Julie Druker | Apr 15, 2015
Barry Smith is lucky to be alive following a vicious attack that took place at Land O' Lakes Rescue/ Petting Farm in February and left him with eight broken ribs, a punctured lung, a broken pelvis and five broken vertebrae. Smith, who along with his wife Donna operates the farm on Road 506 near Cloyne, was attacked by the family's nine-year-old bull, a Holstein that Barry himself rescued when it was just three days old.
Donna said that the bull, known as Mickey Moo, had up until that day “been a very friendly animal”. After Barry rescued the bull nine years ago, he bottle fed it himself until it was able to eat on his own.
The attack occurred at approximately 4:30 pm on Family Day, February 16, when Barry as usual was putting the farm animals to bed for the night. Donna said that while he was opening the gate to let the bull into the barn, a nearby truck back-fired, startling the horses located in an adjacent enclosure, which likely in turn agitated the bull, causing it to crash into the electric fence. This sent it charging into the same area where Barry, who had his back turned at the time, was located. He was struck down to the ground by the bull, which then repeatedly tossed and flipped him into the air, after which time, using its head, it continued to ram him into the ground. Eventually Barry was able to pull himself under a nearby truck for cover. According to Donna, the bull also attempted to lift the truck off the ground while Barry was still lying underneath it, unable to move. “I don't know what happened to that animal but it seemed at the time like it really wanted to see my husband dead.”
Barry's 15-year-old daughter Darian, who had been in the barn at the time of the attack, heard her father's screams and ran out. She tried to get the bull off him by repeatedly hitting it with a stick but to no avail. Thinking her father had been killed, she ran to the house and called 911.
Donna said it took about an hour's time and many frantic attempts to get the bull safely enclosed, which she was finally able to do with the help of her children. It was only after that that the emergency responders could finally reach Barry, who by then was not only seriously injured, but also hypothermic. According to Donna he said that he “could not feel his legs”.
Barry was then rushed to the Lennox and Addington County Hospital, where his condition was eventually stabilized. He was then transferred to Kingston General Hospital, where he underwent surgery to repair his broken pelvis. He remained there in ICU for a week, and two weeks later was transferred back to the Lennox and Addington hospital, where currently he is undergoing physiotherapy and is in a wheelchair. He is still unable to walk since he is not allowed to put any weight on his left side while his pelvis heals.
The bull has been removed from the farm.
The incident has obviously left the entire family shaken and while Barry is now able to visit his home on the weekends, it will no doubt be a long while until he is back on his feet. In the meantime Donna said that she, her children and a number of neighbors are working extra hard to keep the farm going. They are still planning to open it up as usual for the May long weekend. Prior to that time they are asking any interested volunteers to help assist them with the annual clean up of the farm grounds in preparation for the busy upcoming season. The clean up will take place on Saturday & Sunday, May 2 & 3. Anyone interested in helping can contact Donna at 613-336-0330.