WAN Talks With Pico Rivera City Manager Steve Carmona & Animal Activist Simone Reyes After A 41st Cow Escapes A Slaughterhouse In L.A.

In a surprising turn of events, another cow was rescued yesterday after escaping the Manning Beef Slaughterhouse in Pico Rivera, California. While one cow was spared and relocated to Farm Sanctuary, another was killed by an officer, and 38 were returned to the slaughterhouse where they were butchered for their meat. Apparently, the elusive 41st cow somehow managed to stay on the run escaping capture for eight days.

The yet-to-be-named cow was found approximately 12 miles away in a park. After being captured by animal control officers, she was returned to the slaughterhouse before also being released to Farm Sanctuary to reunite with the first rescued cow, now named June B. Free.

“When our team picked her up, she was petrified, shaking so badly that all she wanted to do was lie down, but she was so afraid, she kept charging in fear,” Ashley Pankratz, Farm Sanctuary’s National Placement Program Manager, said in a statement sent to WAN. “She is thin and dehydrated after eight days on the run through the streets of L.A. fueled by nothing but fear, instinct, and the will to live.”

Animal activist Simone Reyes, Grammy award-winning songwriter Diane Warren, and Pico Rivera City Manager Steve Carmona were instrumental in the release of both escaped cows to Farm Sanctuary. The latest rescue was particularly remarkable as it was the kind-hearted city official who reached out to Reyes to help spare the second cow’s life.

WAN talked with Carmona, who has served as the Pico Rivera City Manager for two and a half years. “We have dealt with social issues such as riots and pandemics, but never with anything like this,” Carmona told WAN, further sharing how the passion of the animal activists’ to save the cows’ lives personally inspired him. “We don’t get exposed to the activists as much in the community, but this definitely had an influence. “It was a unique situation that caught us off guard, but at the end of the day we were able to do something good.”

While Carmona acknowledges that there are people with differing perspectives, the case presented him with an opportunity at that moment to make a difference.

“I felt really sad when these scared cows were running for their lives. I understand it’s a slaughterhouse, but a light turned on in me and whatever I could do to save this second escaped cow, I wanted to make that happen,” noted Carmona.

Once Reyes was able to confirm that Farm Sanctuary was on board to take in the second cow as well, Carmona then reached out to the owner of Manning Beef to release the cow to the sanctuary, who reportedly did not hesitate to make that happen.

Carmona explained that he reports to the Pico Rivera City Council which also empowered him to resolve this unique situation in the best possible way. Further, Carmona shared that the incident with the escaped cows definitely influenced city council members, as well as residents of the city.

“When animals run for their lives out of slaughterhouses, jump off transport trucks, and show the public just how much they want to live, I truly believe that it shifts the consciousness of society and bends it towards compassion,” Reyes, who is also Vice President of Social Compassion in Legislation, told WAN. “I have no idea how many people got to know these cows via the reports in the media, the ones who lived and the ones who were slaughtered, and if they have gone vegan as a result, but my gut tells me it’s more than we know.”

Carmona explained that the Manning Beef Slaughterhouse was established in the 1940s. While assessing relevant city information as it pertains to a situation such as this, Carmona does not think it would ever be home to another slaughterhouse again.

“Now, we know that there were 41 cows running throughout the neighborhood, presenting risks to residents, and property, as well as the safety of animals,” said Carmona. “It was a recipe for something that could have been really bad.”

When WAN inquired if Carmona would be prepared if yet another escaped cow was discovered roaming around the city, he replied that “there is no stopping now.”

“If I could keep an escaped cow in my backyard to save his or her life, I would,” teased Carmona, who has always considered himself an animal person. “My wife wouldn’t like it, but that’s ok.”

Farm Sanctuary is also reopening to the public for tours on July 10th, with food available for purchase curated by Vegan Street Fair and featuring Vegan Hooligans and Happy Ice. People can visit the grounds where the escaped cows found refuge this month, and return again once they are released from quarantine to experience the new resident cows living their best lives at the sanctuary in person!

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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