After an escape from a slaughterhouse and a televised run through a Pico Rivera neighborhood, one cow that managed to flee deputies earlier this week only to be caught Thursday is now being freed.
The cow, the only one that managed to get away when 40 cattle escaped from Manning Beef Tuesday evening after a gate was accidentally left open, will be heading to Farm Sanctuary in Acton with help from Grammy Award-winning songwriter Diane Warren.
The escape Tuesday was dramatic: It involved one of the animals being shot by a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy after it charged at a family while deputies were trying to contain the herd in a suburban neighborhood.
Leaving some damaged cars, fences and mailboxes behind, the standoff ended with the cattle being captured and loaded into trailers. The slaughterhouse said it was a mix of mostly steer and some cows.
All but one.
A day and a half later, that cow resurfaced in Whittier Narrows Park in South El Monte, more than 2 miles away from where the herd was in a standoff with deputies. A struggle to lasso the cow ensued after the discovery, with one man getting knocked down by the feisty animal before it was ultimately captured.
Just a few hours later, the city of Pico Rivera announced they had been in dialogue with the owner to buy the cow and take it to a sanctuary. Warren called the city to offer help finding a place for the cow to live out the rest of its life, City Manager Steve Carmona said in a news conference Thursday.
“Seeing these cows escaping their horrible fate broke my heart,” Warren said in a statement. “They knew what awaited them. These are smart, empathetic, beautiful souls. What Paul McCartney said is so true, if slaughterhouses had glass walls everyone would be a vegetarian.”
The cow going to Farm Sanctuary was temporarily returned to Manning Beef, where it’ll stay until it is cleared for release after being tested for diseases.
Pico Rivera city officials said they have received multiple calls from other sanctuaries that wanted to take in all the cows, and officials said they’re still discussing the matter with Manning Beef.
A group of activists is planning to hold a vigil for the escaped cows at 7 p.m. Friday in Pico Rivera, calling for the livestock to be surrendered so they can live the rest of their lives.