The State Department of Agriculture is investigating after an Okmulgee County deputy shot and killed a pregnant cow.
Okmulgee County Sheriff Eddie Rice said it was found in the road on the way to a 911 call Wednesday night.
The family that owns the cow said the deputy who shot the cow has “no respect for life.” The Okmulgee County Sheriff’s Office said it is their job to keep the roads safe for the public.
The Withrow family said one of their pregnant cows was shot to death on Cherry Road in Wilson. It happened just feet away from the family’s pasture.
“It was unnecessary,” Josh Withrow said.
Withrow and his father work on their ranch together and said a phone call from the sheriff’s office would have helped avoid the cow’s death.
“I was already less than five minutes away, and that’s all it would have took,” Withrow said.
Rice wasn’t available for an on-camera interview, but said on the phone two deputies were on their way to a 911 call Wednesday night and almost hit the cow.
He said on their way to another 911 call, the cow was still on Cherry Road. Rice said one deputy responded to that call, while the other stayed and shot the cow.
“We’re out here kinda in the middle of nowhere on a one-lane dirt road. What was the real point here?” Withrow said.
The sheriff said the cow was “jumping around aggressively” and there was a concern it could have moved a quarter mile away to Wilson Road, which sees more traffic.
“We’re a pretty small community,” Withrow said. “Is it a lot of traffic for this area? I don’t know, maybe. Ten or 15 cars an hour, is that a lot?”
Withrow said he’s had a positive relationship with the sheriff’s office. But he said the deputy’s decision was “uncalled for,” and will have an impact on his livelihood.
“They’ve contacted us and we’ve taken care of the problems, or if somebody runs through the fence they’ve let us know. It’s worked well. This time it didn’t,” Withrow said.
The State Department of Agriculture said it is working with the state attorney general as it moves forward with its investigation.
The sheriff said his office doesn’t have body or dash cameras, so there is no video showing what unfolded.