A 73-year-old volunteer died on Saturday after she was repeatedly rammed by a sheep while working at a Massachusetts farm that uses animals in mental health therapy, the authorities said.
The volunteer, Kim Taylor, who worked at Cultivate Care Farms in Bolton, about 40 miles west of Boston, had been caring for livestock in a pen alone when the animal charged at her, Warren Nelson, the chief of police, said in a statement .
Ms. Taylor suffered serious injuries and went into cardiac arrest shortly after the Bolton police and emergency medical workers arrived, the police said. She was taken to a nearby hospital, where she was pronounced dead, they said.
The attack occurred at about 8:30 am during a volunteer shift but no witnesses were present, according to a statement from the farm. It described Ms. Taylor as a “treasured volunteer.”
“Kim was beloved by all who worked with her during the 14 months she volunteered at the farm,” Megan Moran, the director of Cultivate Care Farms, said in the statement.
On its website, the company states that it is committed to improving the lives of children through “farm-based therapy,” describing itself as a pioneer in the model, which it hopes to establish as a form of mental health treatment comparable to other models like cognitive behavioral therapy.
“Cultivate Care Farms strives to create a safe, supportive and inclusive space to promote wellness for all people and to diminish barriers created by mental health stigma,” the website states.
In its statement, the company said that it is working with investigators while the death is being reviewed, and that it has no more details. The authorities and the farm did not release any more information about the animal. Male sheep, known as rams, can occasionally behave aggressively, researchers say, but fatal attacks on humans are extremely rare.
A message left for the city’s animal control services was referred to the police chief. The police said that the staff at Cultivate Care Farms was working with animal control officials to determine “the future outcome of the sheep.”
Ms. Taylor’s daughters, Candice and Samantha Denby, said in a statement that Ms. Taylor, of Wellesley, Mass., was a great mother and grandmother and “a huge animal lover.”
“She found joy in her weekly volunteering at Cultivate Care Farms,” they said. “This accident was tragic and we are so very sad.”
Ms. Taylor was a nurse for more than 30 years and recently retired. She worked in the critical care unit at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Brighton, Mass., the statement continued.
“She was an avid knitter, cook and Red Sox fan,” it said. “She greeted others while walking her dogs and always found joy on these outdoor walks.”