The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

May 15, 2011

Large animals on roads a concern for motorists

County humane agents kept busy with loose livestock calls


Large animals running loose on a roadway is never a good thing.
It is a relatively rare occurrence but can provide humorous and challenging moments for those involved.
Horses, cows and other large animals loose on roadways provide major challenges to county humane agents, sheriff’s deputies and Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers. The humane agents are commissioned to deal primarily with abuse and neglect but do respond to cases related to large animals on the loose.
A pair of motorists, and their friends, spent four hours corralling four loose cows in North Bloomfield Township on May 7. They couldn’t find the owners and waited with the animals until the owners showed up.
OHP Lt. Jerad Sutton said incidents of farm animals heading to the roads are isolated but can be dangerous. He said normally it is not difficult to find the owners but sometimes it is an issue.
“Usually, we find a local farmer who is willing to hold them until we can find the owner,” Sutton said.
There is room in the Ohio Revised Code to cite repeat offenders.
“If it is an ongoing problem … we would cite them,” Sutton said.
Linda Fogus, a county humane agent, said her agency is called at least once a week; usually twice a week.
“Usually, it is the same repeat offenders. … Somehow it turns into a neighborhood war,” she said.
Fogus said she has not seen any citations issued during her time as an agent. She said it is getting to the point that it will take someone getting hurt or killed to see any action.
There is a small number of repeat offenders.
“It is the same people over and over and over again,” Fogus said.
“We’ve had cow and horse-related crashes this year,” Sutton said.
“It certainly is dangerous if there are large animals loose on the roadway,” he said.

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