The woman who adopted a calf found in a Beloit basement earlier this week is working to get the malnourished animal to gain weight.
Word spread quickly about a calf found in the basement of a home in the 800 block of Vine Street in Beloit.
"I was in tears when I read the Facebook message," said Renee Mann. "I got on the phone the next morning. I was on the phone for probably two hours trying to find him."
Mann, a Columbus-based farmer and dog rescuer, got ahold of the University of Wisconsin Veterinary Hospital where the calf was being treated, signed the necessary paperwork and made the adoption official.
Confined to a filthy basement, the calf was rescued when police responded to a domestic disturbance at the home and discovered the animal.
"(Police) discovered the domestic disturbance originated over the fact that the children were not feeding the cow that was being kept in the basement of the house," said Capt. Vince Sciame, of the Beloit Police Department. "The husband was upset that the cow hadn't been fed properly by the children, or children were supposed to feed the calf and they hadn't done so; he got upset about that and assaulted his wife."
Mann said the calf she has named Gaston is about 10 pounds underweight.
"He should be around, maybe, 60 pounds," said Mann, who estimated Gaston will grow to weigh more than a 1,000 pounds and live another 17 years.
Despite having 25 head of cattle, Mann said Gaston won't grow up only to be sent to market. She said the calf will instead be a longtime friend.
"I do have a special connection, especially with (Gaston). He's going to be famous now," Mann said.
Mann has also rescued hundreds of dogs over a decade.
"This is my first rescued calf," Mann said.
Before calling Mann's farm home, Gaston was treated for a couple days at the UW Veterinary Hospital before being adopted.
Police have since declared the Beloit home where the calf was found uninhabitable, and while the homeowners face building code violations, officers also cited them for keeping livestock in city limits.