MOUNT VERNON — The health and safety of animals is often a topic of concern for local residents. Readers of the News recently questioned the health conditions of a dairy calf reportedly seen on Quarry Street in Mount Vernon, describing what they saw as a thin, sick-looking cow.
A visit to the calf’s owner by the News revealed that the animal was no longer at the property as of this morning. The owner, who refused to be identified, claimed he had just given the animal to an area farmer. When asked about the animal’s health, he said it was routinely fed and ate well.
“It just looked thin,” he said, explaining that dairy cows can have a tendency to appear thin. A dairy feeder steer was on the property and appeared to be very healthy.
Knox County Dog Warden Jim St. Clair told the News that the Knox County Animal Control has no jurisdiction over farm animals. “Farm animals in general, that falls to the Ohio Department of Agriculture,” said St. Clair, adding that when he sees extreme cases he will make reports to the ODA.
St. Clair did respond to a call about the calf at this property to investigate the situation. “We’ve been to schooling to help us identify cows and the different looks they have,” said St. Clair. “And dairy cows, you can see their hips. A lot of them you can see their ribs. They don’t look fat like a beef steer. That’s the nature of the breed of cow.”
Cases of suspected neglect have been reported in the past locally to which St. Clair has responded. “There are often cases where people see bones on a dog, which is bad, and they relate this to every animal which is not quite true. Nine times out of 10, it’s not unhealthy; it’s just the typical cow.”