From Slaughterhouse to Sanctuary

6/24: A missing cow that was part of a herd of cattle that slipped out of a local slaughterhouse earlier in the week resurfaced at Whittier Narrows Park in the South El Monte area on Thursday, and Pico Rivera city officials are working to get the cow to a local sanctuary.

At about 6:30 a.m., video from Sky5 showed the lone cow at a standstill for several minutes in a field at the park.

Then, at one point, the cow forcefully knocked down a man who was at the park while another man tried to wrangle the animal, video showed. The man - apparently an employee of the slaughterhouse - got up and continued to try to lasso the cow, which appeared to be tangled in a small tree.

Several law enforcement officials had also responded to the park and were seen surrounding the cow with their vehicles. The animal, which had also almost rushed into traffic on busy Rosemead Boulevard, was eventually captured and loaded into a trailer.

The herd of 40 cows escaped from Manning Beef, a slaughterhouse in the 9500 block of Beverly Road, about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. They were roaming around the area of Beverly and Rosemead boulevards, but most of them were corralled shortly afterward in a Pico Rivera cul-de-sac later that night.

One of the cows was shot by a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy as it charged at a family of four while deputies worked to contain the livestock, officials said.

The area where the lone remaining cow was found was north of the 60 Freeway, more than 2 1/2 miles from the meat-packing facility.

The cows had escaped from the facility after a gate was accidentally left open.

At a news conference Thursday morning after the last cow's capture, Pico Rivera City Manager Steven Carmona said songwriter Diane Warren has stepped forward to save the cow from going back to the slaughterhouse. The city and Warren, who was described as an animal advocate, is working with Farm Sanctuary in Acton to help provide the cow its forever home.

"There were a number of other sanctuaries who wanted to accept not only this cow, but the others that were roaming through our residential streets," Carmona said. "And we're going to continue to facilitate that dialogue with Manning Beef."

The cow will be tested by the Department of Food and Agriculture to make sure it's free from any disease, and then it will be released to the city of Pico Rivera who together with Warren will get the cow to the Farm Sanctuary.

A peaceful "cow vigil," organized by the Animal Alliance Network, is scheduled from 7 to 9 p.m. at Manning Beef. Activists say they will ask the slaughterhouse to free all of the cows that escaped on Tuesday.

"The cows want to live just as much as any individual and we have found beautiful homes for several of them," Ellen Dent, of the Animal Alliance Network said in a statement. "We are ready and willing to take them away from certain death."


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