'Hero' the little calf is getting around just fine these days after he was neglected and lost his hind legs to frostbite.
This was all possible thanks to Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine, a couple of prosthetic-hind legs and an owner that moved heaven and earth to help him.
Kitty Martin and her husband Rick own Selah Ranch All Animal Rescue in Virginia. One day a friend brought her 'Hero'. She says the calf had been rejected by his mother and sold to someone who didn't feed him properly.
"There's so many things that could be gained from this that I was willing to put myself out there to do it and we knew we would have major controversy. We discussed it. We were up for it," Martin said.
He lost his hind legs to frostbite. Kitty immediately began searching the nation for someone who could help him walk again.
Texas A&M University agreed to look him over.
"I had to agree that if they felt that his quality of life wouldn't be good that I would have him put down. That scared me but I agreed," Martin said.
So Martin and Hero made the 4 day journey from Virginia to College Station. A&M Large Animal Surgery Professor Ashlee Watts says after she looked at him, she decided the unique and very rare surgery could be done.
"It's the first time here for sure and up until this case was admitted here I had never even heard of it being done," Watts said. So A&M students were treated to a unique learning experience.
"The students helped and were...participated in his care and participated in all his surgery," Watts said.
The story of Hero the cow is making headlines all over the world. Kitty Martin says this unique procedure to save Hero will end up costing her about $25,000 when it's all said and done. The question many people have for her is why did she do it?
Besides her affection for the little guy, Martin is hoping the work on Hero can someday benefit other animals even humans.
"The experiences that we give the students going here...these are our future vets. And if Hero can teach the vets that there's compassion, that animals respond to compassion, those are our future vets...I'm tickled about that," Watts said.