As founder of Skylands Animal Sanctuary and Rescue, Mike Stura has been hauling animals in need to his 200-acre stretch of paradise since April 2015. In fact, the first of the 60 or so animals to set hoof on the New Jersey farm was a cow named Jimmy.
Stura immediately hooked up his trailer and started driving towards Queens.
The man at the other end of the phone, however, wasn't inclined to hand over the errant cow. In fact, the cow had been reserved by another family, for meat.
But Stura was already behind the wheel, trailer in tow, hell bent on bringing that cow home.
The man at the slaughterhouse told him he would ask the buyers if they might give up the cow. He called 15 minutes later to tell Stura they refused.
Did we mention Stura was already on his way?
"We spoke a couple more times," he tells The Dodo. "It went good. Then it didn't go so good."
He arrived at the slaughterhouse in Queens at around 7 p.m. yesterday. No one was there.
"So I stayed there in my truck for the night."
When the workers filed into the slaughterhouse this morning, Stura was waiting for them.
Time and time again, Stura has managed to get slaughterhouse operators to see things his way. Maybe it's the warmth and genuine compassion this man exudes. Or maybe it's his imposing figure - a big man with some serious ink makes a serious statement, even if it's belied by his otherworldly sense of calm.
He managed to persuade the slaughterhouse owner. This morning, Stura got his cow.
"He's in the back of my truck right now and I'm on my way to the veterinarian to get him checked out," he says.
Skylands Animal Sanctuary and Rescue