A pair of wayward cows had to be wrangled back to their home Tuesday morning in south Red Deer.
The two bovines had made it through a gap in a fence along Barrett Drive in the Bower neighbourhood and were wandering around the grassy area on the side of the road.
RCMP say they didn’t stray into traffic and the owner was called to come get them. It’s suspected someone had created a hole in the fence in order to allow people to move through the area, though not with the intent of letting the cattle loose.
Cst. Warren Cheng was the first Mountie on scene at around 9 a.m. and says dealing with livestock on the lam is not so different from responding to a crime scene.
“When we go to every call, we have to do a risk assessment -- what's the risk involved and how do we ensure public safety? Knowing that cows can be unpredictable and they can have a mind of their own, I was very cautious of who was around,” he says.
A self-admitted ‘city boy,’ Cheng says he’s never really had to deal with cows or other livestock.
“The only animals I deal with are my two dogs. With such big livestock, I didn’t know how they were going to react,” he says. “The main thing on my mind was there’s a calf and there’s another cow there, so I had to assume that was mom.”
Cheng, who’s been a member for just over a year and only in Red Deer, says Tuesday’s ‘steak out’ with the cows is just one example of how he and other members are out there to help the community, even in the little ways.
“For me, it's the community aspect that drives me to put on this uniform every day. I went to a call the other day and two doors down, there was a little girl selling iced tea and lemonade,” he recalls. “I chatted with her -- she was selling iced tea for a dollar and I only had a $5 bill on me, so I said take the rest and get dad to take you out for ice cream.”
Cheng says the public doesn’t often see that police are out there doing the ‘nonchalant’ things like playing sports with youth and not abusing their power.
“In terms of giving a positive impression for that little girl, that brought warmth to my heart,” he says. “That I could give a good positive impression and she knows the police are not there to bully her -- we're here to help her. It doesn’t matter if it’s a good thing or a bad thing, we're here to help.”
Hopefully that sentiment also gets spread amongst the cows.
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