- Associated Press - Saturday, December 20, 2014

POCATELLO, Idaho (AP) - A national farm animal rescue organization says it wants to take possession of two cows that escaped from an Idaho slaughterhouse - but first, it has to find the missing animals.

The Idaho Statesman reports (https://bit.ly/1Ckz8N3 ) the Farm Sanctuary, a nonprofit with celebrity backers, wants to help capture the cows and move them to a 300-acre shelter in California.

The two cows are part of a group of five cows that have escaped the Pocatello, Idaho slaughterhouse over the past week in two separate incidents.

The first, a 1,000-pound heifer, jumped a fence last Friday and led police and animal control officers on a lengthy pursuit: it bolted through city streets and rammed into an animal control truck and two police cars before it was finally shot and killed in a residential backyard.

Pocatello Police Chief Scott Marchand said police shot the animal because it posed a safety risk.

Four other cows escaped two days later from the same meat processing facility. But officials at the slaughterhouse, Anderson Custom Pack, said this time it looked like someone intentionally unlatched the gate to the cows’ corral and set them free.

One of the cows was captured a day later and brought back to the slaughterhouse; a second one was shot by a slaughterhouse employee in an alley.

Two cows remain missing.

Farm Sanctuary says the meat processor has been supportive of the nonprofit’s idea to find the cows and take them to the shelter. The organization says it was told one of the cows is pregnant.

In the meantime, Pocatello animal control officials say they will investigate the slaughterhouse. A city ordinance prohibits cows from running loose in Pocatello, so Anderson Custom Pack could be cited for a violation, animal control officials told the Idaho Statesman.

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Information from: Idaho Statesman, https://www.idahostatesman.com

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