Two cows originally destined for the Carroll County 4-H & FFA Fair Tuesday night remained at large in the greater Westminster area as of Wednesday evening, according to Doug Dell, the owner of the animals.
"I take them out to the fair every year for the kids' rodeo and a few of them managed to get off the trailer," he said. "Two of them we have caught and two are still around. I am sure if someone saw a cow they would call a number and say, 'I saw a cow,' but so far today, I haven't heard anything. Which is fine, if they are not causing trouble."
The missing animals are 500- to 600-pound heifers, according to Dell, and were intended to participate in the "calf scramble" at Wild West Night, a rodeo event at the 4-H & FFA Fair. The animals were reported as missing to the event organizers around 6:15 p.m. on Tuesday.
Carroll County Sheriff's Office deputies responded to reports of cows on the road along Md. 140 and Md. 31 around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to Cpl. Jon Light, and spent several hours assisting Dell in rounding up two of the cows, which were wandering around the Safeway and International House of Pancakes.
"I understand that we went out to attempt to locate and corral [the animals], but the cattle, as of this morning, are still loose," Light said. "I know that the Humane Society had become involved — they have the tools to help whereas we can only direct the cows away from the roadway."
An animal control officer was present with law enforcement as they attempted to corral the cows on Tuesday, according to Humane Society of Carroll County Executive Director Nicky Ratliff, but was unable to get close enough to the animals to catch them.
"People say, 'tranquilize them,' but tranquilizers take quite awhile ... to take effect and they can stumble into traffic and cause all kinds of havoc and run off — especially at night — and get lost," she said. "During the day, the tranquilizer is more feasible. You have to get close enough to tranquilize them."
Unfortunately, Ratliff said the Humane Society will have to wait until someone reports on the possible location of the animals during the daytime.
"We don't have a clue where the cows are ... they can travel a lot of distance, especially when they get spooked," she said. "We have to wait for someone to call us."
Anyone with information on the location of the two cows can call the Humane Society at 410-848-4810, according to Ratliff.
At least one of the missing cows might be injured following an accident involving a car early Tuesday evening, according to Sgt. Richard Lambert, of the Westminster Police Department.
"We got a call ... for an accident at Md. 140 eastbound in front of WMC Drive," Lambert said. "Evidently, this subject was driving his vehicle [and] the cow jumped out in front of him. I think the cow went slightly airborne, hit the pavement, jumped up and took off running toward the Best Western. Later, the same cow was seen running westbound on Md. 140 toward the Taneytown area."
As of press time, no further reports of the cows' location had been confirmed, but Lambert said the Westminster police had investigated a lead around 3 p.m. on Wednesday, but did not discover any signs of an animal.
"We did get another call about a cow around 3 p.m. today over by the Meadow Creek development, but it wasn't confirmed," he said. "All they heard was mooing."
Reach staff writer Jon Kelvey at 410-857-3317 or email@example.com.