Chris Polen navigates walking his cow "Daisy" with his dog "Penguin II" down Park Ave on Friday, March 27, 2009 in Chico, CA. Animal Control gave Polen a warning o turn around and walk back to his home along the Midway.(Jason Halley/Chico Enterprise-Record)
The other day I received a phone call about a man being arrested for walking a cow through the city. I was having lunch with a friend at the time of the call when I raced down to the scene. I could see the flashing lights of the cop cars. I pulled over and walked over to see four officers talking to a man holding two leashes. One for his dog and one for his cow.
Chris Polen (left) is told to walk his cow back home by Chico Police Animal Control officer Cheryl Howard (right) Friday, March 27, 2009 in Chico, CA. State law prohibits animals from grazing on the roadside. This means you can't have livestock in city limits.(Jason Halley/Chico Enterprise-Record)
There were two officers from the Butte County Sheriff assisting two Chico Police Animal Control officers. Fortunately for the man walking the cow, he was told to turn around and walk the cow back home.
Chris Polen (center) reacts to being stopped by Chico Police Animal Control officers Charlene Durkin (center) and Cheryl Howard (right) after they responded to him walking his cow "Daisy" with his dog "Penguin II" down Park Ave on Friday, March 27, 2009 in Chico, CA. State. Animal Control gave Polen a warning to turn around and walk back to his home along the Midway.(Jason Halley/Chico Enterprise-Record)
The man couldn't believe why it would be bad for him to walk his cow through town actually stopping in the middle of Downtown Chico on Normal St. The officers tried to tell the man that there is a state law that prohibits livestock from grazing in city streets. There is a city ordinance that matches this law. This basically means you can't walk a cow through the city. The man was frustrated saying he has walked the cow several times before and had no problem. He mentioned later that he had walked the cow at 6:00am before. The early morning probably had something to do with him not getting caught the first time. This time he decided to walk the cow through town around 2:20 in the afternoon! The higher of number of people on the road calling in about a man walking his cow could have had an impact.
Chris Polen walks back home along the Midway after he was stopped by Chico Police Animal Control and Butte County Sheriffs after they caught him walking his cow "Daisy" with his dog "Penguin II" down Park Ave on Friday, March 27, 2009 in Chico, CA. State. (Jason Halley/Chico Enterprise-Record)
The man though disagreed with officers wishes, obeyed them. He walked his dog "Penguin II" and cow "Daisy" back home. I know you are all wondering "Why would he be even walking his cow to begin with?!" It was actually a custody dispute with the cow. After a while of taking care of it he decided he could no longer house the cow. But when trying to give it back to the other party, they would not come pick it up. After several week of the cow being left with him, he decided to walk the cow back to the rightful owner. I don't really have a problem with a man walking his cow, seeing how a little later I caught up with him heading home on the Midway heading to the more rural town of Durham, Calif. Out of city limits it didn't seem quite as odd. But the laws are the laws unless they are changed, so don't have a cow, just walk one.