Escaped Slaughterhouse Cows
Find Sanctuary In NY
By Kristin Harty
Chronicle-Tribune - Grant County, IN
FAIRMOUNT -- A happy ending is in store for three of the four cattle that escaped from a slaughterhouse two weeks ago.
The three animals soon will be on their way to a farm sanctuary in New York.
The fourth animal, a steer, was shot and killed over the weekend, said Max Amos, owner of Circle A Meat, 10811 S. E00W.
"The boys that shot it, I told them, if you find it and shoot it, you can have it," said Amos, who wouldn't reveal the identity of the men. He had received reports from drivers along Grant County Road 100 East that the steer was eating grass along the road.
"I was worried about someone getting hurt," said Amos, who flagged down cars one day last weekend to warn them the cow was near the road. "On 100 East, these cars fly down that road. This one truck driver told me, 'I've seen it six or seven times and I've almost hit it like three.'"
Amos signed a contract Monday afternoon, turning over the other three cattle to Farm Sanctuary, Watkins Glen, N.Y. An employee of the sanctuary, Harold Brown, left for Marion Monday evening and was expected to arrive by noon today, said Farm Sanctuary President Gene Bauston.
"The animals will change from being a commodity to being a companion," said Bauston, adding that thousands of people visit the Farm Sanctuary every year to see the pigs, sheep, goats, chickens, turkeys, rabbits, ducks and geese. "They'll have pastures to graze in. They'll have a barn to come into when it gets cold outside or rainy. They will have pasture and shelter and companionship."
Amos won't be compensated for the cattle, which escaped Aug. 3 just before entering the slaughterhouse. He had invested about $4,000 in the animals.
"It's a big loss," Amos said Monday. "But it's out of my hair now. I'm tired of looking for them. Tired of hunting them. Tired of making everybody mad."
The Fairmount Police Department and Chronicle-Tribune were flooded with phone calls last week from people who didn't want the cattle killed. The cattle have been hiding in corn fields and have defied capture by cowboys with lassos, well-meaning neighbors and increasingly desperate owners trying to track them with a tranquilizer gun.
Two of the cattle escaped a second time Friday, astonishing witnesses by leaping over a 5-foot fence.
Bauston said he expects it will be a challenge to capture the cattle before transferring them to New York.
"We need to create a positive, calming effect in the area," he said, adding that Brown will work as a sort of bovine 'horse whisperer.' "It's our hope these animals can be calmed just by being fed and being approached kindly. If there's any farmers in the area that are interested in working with us, we're interested in hearing from them."
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