• Forever Safe Farm becomes the recipient of the prestigious
    2012 "Lou Holtz Award" ...
    It was a great honor to be nominated, then chosen as a winner of the Lou Holtz Award in August of 2012. Read more about it here and here ...
  • We have exotic animals you can visit, touch, and learn more about in person ... There are also parrots, wallabies, raccoons, llamas, alpacas, and various other animal types on the farm to learn from and give attention to more...
  • Take the whole family out for a day of sun and fun with our interactive farm tour ... Perfect for all age groups, this interactive tour lets the kids get up close and personal with everything from Elk, to Deer, to Llamas! more...
  • The Forever Safe Farm is located at 3155 McCracken Rd, Salem, OH. 44460

Rudy - Our Three-Legged Deer

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Rudy the 3-legged DeerRudy, the three legged deer, has touched everyone's heart who comes in contact with him. He was born on a deer farm and at the age of around 4 to 6 hours after his birth was stepped on by a domestic elk that it shared an 8 acre enclosure with. The owner of the farm offered him to us as it was obvious the medical care was going to be extensive.

 

When we first saw him, his tibia (leg bone) was snapped in two and protruding a couple of inches through the skin. We rushed him to our vet and they performed emergency surgery on Rudy to amputate his rear leg.

 

He was terrified by all of the human contact but seemed to be in shock and cooperated. He came out of surgery and returned to us to be fed goats milk (fresh squeezed of course!) this leads to a goat story but we can talk about that later.

 

Karrin with Rudy after surgeryWe built an enclosure of approximately 2 & 1/2 acres, fenced 8 feet tall and left natural. (overgrown) As always, we don't believe in a single animal habitat, everyone needs at least one companion, so we got another deer right away to be his buddy. While we tranquilizer a young deer with a dart rifle at a deer farm, it took off into the brush while the sedative took effect.

 

We traipsed into the woods trying to follow and were greeted by a full grown elk that we had no idea was there. We stood still as this girl was only about 5 feet from us and we had no idea she was friendly. We were on her territory. It could have turned out bad but this sweetheart followed us for twenty minutes until we found the fawn, fast asleep under a tree. We proceeded back to our truck, took the fawn home, reversed the tranquilizer and introduced her to Rudy. They definitely hit it off and have been pals ever since.

 

Raquel comforts RudyWe often thought about the elk and what might happen to her. Would she end up on a hunting preserve? This girl, named Marie, did not have a mean bone in her body. Karrin contacted the owner of the farm who sells them to hunting preserves and he too did not want this for Marie for even though he is a hunter himself, he loved Rudy.

 

That Christmas he gave her to us to spend her life with Rudy and Venadda. Later, an albino deer would join the trio and was accepted as family. We chose to castrate Rudy as we are not into breeding more and were not into him killing us during rut season. You see, a male deer bottle raised looks upon humans as an equal and would have no fear of challenging us during rut.

 

The down side is their antlers require testosterone for proper development so Rudy never grows a good rack. Instead, he just has bumps on his head but we love him anyways. A normal deer can run up to 35 mph and I would be willing to bet Rudy is right up there on three legs! When he walks, he hobbles. When he runs, he runs smooth as a deer!!

Karrin Campf

President and Sanctuary Director


Karrin's love of animals blossomed at an early age bringing any animal home that she could sneak past her parent's watchful eyes. Cats, kittens, bunnies...lead to dogs and now camels and elk. It was her good luck when she met Rob who had an equal passion for all animals, especially the "underdogs". The two of them have proudly stood side by side for a quarter of a century...dedicated to the animals that mean so much.

Together they have adopted three children from other parts of the world and have enjoyed teaching their children about animals and educating them about their proper care.

Website: www.foreversafefarm.org
  • FSF Documentation

    Forever Safe Farm Animal Education Center, Inc. becomes a USDA Licensed animal refuge 02 June, 2010

    Forever Safe Farm Animal Education Center, Inc. becomes a USDA Licensed animal refuge more

    Forever Safe Farm Animal Education Center, Inc. becomes a 501(c)(3) Certified <em>Not-for-Profit</em> organization 16 November, 2010

    Forever Safe Farm Animal Education Center, Inc. becomes a 501(c)(3) Certified Not-for-Profit organization more

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