A pet bull has been saved from the slaughterhouse after a successful last-ditch plea to save him.
Charlotte Smith posted on the Information Oban Facebook page seeking help to find a new home for “Bullby”.
She wrote: “Looking to rehome a pet bull, not for sale but for safe keeping. We’re no longer able to keep him where he currently is and if not gone by Wednesday he’ll be sold to the slaughter which we’re desperately trying to avoid at all costs.
“He’s a short horned cross limousine, dehorned, castrated, well humanised and very friendly, named Bullby and we will pay for his expenses.
“If anybody has any ideas where we could keep him it would be highly appreciated.”
Charlotte and her partner Steven Khan had adopted Bullby after he was orphaned on Glenshellach Farm close to where they live at Catalina Avenue, Oban.
The couple formed a bond with the lonely bullock after going to see him being bottle fed.
Charlotte’s post on Friday night went viral and it wasn’t long before people started tagging Kristina and Kenny Gray, who have a farm at Kilchurn Castle on the beautiful banks of Loch Awe, 22 miles from Oban.
As well as farming sheep, the couple have a small herd of pet cows they keep by their gift shop at the castle, Island Images Gift Shop.
Mr and Mrs Gray are well-known animal lovers and have rehomed several cows and bullocks before.
Kristina contacted Charlotte and before long it was agreed that Bullby would join the herd of five pets at the castle. He was transported there on Sunday afternoon.
‘The community is pulling together’
The Facebook post went far and wide and was shared a whopping 30,000 times.
Information Oban posted a statement saying that it had to stop accepting new members for 24 hours during the weekend due to the high level of interest in the bull.
Charlotte said: “It got to 100 shares and even at that I was like, wow, the community is pulling together – 30,000 is unreal.
“He was orphaned when he was just wee. He was given a foster mum who also passed away.
“He was at a farm round the back of where we stay, Glenshellach. He was kept in there by himself being bottle fed.
“We went down out of curiosity. He ended up coming to us every day and became best friends with our dog Uno.
“Every time we left he would moo after us because he was lonely. We could tell he was in need of some company.
“We ended up releasing him with a herd nearby and it spiralled.
“Due to the landowner passing away we are unable to keep him there. The land is being auctioned off. Sadly, we can’t exactly keep him in the house or the garden.
“He is really well humanised. Steven was working as a fencer on the farm and they formed a really close bond.
“We go up to see him quite often. As soon as he sees us he comes running over.
“We are absolutely astounded. We didn’t expect this kind of reaction. We are extremely thankful and were lucky to find somewhere so close by and so perfect for him.
Bullby’s new family
“It is such a beautiful location and Kristina seems so lovely. She did say she didn’t mean to get any more pets but we are thankful she did.”
Kristina said: “They needed to find a home for him very quickly.
“I started getting tags from different people because Kenny and I have cows at Kilchurn. They are all pets, they will never be sold, they are forever cows.
“I messaged the girl and told her I have got cows down at Kilchurn if she was looking for a home for him, he is welcome to join my five.
“In the meantime it went wild. There were about 29,000 shares. She was getting a lot of people contacting her, even from England, wanting this bull.
“She came back to me and I told her he could come and join my little pack, they are all very spoiled.
“If they ever want him back they can take him.”
As well as five pet cows – Charlie, Findlay, Deirdre, Annie and Maddi – Kristina and Kenny also have two pet sheep, two collie dogs, three cats, ducks, chickens, an aviary with cockatiels and a snake.
Kristina added: “Every time a farmer has a cow they don’t want to send away, because it is quite special, I always get a phone call. Everyone knows me and knows what I’m like.
“It is quite an expensive exercise to have farm animals as pets, but it’s our own choice.
“People visiting the castle can take photographs of our cows.
“They can photograph them but we don’t encourage them to get too close.”