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A Steer on the Lam Ends Up at Michigan Sanctuary

A steer bound for the bovine equivalent of Death Row made a mad dash for freedom and will now live out its days in Michigan instead of ending up on the dinner plate.

Fargo broke free moments before he was due to be slaughtered in North Dakota and will now live out his days at a southeast Michigan animal shelter for runaway and abused animals. (Photo: SASHA Farm Facebook page)
Fargo broke free moments before he was due to be slaughtered in North Dakota and will now live out his days at a southeast Michigan animal shelter for runaway and abused animals. (Photo: SASHA Farm Facebook page)

An 1,800-pound steer moments away from the slaughterhouse at a North Dakota processing plant kicked open a gate, escaped capture and ran amuck around town for a while before ending up, days later, 1,000 miles away at an animal shelter near Ann Arbor.

The steer was captured in the North Dakota town of Cassleton, where the processing plant is located, after veterinarians used a tranquilizer to calm him, The Ann Arbor News/Live reports.

Stories about the rogue steer’s travels spread quickly, and an animal activist organization in Chicago intervened. That’s how the animal, which has now been named Fargo, ended up at SASHA Farm, a sanctuary for abused and runaway animals the husband-and-wife team of Dorothy Davies and Monte Jackson operate in Manchester, southwest of Ann Arbor.

“It was a funny story to hear about how he got away, but my husband Monte went out to North Dakota to pick it up shortly after we got the call from the folks in Chicago,”  Davies said.

Before bringing Fargo to Michigan, he stopped at a truck stop near Chicago to introduce the steer to its rescuers. The activist group, which has not been identified, has made arrangements to pay the farmer for the steer, the newspaper said.

Fargo was briefly known as “Waldo” – as in the “Where’s Waldo?” series of children’s books created by British illustrator Martin Handford – before he arrived at SASHA Farms, where he will live out his days.

Fargo, Meet Jefferson and Moo

If Fargo remains healthy, he could live for another 20 years. He’ll have some company with another steer that escaped the slaughterhouse.  

Jackson said Fargo and Jefferson, who escaped the bovine equivalent of death row in Detroit a decade ago and was captured on Jefferson Avenue, are hitting it off well. Another escaped bovine, Moo, foraged through people’s vegetable gardens for about six months after breaking free from Long Island, NY.

Jackson said Fargo “wanted to be free, and now he will be free.”

“Well, not free,” he qualified. “I’ll keep him fenced. But he’ll think he’s free.”

The sanctuary is also home to a – wait for it – lamb that was on the lam for a time after liberating itself from the back of a pickup that was parked a restaurant called – wait for it again – the Ram’s Horn.
John P. Morse April 12, 2014 at 11:02 AM
Too Bad the steer looks very tastie!!!!
Mumford Chopp April 12, 2014 at 11:05 AM
Sounds like food for thought to me...
nancy zebracki April 12, 2014 at 07:18 PM
couldn't agree with Steve more. get rid of the brutality towards animals.
sherry April 16, 2014 at 08:38 PM
Its not hard to eat less and then less meat for your meals for so many great reasons. You will fell better mind, body and soul. I give up a different animal each year. SO far I will never again eat veal, lamb, pig and Turkey. I only eat meat sometimes, and hope to give all up eventually, soon....

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