(FOX 32 News) - It's a time of the year where many Americans are gathering around the table with friends and family to share the things they're most thankful for. But one cow in Tennessee is also counting his blessings.
Dudley recently underwent a first of its kind procedure that would ultimately end up saving his life.
When he was a baby, Dudley was purchased by a cattle rancher near Nashville who bought young cows to fatten them up and later sell them for slaughter at a profit.
Dudley ended up losing his foot after a piece of bailing twine got wrapped around it, restricting the blood flow. After his foot fell off, the tendons in his working legs began to deteriorate and his body started to shut down.
When it came time to send the herd to slaughter, the rancher took pity on Dudley and attempted to nurse him back to health, giving him antiobiotics to heal an infection he developed. But the costs associated with his treatment soon became too much for the rancher.
That's when the Gentle Barn stepped in.
The non-profit animal rescue served service based in California heard about Dudley's story and rushed the cow into emergency surgery, saving his life.
After multiple operations at the University of Tennessee's Large Animal Hospital, Dudley was fitted with a prosthetic foot and given months of rehabilitation.
Dudley now has a new lease on life and spends his days as a therapy animal, taking care of war veterans, seniors, and children with physical challenges close to UT's Large Animal Hospital.