Blossom the bovine, escaped from prank gone wrong, now lives life in Woodstock
Two weeks after arriving at her new home, Blossom walks up to her Woodstock pasture fence to eat out of human hands.
"She is the sweetest thing," Hooved Animal Humane Society Executive Director Cynthia Glensgard said, adding the heifer is learning to like the company of other animals and humans.
Blossom is the name picked by the society with the help of a Facebook poll for the 8-month-old Scottish Highlander and Hereford mix rescued on April 27 in Niles, Glensgard said.
According to a news release from the Niles Police Department, officers were called just before 3 a.m. that night for a report of suspicious subjects.
What the officers found were teenagers from Northridge Preparatory School, apparently involved in a "senior prank" where they planned to leave live animals in the school, including a pig and chickens, police said.
Blossom got loose but was rounded up with the help of Wagner Farms and brought to the Woodstock rescue.
Rescuing horses has always been the group's primary goal, Glensgard said. But they do get cattle, potbellied pigs, sheep and goats on occasion. The animals are then adopted out following a stringent vetting process.
She hopes to have news soon about who is taking Blossom.
"We have had some great inquires and would think we will have a phenomenal happy ending to announce within a week or two," Glensgard said.
According to the Niles Police Department release, Blossom and the pig both were purchased from Craiglist.
A pig was purchased near Dixon, and the cow was purchased near Winneconne, Wisconsin, according to the release. Chickens belonging to a student were also brought to the school.
"Animals are sold regularly off of Craigslist. That is not good," Glensgard said.
What is good about the situation is the attention brought to the nonprofit rescue, she said. The 52-year-old organization has 45 animals "under its umbrella," including animals being fostered by volunteers.
"It is important to be there when an animal escapes. There are not a lot of places for large hooved animals to go. We are a needed organization. We rely on donations to be able to be there" for rescued animals, she said.
Blossom -- who is considered a heifer, not a cow, because she has not had a calf yet -- also brought attention to the organization, Glensgard said.
The rescue asked for donations from Facebook fans who suggested names before it pulled the final name from a bucket during a live video feed. Suggested names included Queen of the Niles and Cleopatra.
The name Blossom seems right, Glensgard said, because her personality has blossomed at the shelter.
"You know when everything aligns because that is the perfect name," Glensgard said.
The students involved were issued ordinance violation citations, Niles police said in an updated news release, including for a curfew violation, disorderly conduct, animal feces accumulation, and prohibited animal species.