Police discovered the remains of a Holstein cow that appeared to have been butchered on a rural road in southwest Pennsylvania in the early hours of Sunday morning. It was later determined that the thieves may have stolen the animal from Pennwood Farms, a 600-cow dairy just a few miles from the scene.
The criminals sliced the animal’s throat and removed the Holstein’s hind quarters, shoulders and ear tags, leaving only bones and inedible meat behind. After examining the scene, it was clear that whomever committed the crime knew what they were doing, according to Dwight Stoltezfus, owner of Pennwood Farms.
"It makes you feel vulnerable, extremely vulnerable,” Stoltezfus told WJAC News.“It's one of those deals where it's my livelihood. I take a lot of pride and joy in my cows.”
After discovering the animal, it was unclear which farm the Holstein belonged to, with other dairies just minutes away. According to Stoltezfus, animals at their facility were all identified and accounted for after using activity-monitoring technology. However the animal might still be theirs, according to police.
"They identified the cow by her teeth, her age and her lactating udder that was laying there in the carnage," Stoltezfus said.
Veterinarians believe that the cow was 3 years old and not pregnant. DNA from the animal was collected at the scene and will be used to potentially help identify the criminals.
Besides milking their 600 cows, the owners of Pennwood Farm breed and exhibit high-quality cattle that they show at the local, state and national levels.
"To have somebody take an animal that could possibly be worth a significant amount of money and just butcher them for their own pleasure and meat is scary," Stoltezfus said.
For more dairy news, read: