"WARNING - Disturbing Video Of Deadly Threats Made Against Sanctuary Owner Ryan Phillips And His Family"
On April 22, 2019, a young calf was rescued and brought to our sanctuary Life With Pigs by someone who found her in a condition that appeared to be hours away from death.
She was thoroughly covered with lice, wounds and her body was so emaciated that it appeared to be little more than skin and bones. She was weak, coughing and her breathing was shallow. And her hooves were peeling suggesting malnourishment and poor shelter/grazing conditions.
We named her Sophie, and instantly set to work trying to help her.
The local veterinarian who saw and treated her confirmed that in order for her to be in such a condition, those formerly responsible for her must have been negligent in caring for her and her well-being.
Love and attention quickly turned Sophie from a suffering calf 'on death's door' to a lively, happy, and adventurous little girl who loved her new family of humans and non-human animals. Everything had turned around for her.
But on May 7, 2019, our home and sanctuary was raided by Baltimore County Police. They said they had a search warrant for a 3-month-old Angus calf. As officers stood around, I described to the main detective the condition Sophie was in upon arrival and asked to show pictures but was told they had already seen them online. My family and I were told to stay in one area and not move while they photographed the property and searched the house and yard for Sophie. Trying to explain the neglect she suffered had no effect. Fifteen minutes later, Sophie was taken away in a rope lasso by an officer and returned to where she had come from.
We then discovered that Sophie had come from a 'local' farm and and butchery in Woodstock, MD called Braglio Farms that is marketed as 'family run', supplying 'grass fed', 'true farm to table', 'all natural' 'beef' and 'pork'.
No justification was ever given for how the farmer showed the calf belonged to him since she had no ear tag or markings. And no answer was given when asked if any proof would be obtained before she was returned. And no effort was made to ensure the abuse she clearly received at the hands of Braglio Farms would be prevented from happening again.
My family and I are deeply disturbed not only by what Sophie endured but by the heinous threats, we are now dealing with. We have spent large sums of money adding to our security and safety here due to the clear and detailed threats of the farmer (including ensuring any activity near or on our farm sanctuary is captured on surveillance video). The farmer was calmly and peacefully contacted in an attempt to negotiate Sophie's return, yet he refused. Our wish still is that she would be safely returned to us. We grew to love and care for her so deeply.
Ryan Phillips ~ Life With Pigs Sanctuary
"Please Visit Sophie's Support Page On Facebook, Thank You"
Friends Of Sophie Action Network
'Video Showing How Sophie Was Saved From Near Death During Her Short Stay At The Sanctuary'
*UPDATE: ABC news affiliate confirms Dangerous Threats made by Briglio Farms against sanctuary operator Ryan Phillips.
ABC News Story And Video