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Montvale owner of escaped cows facing animal cruelty charges

Photo Credit: Courtesy RONI WILDONER

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: The Montvale owner of two cows who escaped a windowless rented trailer on their way to slaughter will be charged with two counts of animal cruelty, Bergen SPCA Lt. Roni Wildoner told CLIFFVIEW PILOT this morning.

The owner had picked up the pair at a stockyard and “put them in a U-Haul trailer with no windows or ventilation” to be taken to Paterson for slaughter for a family dinner as part of a Muslim observation, Wildoner said.

After finding the slaughterhouse closed, he drove back home Tuesday night to wait until the next day, she said.

While he was backing the trailer into his driveway, the owner hit a curb or a bump, opening the gate just enough to show the cows light.

So they bolted.

Stunned drivers had to steer around them on Upper Saddle River Road, and police had to put down flares to avoid any mishaps.

One of the pair — a 300-pound, red-and-white female — was caught a short time later off Chestnut Ridge Road, Wildoner said.

However, the other — a 250-pound, black-and-white male (photo, above) — made his way through Montvale to the Garden State Parkway in Spring Valley, where he was found around 4 o’clock Wednesday afternoon.

“Cows move pretty fast,” Wildoner said.

Already issued a summons for improper storage, the owner also will be charged with two counts of “transporting the cows in an improper manner,” Wildoner said. Recently enhanced penalties have boosted the fine to $500 each, she said.

James Abma, who owns Abma’s Farm in Wyckoff, agreed to take the cows, who were to remain in a children’s petting zoo, Wildoner said.

“These cows got lucky,” she said.

CLIFFVIEW PILOT PHOTO: Courtesy RONI WILDONER

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