A 1-year-old Hereford cow called Scruffy escaped from her owner, Don Lippincott, of Jackson Lake Feb. 19 and hasn’t been seen or heard of since.
“My friend, who lives around the corner, and me split the purchase; this would be our third cow,” Lippincott said. “We’ve never had a problem.”
Lippincott was unloading Scruffy from the trailer when “she got spooked and went through a fence that wasn’t all that substantial into the corral, about 4 foot, and when she saw me coming, she took it almost like a steeplechase,” he said.
“We tracked her through the forest from about 192nd through 190th Street off of 20th, and we lost the track,” Lippincott said.
Scruffy is a big Hereford mix with the characteristic white face and red-and-white body. “She’s got kind of the scruffy winter coat on her,” Lippincott said. “We were hoping to possibly breed her and go from there. If you’ve got a herd of 12 and you lose one, that hurts, but when you’ve got a herd of one and you lose it, it really hurts.”
At $3 a pound, he estimates she could be worth $1,000.
“We told all the neighbors, put up signs, and we’re willing to offer a reward,” he said. “But somebody’s been taking my signs down. One young man actually told me he was walking along the KP Highway near Home and saw somebody in a car stop and take down one of the signs and throw it at him.”
Lippincott also appealed to the community for help through Facebook. “It’s getting frustrating,” he said. “I know people mean well, but the one that really teed me off was the guy who said, ‘Looks like cougar food.’ Well, this thing isn’t like a 140-pound deer and big cats aren’t stupid. They want the easy stuff and a 750- to 800-pound animal doesn’t go down easily or without making a lot of noise.
“I’m just afraid she was poached,” he said.
It is against the law to keep or fail to report an animal that wanders onto your property, Lippincott said. “They can be fined three times the loss plus up to six months in jail for keeping an animal and not reporting it,” he said.
“I called the Washington State Department of Agriculture and they notified all the slaughterhouses and auctions and so on, because they have to show papers of ownership” if there’s a transfer, Lippincott said.
“If it was somebody who was really hard up, OK I can take the hit,” he said. “But if it’s just greed, that’s more than I can take.”
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of the cow can reach Lippincott through Facebook or at 884-1907.