting on the advice of our vet team, the best way to ensure Mav’s long-term health was to sew his eyelids shut. This way the eyelid would heal as a scar and secure the area from infection. The procedure was successful. Mav has healed well.


Dealing with his eyes was only one of the challenges. Mav spent the first 6 month of his life in a calf pen. An area about 2.4m squared. He’s a Frisian and already stands at about 1.5m. He had limited space and limited exposure to stimulation. His world was tiny.


Imagine coming from that environment to our sanctuary. All the unfamiliar sounds, the complexity of smells, everything was different for him. It was completely overwhelming. We needed to introduce him gently and carefully to sanctuary life and build his trust. Mav’s psychological well-being is as important as his physical heath. We needed to introduce him very slowly to his environment, gently and carefully exposing him to new things.


We still have a way to go. But we’re getting there.


Mav loves neck scratches and banana, fresh water, and our off-key singing. He can hear an apple being cut up from 10 metres away 😆 he bellows hello as soon as he hears the main gate opening in the morning and his nose goes straight up into the air to identify which human is coming to cuddle him.


Mav still has some challenges to overcome, we will be with him every step of the way, and with your help we will give him a life worth living.


Mav is ready to meet you all. He has the gentlest nature and the biggest heart.

You are going to love this very special guy just as much as we do.


Oh and by the way…. he also loves Frida ... But that’s a story for another post 😊




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