When The Cows Get Out
If some scoundrel rustles one of your animals and you notify the local police, chances are you’ll never hear back from them. But if by chance, one of your creatures gets out on a public highway, they will notify you immediately.
I know this from personal experience because I leased a ranch with terrible fences that borders a major freeway, and on occasion, I must admit some of my animals have been temporarily misplaced or leaked out into the landscape. These lawbreakers have included a horse, 32 sheep, a pig, several steers, heifers, cows and bulls (on numerous occasions).
I am proud to say the dispatcher at the local police station has my phone number included on her telephone speed dialer.
By observing members of the local police, the Sheriff Department and the State Highway Patrol in action I can tell you I do not believe animal herding or husbandry is something they teach at the police academy.
I have yet to see a situation so bad that a law enforcement official could not make it worse, and I mean no disrespect in saying that. Let me make it very clear I support my local police, so much so that as a public service, I have written a training manual to aid law enforcement officials in coping with escapees of the four-legged variety.
The following test is to be taken only by members of the law enforcement fraternity.
Question: If a call comes over your radio that a bull is grazing beside a busy highway in your jurisdiction you should immediately: A) Turn down the volume on your portable radio and continue to flirt with the waitress at the coffee shop. B) Call in the SWAT team. C) Call in sick for the day.
Question: The best way to approach a frightened and misplaced lamb on the wrong side of the fence is: A) With siren wailing, lights flashing and gun drawn. B) In plain clothes. C) Accompanied by 13 members of the German Shepherd canine core.
Question: Animals often respond to soothing words. The best thing you can say to a cow on the wrong side of the fence is: A) Sooey pig. B) Get along little doggie. C) You are under arrest, anything you say can be used against you. You are entitled to a lawyer but if you can’t pay for one we will provide one. If and when he sobers up.
Question: In trying to lure an animal back to where it belongs, you should: A) Offer them one of your donuts that are always on hand. B) Warn the animal if you ever catch them loitering again, you’ll issue a moving violation and you know what that could do to its insurance rates.
Question: In attempting to apprehend a grazing horse you should: A) Place the animal under surveillance until you are off duty. B) Shoot it. C) Show it your badge and when it quits laughing, throw a net over it. D) Approach the criminal and take it into custody by grabbing its lead rope.
Question: In attempting to locate the owner of the guilty animal you should: A) Send out an all points bulletin. B) Fill out a missing person report. C) Set up a roadblock to catch him if he tries to escape. D) Check the county jail as he may already be in custody for other crimes.
Correct answers: None of the above. It doesn’t really matter what you do, the wandering animals will return home when they darn well feel like it.