In April 2013, the ASPCA Field Investigation Response (FIR) team responded to a call in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin. Not knowing what to expect, they arrived at the scene to find an aggressive rodeo bull, a determined police chief, and an extreme challenge. After years of living in substandard conditions, the bull had developed behavioral issues, and Police Chief David Smetana concluded that the animal should be shot.
After a heated discussion with Smetana, FIR Director Kyle Held was granted access to the bull. Under surveillance of several armed police officers, Kyle evaluated the animal and concluded that he should be placed in a new home—not killed. “We arrived at the scene at 8am,” says Kyle. “At 11am, we were given three hours to find the bull a new home.”
With the clock ticking, Kyle pulled out all the stops. “I called everyone and their brother on this one,” he says. “At 1:45, we finally found a couple of farmers that run a cattle breeding operation and were not at all scared to take the bull for temporary placement.”
With the location secured, the team now had to tranquilize the bull for transportation. Kyle called on two local veterinarians, both of whom had initially supported the Police Chief’s plan to kill the bull, for help. He says, “We not only convinced them to change their opinions, but to assist in our rescue.” It took the two vets three tranquilizer darts to get the bull calm enough for handling.
Next, under more armed police protection, the FIR team transported the bull to a waiting trailer using equipment supplied by the local highway department. Once in the trailer, the bull was medically evaluated and it was discovered that a botched castration had left him with one testicle. “That’s how we came to call him Uno the bull,” Kyle remembers. Uno was then monitored until he was awake enough to stand. The 3 hour trip to the placement farm went off without a hitch.
Uno stayed at the temporary property in Wisconsin for a few weeks until the FIR team could make arrangements for a permanent residence. He was eventually transferred to the Black Beauty Ranch in Texas, where he received a proper home—and a proper castration. Uno is now stress-free and loving life.
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