Vandals kill a youth's show cows
Pendleton County Schools were on a two-hour delay from an overnight snow storm that had moved through the region on the morning of Monday, March 4. People were going to work and at approximately 8 a.m., Olivia Cline’s mother saw the cattle drinking down by the creek.
Her grandpa drove by a little later and saw the cows lying down, but he thought they were sunning on the bright morning. When he returned from his appointment around noon, they were still down, and he knew something was wrong.
Both cows had been shot from a vehicle on Hwy 609. There was a single kill shot from a 270 rifle for both animals. Kentucky State Police were called in, and they recovered the bullets from both animals and a single shell casing from the roadside.
It’s not the only concerning incident that has happened in the area, according to Chip Cline.
“Hayfields have been torn up, a house vandalized, deer poached, and a house’s window was shot out,” he said.
While the growing vandalism is a concern, the Cline’s have offered a $2,500 reward for information that would lead to a conviction of the murder of their two show cattle. The value of the animals is estimated to be in the $6,000 range.
But the actual value is immeasurable, according to Olivia. She posted on Facebook, “As a family, we are not looking for any monetary support; we are just looking for justice. These cows cannot be replaced, and neither can the memories made with them.”
Their daughter Kyleigh had spent several hours every single day for 11 months raising, nurturing, caring, training and loving on these two animals.
At first, she raised cattle while she also competed in barrel racing, but she enjoyed the cattle shows more and decided to focus on them.
“It’s more hands-on, and I can do more with it.” The teenager plans to be a veterinarian someday.
One was a registered Simmental heifer and the other a Black Angus. Both were bred for production breeding, and they had significant investment in them.
“The part that hits the most is that both came off my family farm--my dad’s farm. Twenty-five years of breeding--all lost,” he lamented. “They were supposed to die here, but of old age.”
Forensics seem to have given a clue of what happened, according to Olivia.
“One shot was straight into the body while the other was at angle. It entered the body through the armpit, hit the heart and came out the shoulder. It seems it was running away after the first gun shot,” she explained.
She further explained that one cow that was in the group, but seemed to get away unscathed physically, did not eat for two days.
It seems the coward was shooting at the defenseless animals that were running away while she or he sat in the safety of the vehicle. The apparent first cow shot was hit from approximately 30 yards while the second was shot from 70 yards.
Dad would like to see the community rise up and say that these actions that are happening in their area and that apparently culminated in the shooting will not be tolerated.
“Something has to be done. We need to make a statement that this is out of hand, and it needs to be stopped,” he said.
The Kentucky State Police is investigating the incident. Anyone that has information on it or any of the other vandalism happening in the area should call 859-428-1212.
“These heifers were not just cows, they were our family,” Olivia said.