Award-winning songwriter saves final missing cow found in El Monte after escaping slaughterhouse

EL MONTE, Calif. (KABC) -- The last of 40 cows that escaped from a slaughterhouse in Pico Rivera earlier this week was found Thursday in a South El Monte-area field, and city officials said the animal's life will be spared thanks to Grammy Award-winning songwriter Diane Warren.

The cow was discovered at Whittier Narrows Park, which is about five miles away from the neighborhood where they broke free Tuesday evening.

Patrol cars were seen surrounding the animal as it stood in a clearing of the park. Shortly before 8 a.m., the cow was wrangled and loaded onto a trailer.

The cow was among 40 that escaped from a slaughterhouse Tuesday and ran through a Pico Rivera neighborhood. Authorities and meat plant employees were able to round up and return 38 cows to the Manning Beef facility, but the lone cow had remained on the loose.

One animal was shot and killed by sheriff's deputies after it appeared to be charging at people in the neighborhood. Several members of one family were injured and treated at a local hospital.

At a news conference Thursday morning, officials said Warren -- who is an animal advocate and previously helped save other animals -- is helping to facilitate efforts to have the last cow sent to the Farm Sanctuary in Acton, where it will live out the rest of its life.

"This morning I woke up, and I turned the news on and there's this one cow that had gotten away and it was crying out as someone from the slaughterhouse was trying to recapture her," Warren told Eyewitness News. "And I'm like, 'I've got to do something. I've got to save this cow.'"

Warren reached out to her animal activist friends before contacting the slaughterhouse.

"Her name is going to be Free," Warren said about the cow she saved.

The cow will undergo a health examination and then be released to the city of Pico Rivera, who along with Warren will get the cow to the sanctuary.

Cows charge at sheriff's deputies
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Cellphone video shows a cow that got free in Pico Rivera charging at a sheriff's deputy and then being shot.



Pico Rivera City Manager Steve Carmona said the city has been talking to the owners of Manning Beef about possibly moving all of the escaped cows to a sanctuary.

The incident happened Tuesday evening when the herd was able to escape from Manning Beef on Beverly Road, apparently after a gate was left open.

The cows wandered through the streets of Pico Rivera, mostly sticking together as they trampled bushes and roamed through traffic.

The sight was startling for local residents, who broke out their cellphones and watched, mostly staying a safe distance away.

RELATED: Cows break free, stampede through Pico Rivera neighborhood

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At least 34 cows apparently escaped a local slaughterhouse and were wandering around residential neighborhoods in Pico Rivera.



"This is a once-in-a-lifetime thing," said one man."I might not ever see anything like that again. It was pretty amazing to come and see a bunch of cows."

Some residents incurred damage to their property and vehicles.

"I felt bad for our neighbor," he added. "They were right there in their driveway. They messed up their mailbox."

At one point, Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies were able to trap the rogue herd on a cul-de-sac on Friendship Avenue.

As two trailers from the beef plant arrived, the animals appeared to be reluctant, backing as far away from the trucks as they could against the front of homes on the cul-de-sac.

At one point, at least three cows charged through the perimeter and broke free, running out onto major roadways such as Beverly Boulevard.

Most of the cows were rounded up by 11 p.m. except for the one that was killed and the one that had been missing.

PETA is also weighing in on the incident, suggesting the cows who broke free should be allowed to keep their freedom.

"These cows' desperate bid for freedom should have been recognized by moving them to a sanctuary, where they could have bonded with other rescued cows, nursed their calves in peace, and lived out their lives just as you and I hope to do," said PETA President Ingrid Newkirk.

Manning Beef has not commented on the incident.

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